Over the past three to four years, Rabun County as a whole has experienced a surge of new business growth especially on Main Street in Clayton. The establishment of Nationally award-winning new eateries like Fortify Kitchen + Bar have helped create an even more enticing draw for tourism along with Fortify Pi, The Wicked Pig, Fromage and Clark’s on Main. However, growth hasn’t been limited to food service! New boutiques including Wander North Georgia, Cage Free Boutique, Dogwoods and Tallulah Gorgeous are also thriving. In fact, Wander North Georgia has just moved into a much larger space and will be expanding their retail offerings to include brands like Chaco and Marmott outdoor wear just to name a couple.
The latest additions to Clayton’s bustling Main Street include:
Dogwoods home – Artist and Designer, KD Bays (aka Kathy), recently relocated to Rabun County from the Clearwater, FL area. The shop offers a unique blend of found objects, housewares, furniture, gifts and art pieces. Stop by and let Kathy know The Lake Team recommended her!
Blue Ridge Toys – Offering an eclectic mix of children’s toys, gadgets and books.
Bonnies Clayton Cafe – Opening soon! The iconic Clayton Cafe is under new ownership with a completely new restaurant space currently being constructed in the original building. Expect the traditional meat and three menu along with a great selection of sandwiches and of course hearty breakfasts!
Farmhouse Donuts – Opening soon! This new shop will be located next door to Clark’s on Main and will offer an assortment of gourmet donuts and gifts.
Sherwin Williams – The new building currently under construction off of Savannah Street and neighboring Regions Bank will be the location for this well known paint store. We anticipate their opening to be in mid-Summer.
Extending beyond Downtown Clayton, the Lake Burton community welcomes new ownership at LaPrade’s Marina! Expect to see some fun changes this season with pop-up weekend fitness offerings, some changes in food service offerings and much more!
In Historic Lakemont Village, you’ll find Studio e has set up shop in the old Lakemont Post Office building. Studio e offers personal training and group fitness including yoga classes, TRX and kickboxing!
Lastly, in January of this year, ELK Group International (ELK), a premiere designer and importer of indoor and outdoor, residential and commercial lighting fixtures and home decor, formal announced that it will open a warehouse in the Rabun County Business Park and create 100 jobs locally. This will be ELK’s eighth U.S. location, and second in Georgia, giving the company more than 2.2 million square-feet of combined warehouse space.
Opportunities For Development
As our community continues to thrive, we anticipate more entrepreneurs to see and pursue opportunities here. For example, some properties that are prime for revitalization include:
Tiger Mountain Vineyards – Imagine the possibilities on this 79+ acre property currently operated as the award-winning Tiger Mountain Vineyards! Only a 2-hour drive from Atlanta, it is an easily accessible spot with incredible potential for expansion as a winery, hotel/lodge, working farm, wedding destination or retreat center. Facilities include a 6,000+ sq. ft. winery/tasting room. Also included is a 3,000+ sq. ft. 75-year-old heritage dairy barn that has been revitalized as The Red Barn Café, a small eatery that operates seasonally and attracts over 1,000 loyal patrons annually.
The Old Clayton Inn Property – This downtown Clayton icon is currently a blank slate awaiting someone’s creative vision. This space has opportunity as a boutique hotel and restaurant space with additional retail, music venue and bar!
Ramey Boulevard – The undeveloped land along this street is prime for mixed use development. Imagine Ramey Boulevard becoming an extension of Downtown Clayton with zero-lot line mixed use development to include a hotel, retail shops, restaurants and possibly even a greenway along Stekoa Creek!
Georgia Mountain Market / Donnell Shirt Factory – This property is approximately 13 acres and is located North of Downtown Clayton and at the base of the new Mountain Lakes Medical Center facility. The building is a total of 75,000 square feet of warehouse type space. 40,000 square feet is currently being utilized as a vendor market. The opportunities here could include mixed use development with residential, retail, restaurant/brewery, and recreational space.
For additional information, please contact a member of The Lake Team at (706)715-5550 or email: firstname.lastname@example.org