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Sunday, May 1, 2016

Two downtown Cherokee businesses look to future

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Dwight Varce is pictured working on some wall paneling that is a part of his extensive remodeling efforts at The Framing Nook and Main Street Antiques on Cherokee's East Main Street. Photo by Mike Leckband
Renovations enhance store offerings

Two of Cherokee's popular downtown businesses are currently finishing up attractive remodeling projects.

A downtown business that is getting a new look is The Framing Nook, owned by Dwight and Bonnie Varce, which is located at 111 E. Main St. and is adjacent to their other business, Main Street Antiques, located at 113 E. Main St.

Both businesses were established in 1993 and currently the pair is expanding the antique business to make room for a special section devoted to antique furniture.

They have remodeled the front half of The Framing Nook and restored the original, historic tin ceiling. When beginning this project, the need to remove an old furnace that was upstairs presented itself.

Prior owners installed the furnace by cutting a hole in the center of the building. Varce took this opportunity to get rid of the furnace and patched the hole in the ceiling with tin that he had found previously.

Mick Samsel is pictured at his store in downtown Cherokee, Grin & Wear It, as he doing some finishing touches to a recent remodeling project. Photo by Mike Leckband
He also completed the look of the restored ceiling with antique lighting fixtures he found in an old hotel. Being one of just two wooden-framed buildings left on Main Street, Varce also had to do some leveling of the floor during his remodeling efforts.

The back of the building will still be home to The Framing Nook. However, a partial wall has been constructed to separate the two and Varce will be installing a larger service counter to accommodate the services that The Framing Nook and the couple's third business, a J.C. Penny Catalog Center, where customers can shop online or in-store for savings on apparel, shoes, jewelry, bedding, windows, or furniture.

Main Street Antiques and the J.C. Penny Catalog Center are currently open and the remodeling will soon be completed at The Framing Nook. Their regular store hours are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday through Friday, and 10 a.m. to noon on Saturday.

Mick and Marilyn Samsel, owners of Creative Services and Grin & Wear It located at 745 W. Main St. has been in business in Cherokee since 1983 and has been in their current location since 1989.

The couple has been busy remodeling a section of their store for more display room for their clothing, shoes and athletic gear.

Recently, they have converted un-used space under the stairs leading to the above section of their building into storage area and will eventually relocate their customer service counter near the main entrance, subsequently freeing up more space.

This project was done by Mick himself and will be concluded shortly.

Two new clothing lines will be introduced to the Grin & Wear It store, as well as top sporting and athletic gear, including your favorite NFL, Iowa Hawkeyes and Iowa State Cyclones gear.

The back of the store is home to the couple's other business, Creative Services. There, the pair recently completed some computer upgrades to help them with their design business.

At Creative Services the couple can make any design possible for a variety of projects, including custom t-shirts, sign work, business logos, vehicle lettering, store front lettering, and screen printing.

The store is open Monday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5:30 p.m., 9 a.m. to 8 p.m. on Thursdays, and 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. on Saturday. You can also check out shopgrin.com or visit them on Facebook.

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