New businesses open up in downtown Johnstown

New businesses open up in downtown Johnstown. (WJAC)

Changes have been happening in downtown Johnstown, and people have been taking notice.

Balance Restaurant opened up for business several months ago, and now, downtown's first hookah lounge, Main Street Lounge, has opened up next-door. Carrie’s Kitchen, a seafood and soul restaurant, has also opened up shop.

“It's been amazing. The community is so welcoming," said Amanda Artim, owner of Balance Restaurant. "During lunch, we get so many people from downtown businesses coming in to see us, which is great."

The success has been contagious as Main Street Lounge and Carrie’s Kitchen have been busy since opening last weekend.

Gregory Jones, owner of Carrie’s Kitchen, wanted to bring something different to the table with his homestyle cooking. The menu at Carrie’s changes every day, but the fried chicken and mac and cheese are always available.

“One of my passions and lifelong dreams was to open up a restaurant, and I was inspired by the recipes of my grandmother, my great aunt, my mom and my two aunts, my mom's sisters,” Jones said.

Main Street Lounge, the latest business to open downtown, stays open until 3 a.m. Owner Shakeel Arshad wanted to bring something different to the area that wasn’t just another bar. Guests are allowed to bring their own alcohol to the lounge at no cost.

All of the new business owners are optimistic about staying up for a long time, and they hope others join them downtown and share in the success.

“There’s no reason for people to not come down and be a part of what we’re trying to do," Artim said. "Teamwork really does make the dream work, and there’s so many people working downtown to make things better, and so far everything -- the hours, the love that people are putting into downtown -- you can already see a significant impact.”

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