Gathered in a blocked off portion of Union Square, members of the community welcomed PJ’s Coffee of New Orleans to El Dorado in grand fashion with a ribbon cutting ceremony, free samples and speakers from Main Street El Dorado, Main Street Arkansas, the El Dorado Chamber of Commerce and local and state government.
Main Street El Dorado Director Mark Givens called the new store, which brings the number of coffee shops/cafes in downtown El Dorado up to six, “the light on the side of the square.”
He estimated that up until 25 to 30 years ago, downtown El Dorado was dead before revitalization efforts began to take foothold and receive statewide notice. Those efforts involved visionaries, like Virginia-based real estate developer Pete Dunn, who owns the Armstrong and Federal buildings, to pull off.
El Dorado is a beneficiary of Dunn’s efforts to purchase buildings across the country to remodel and repurpose.
“He could be a visionary or be insane, possibly both, but we think it’s great,” Givens said,
El Dorado Chamber President and CEO Henry Florsheim was excited to announce the opening as the seventh this month and state Rep. Matthew Shepherd echoed Givens’ words that a lot of vision went into what downtown El Dorado became.
PJ’s Coffee, 106 W. Main Street, Suite 103, is open from 7 a.m. to 9 p.m. Monday through Saturday and from 7 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Sunday.
Check out the gallery below of photos from this morning’s opening.