HUNTINGTON — Jason Beter, owner of Oscar’s in Barboursville, says it is time to officially announce his new restaurant in downtown Huntington.
Beter will open The Corner Hoagies & Hops in the old Highway 55 location at 801 3rd Ave. in late July.
“Growing up as a kid in Huntington, some of my greatest memories were walking downtown with my grandfather,” he said. “I loved seeing people on the busy streets. As I got older I’d spend my days downtown on my skateboard and hanging out at Davidson’s Records. Though we moved to Barboursville when I was 14, I never lost my love for Huntington.”
Late last year and early this year Beter says he had inquired about a location in Huntington to put his vision of a sandwich shop.
“That property didn’t work out, so I decided to continue focusing my energy on Oscar’s and 1861 Public House,” he said.
In early April he was approached about opening a business in the old Highway 55 location.
“I was hesitant at first, but Philip Nelson is quite persistent,” Beter said. “I grabbed my right hand man Lukas Beter and headed down to look at it. Once we walked in there we knew that we had to do it.”
Beter says the location is currently being renovated.
“We’ve been working on the dining room and working on our recipes,” he said. “I love Huntington, and I am extremely excited to now be a part of what is already an amazing restaurant and beer scene. I feel that our new place will complete an already amazing block of independent, locally owned restaurants, bars and businesses.”
Beter is also planning on opening two more businesses in Barboursville: 1861 Public House and Orbit’s Record Shop.
1861 Public House will be an independently owned taproom located on Central Avenue in the village of Barboursville and is expected to open in the middle of August, according to Beter.
“Our goal is to complement the already amazing independent restaurants in Barboursville and to contribute to building Barboursville up even more,” Beter said.
The record shop will also be located on Central Avenue in Barboursville and is aiming for an early August opening date.
“I am an avid collector of vinyl records. I’ve always loved the ritual of going to a record store and digging through the records and CDs and talking to fellow collectors and the staff,” Beter said. “Though there were a lot of years where I couldn’t collect, the minute I walked back into a record store it felt like home. I spent every single day of my early teens at Davidson’s Records in Huntington. My knowledge of music was developed there, and I made lifelong friends in that store, some of which I still talk to daily. My dream has always been to someday open a record store. Today that dream became a reality. I received the keys to my very own record store. The great thing about this small building is that it was Maggies Farm Record Store in the early ‘90s.”
Beter says he expects to see bustling foot traffic on Central Avenue.
“Awesome things are about to happen on Central Avenue in Barboursville that will not only help boost our economy, but make the Village of Barboursville a destination and local hotspot,” he said.
WASH CELEBRATES ANNIVERSARY: The winner of last year’s contest, the Small Shop Showdown, is still here and celebrating its one-year anniversary.
WASH, a bath and body store, was the winner of the Huntington Mall’s Small Shop Showdown contest, aimed at giving a green light to entrepreneurs with good ideas for a new store.
Although the store was supposed to open May 1, 2020, the COVID pandemic put their plans on hold. Once the state opened back up, with restrictions, the store celebrated its grand opening on Father’s Day Weekend.
WASH, a store offering personal hair and skincare products, opened at one of the mall’s empty storefronts on June 19, 2020. Winning the contest came with six months of free rent and support of the mall’s promotional staff. After passing the initial six-month period, they have decided to stay.
The store offers soaps, shampoos, bath bombs, shower steamers, beard oil and more. All products are formulated with vegetarian ingredients that are then shaped to look appetizing and smell like real food. A majority of their products are made by small business owners who work from their home.
Store owner Jamie Seabolt already owns Seabolt and Co., a skincare company located in Columbus, Ohio.
When he heard about the Huntington Mall contest, he knew it would be a good opportunity to target a demographic he had been missing.
“We developed the WASH concept as a sister to Seabolt and Co. to allow us to enter into new markets and offer affordable luxuries to more people,” he said. “It’s got all the fun color stuff that teens, tweens and college students adore. We are doing a sweet shop, which is all bath and body products that are vegetarian in nature and look and smell just like real food.”
Seabolt, originally from Sissonville, West Virginia, said he was excited to come back to his home state.
The Small Shop Showdown was a first for the Huntington Mall. It was developed because members of the mall’s leasing office are frequently approached from members of the community with good ideas for new businesses. The mall wanted to nurture these businesses in hopes they could be the nation’s next big chain.