Eclectic small biz approach means a boom for Avondale - WCIV-TV | ABC News 4 - Charleston News, Sports, Weather

Eclectic small biz approach means a boom for Avondale

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WEST ASHLEY, S.C. (WCIV) – At the intersection of cool and eclectic near Magnolia Road, Avondale is redefining hip. Finding the buzz in the neighborhood is as easy as stepping into a hot little salon called Lava.

Geoff Richardson is the salon's owner and the neighborhood's unofficial mayor. He grew up in the area and remembers what it used to be.

"West Ashley was known as West Ashtray or West Nasty, or you know, things like that. It didn't have a good aesthetic reputation. And now we do," Richardson said.

He credits local establishments like Voodoo and Triangle for helping revitalize the dining district.

"People were allowed to be a little more independent in their building design and expressing themselves as small businesses.  And I think that's what allowed us to kind of flourish under the radar," Richardson said. "And now we've come up."

Those small businesses are now surrounded by bigger ones.

A few years ago, city leaders attracted Harris Teeter to build a supermarket just behind the iconic Coburg cow. Today, the constant flow of traffic brings more people to shop, eat, and live in Avondale.

Others are moving into the nearby neighborhood of Byrnes Downs.

"We do a lot of things differently here and we try to be trend setters, but not trendy," he said.

It's an enclave of old and new Charleston building a future in West Ashley.

"Just keep coming and supporting what we do. Every way you can would help," Richardson said.

  • Bill Burr

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