The new Belpre Market Square is coming together with businesses starting to open and others beginning to take shape. With the opening of Family Tree Dental and the recent opening of the Las Trancas Restaurant, local officials feel the new plaza is starting to show the community its potential.
For over a year, construction crews have been working on renovating the former Washington Square Shopping Center building on Washington Boulevard into a new business hub inside the city of Belpre.
“It is an impressive upgrade,” said Karen Waller, Belpre Chamber of Commerce President. “There is a lot of excitement in the city for this center. Waller said the plaza is geographically right in the center of town.
A sign was recently put up in the front of the plaza announcing Memorial Health System will have a presence at the center.
Jennifer Offenberger, Associate Vice President, Service Excellence for the Memorial Health System, said they will be setting up a materials warehouse at the center with Waller saying it is going in the former Peddler’s Junction space.
“Our materials warehouse serves as the location from which we provide materials, supplies, and other inventory to our health system,” Offenberger said. “As we continue to grow as a regional health system, we must expand the space for our inventory to meet demand.
“We also wanted a space that was more centralized to all of our locations – Athens, Belpre, Marietta, Sistersville, Parkersburg. An opportunity presented itself with the plaza, and we’re excited to be moving operations there by the end of the year,” she said.
Memorial Health System is also setting up its Belpre Outpatient Therapy office in another part of the plaza which opened recently.
“We found ourselves needing additional provider space on the Belpre Campus, but wanting to keep the convenience of the therapy services for patients in that region,” Offenberger said. “A space in the Plaza made a good fit and keeps us close to the Belpre Campus as well.”
Work is also underway on the new Roseland Coffee Bar location being built on the end of the Holiday Hair/H&R Block building. The location will include a drive-thru window.
In a joint statement, founders and co-owners father and son Craig Yost and Collin Yost said they were “super excited” about the opening of their second location in Belpre. They opened their first location in Barlow during the peak of the COVID pandemic.
“Through the last two years we were lucky enough to be offered the opportunity to bring our business to Belpre,” the Yosts’ statement said. “We jumped at the chance to expand.
“The new shopping plaza will be the center hub of Belpre and we couldn’t be more excited to be involved.”
The Yosts said Roseland strives to be more than a coffee shop.
“We aren’t just a coffee shop,” they said. “We are a business that is centered in the community, who works to grow and improve the neighborhood.
“We just happen to also serve coffee.”
The Belpre location is currently finishing drywall and polishing the floors, the statement said. Next, work will be finishing up the outside. Then it will be on to painting, decorating, installation of equipment, and training employees.
“We hope to be open by fall, maybe late November if there are no delays,” the Yosts said.
The Belpre location will have the full menu like the Barlow location, including all options of hot, iced, blended coffee drinks, teas, lemonades, and signature energy drinks.
“We have so many options for flavors: fruity flavors and coffee flavors,” the Yosts said. “We also will have a variety of scones and grab-and-go treats.
“We look forward to seeing everyone soon and getting involved with the Belpre community and giving back.”
Wings Etc. will occupy a space at the front of the plaza down from Family Tree Dental.
Owners Kyle and Kristen Huck and Chad and Missy Huck opened their first location in Marietta over seven years ago. They have a second location in Caldwell and Belpre will be their third location locally.
They recently posted pictures on their Facebook page showing the interior of the Belpre location and the work being done.
Progress has been going fairly well, said Kyle Huck.
They have had to deal with supply chain issues like many other businesses involved in doing construction work right now.
Huck said they are looking at the end of this year or early next year when they might open. It depends on how construction proceeds and when materials can arrive.
“We want to be finished sooner than later,” he said.
The location will offer their full Wings Etc. a menu that includes chicken wings with a variety of sauces, sandwiches, wraps, salads, a variety of appetizers, and more. They will have 20 beers on tap and routinely rotate some seasonal and draft beers. They also carry 40 different beers in bottles.
The location will also feature televisions inside and more.
“It will be the great menu, the great food, the whole Wings atmosphere,” Huck said.
They are also looking to do a patio at this location as well for outside dining.
The developers of the project came to the owners and worked with them to set up a location there.
“They worked hard to get us a space that was good and accommodating,” Huck said. “Belpre was a good location for us.”
Huck found the early success of Las Trancas to be encouraging and is looking forward to getting their location open.
“I think Belpre is a good location and more restaurants are needed there,” he said. “We think Wings Etc. will fill a need in the community and give people another good place to go eat.”
A UPS Store is also being planned for the former Inspire III space.
Bob Rauch, a local Belpre businessman, is working on putting the UPS Store in the plaza.
He is currently working on getting the lease together and hopes to have it completed within the next week or so. Once that is done, they will begin the work to turn the space into a store.
“It is a nice size and gives us plenty of room for a UPS store,” Rauch said of the 2,200-square-foot unit.
Rauch said the location is needed with the business expansion in the area and with Memorial Health System’s Belpre Campus in Belpre.
He has found if he needed to ship something he had to drive out of the area to do it. He found others had the same issue.
“It was something that was needed,” Rauch said. “It is something that just seemed to be a good fit.”
UPS Stores do more than ship packages. They have copy and fax services, mailboxes, computer services, notaries on staff, and more. The location is expected to be open seven days a week.
Rauch is hoping they can be ready to open by the Christmas season this year.
“We are working to get all of the required steps UPS requires to get open,” he said.
He is also planning to hire locally. The manager is local and has ties to Belpre.
“It is important we deal locally with local people that support the local community,” Rauch said. “We like to have familiar faces and it just works better that way.”
Las Trancas has seen good business and many are looking forward to what the plaza will bring, Waller said.
“A lot of people are enjoying an evening out there,” she said of Las Trancas.
Waller said the developers were always respectful of the local community and have been good partners to work with. Rauch credits the developer with working with him to get the UPS Store in the plaza.
The developers have previously talked about continuing the facade upgrades.
Waller credited them with being able to keep many of the other established businesses there, including the Dragon House Chinese Restaurant, the Unicorn Wine Guild, Holiday Hair, H&R Block, and Belpre Aquarium.
“We are glad they kept them there,” Waller said. “That is a win for everyone.”
With the businesses coming in and the ones established the plaza will be regularly busy with people coming and going.