A new year and new look for Old Town

Roots Salon sported one of the few festive windows in Old Town. K.P.’s Cuts & More also opened in Old Town in 2012. May Old Town have more new businesses and a freshly revived festive look in 2013. (Contributed)

By LAURA BROOKHART / Community Columnist

This week’s column was written on the final day of 2012. As the year waned, Old Town was looking rather dark and empty as evening traffic rolled home.

As tradition goes, we note that Helena has said goodbye to some good people and local businesses this year, but signs (new vinyl ones stretched across formerly empty building spaces) indicate new faces arriving in 2013.

Gone are Del and Robin Howell and La Reunion. Apparently the good times that rolled with Helena Idol and Junior Idol were not enough to compensate for the less busy times. We wish Daddy and Mommy Bear Howell and new little cubs every happiness.

The good folks at Helena Hometown Pharmacy, owners Jan Arledge, Blane and Emily McPeake and pharmacist Thomas Price, who was always warm and helpful and happy to answer my wacky prescription questions, announced their doors closing at November’s end.

The sign above Brian Davidson’s law firm is gone, as are he, wife Kim and their family. We wish them the best in as they head south to warmer waters by the Gulf.

Sean Sullivan has moved Carmella’s Italian Ice to a new location, but details were not known at this writing.

In 2012, we welcomed Papa Saia’s in the too-long vacant space of InCahoots. On St. Paddy’s Day, owner Tammy Casteel and helpers served up some 540 pounds of crawfish to the hoard of folks who showed up throughout the day.

In Old Town, the Ice and Coal Gallery will be holding a special event soon to introduce their unique folk and outsider art. Owners Jeff and Rosalie Oetting have also committed to bringing a new-style coffee shop/deli/winebar to the adjacent space now under renovation. Stay tuned for updates.

New in Old Town are Jennifer Oetting Photography, Amy Carson Photography and Juan Rodriguez Photography. And we welcome Helena Mercantile, 4052 Helena Road and Reciprocity Boutique at 811 Creekside Court.

From the wise words of Dave Schlueter of Buck Creek Stained Glass on Facebook, “Don’t reflect on 2012, take the lessons you’ve learned and leap forward into 2013. Just because you own Tupperware doesn’t mean the leftovers are worth keeping.”


Laura Brookhart can be reached by email at labro16@yahoo.com.