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Business Pulse
Playpit overall color
Pioneer Play Pit has opened at Three Star Mall in the former Bookland location. Rico and Ruby Cagle take part in a spirited game of air hockey, one of the many games available.

It’s the end of an era. The store at Three Star Mall that’s been lonely and empty for nearly a generation is no longer the old Bookland location.

9 years and 10 months, the old Bookland spot finally has a new tenant. Action-packed Pioneer Play Pit opened last weekend and kids are already swarming the new arcade and fun center.

“We received a lot of walk-in traffic last weekend and it was supposed to be a soft opening,” said owner Daniel Martin. “We are going to be adding pizza and food this week and we have more games on the way. We’re going to have mini golf with a Jurassic Park theme and we’re going to add bumper cars, which I think will be a big hit.”

Children and adults alike were pumping quarters into the arcade games when I stopped by Friday night. Skee-ball and air hockey were two of the more popular attractions. The kids were taking the tickets they won and redeeming them for toys at the prize center before they left.

Pioneer Play Pit, complete with bounce house, can be reserved for parties. Daniel says a nice feature is fountain drinks are included with each party reservation so kids can return time and time again to fill their cup throughout a two-hour party.

Pioneer Play Pit has been open on a limited basis thus far, but Daniel says he plans to hit the accelerator this week when he opens a pizza lunch buffet. The adjacent storefront, what used to be The Cookie Shop years ago, will also be open in what Daniel says will be a super-duper snack bar.

The menu will include slushies, cookies, sub sandwiches, nachos, hotdogs, fruit smoothies, and a touch-screen coffee machine that serves eight different drinks. Daniel says the cookies will be baked fresh all day and admits he loves eating them when they’re hot from the oven.

Pioneer Play Pit is a great addition to the mall, a place families can pop in for a few minutes while doing a little shopping. It should be a mutually beneficial relationship as Pioneer Play Pit will gain customers from the foot traffic at the mall, and the mall might get a few shoppers from parents whose children are attending a party at Pioneer Play Pit.

Daniel says the Play Pit will be closed Monday and open the other six days of the week. For reservations, call (931) 304-8750.

Barking up a new tree

Furry Tales started wagging its tail two years ago on North Spring Street. After a successful run, the business has found a new doghouse.

Furry Tales will be moving to a more prime time location on Main Street across from the Park Theater. It will fill the spot between Cumberland Biscuit Company and Topz Metro Deli formerly occupied by Mike Neal’s music store.
“We’re going to be expanding our retail store and expanding our grooming,” said Furry Tales co-owner Angell Boland, who owns the business with her mother, Jill Eckert. “That’s twice the space we have now. The dog treats are by far our biggest seller. All the treats are made by us. We’ve also started our own line called Dirty Dogz. It’s a line of shampoo and sprays.”

Furry Tales offers doggie outfits and toys. The new sprays can help control fleas or just make your dog’s area smell a little better.

Angell says the projected move-in date on Main Street is May 1. It’s great to see Spring Street serve as a launching pad for Furry Tales as the business started small and now it’s ready to expand to a larger yard across from the Park. It’s definitely something to bark about.

Home show builds new foundation

When the economy tanked and construction projects came to a screeching halt, there’s one change that might have gone unnoticed. Warren County quietly lost its Home Show.

Now with residential and commercial construction barreling full speed ahead, Homeland Community Bank has brought the Home Show back for the first time since 2010. It will take place next weekend, Friday thru Sunday, at McMinnville Civic Center. Admission is free and visitors can register to win a $500 door prize.

“We have 56 booths and a great variety of exhibitors,” said Homeland Bank representative Cindy Rogers. “There’s been a surge in the last couple of years. Builders and remodelers are really busy. There are so many new things on the market and so many new ideas out there, we’re limited only by our imagination. People are really becoming creative with their spaces.”

Cindy said it’s become popular for do-it-yourselfers to flip houses and there will be workshops in place to address this growing trend. On Saturday, Feb. 24, there will be a first-time homebuyers workshop at 11 a.m. Later that day, there will be a homebuilders workshop at 3 p.m.

On Sunday, Feb. 25, there will be a workshop called financing tips for investment properties.
Among vendors who have reserved booth space are people who specialize in cabinets, countertops, carports, flooring, windows, doors, roofing, gutters, siding, heating and air, and more.

Show hours are Friday, Feb. 23 from 5 to 9 p.m., Saturday, Feb. 24 from 10 a.m. to 8 p.m., and Sunday, Feb. 25 from 1 to 4 p.m.

Dr. Sue named Vice president

Dr. Sue Nuthalapaty has ascended to the pinnacle of her field. She’s been named vice president/ president-elect of her professional organization, the Tennessee PM&R Physician Association.

“It’s rewarding to provide a voice for our specialty,” said Dr. Nuthalapaty, who operates Regional Rehabilitation Center on Manchester Highway. “The patients here and in surrounding counties have trusted me with their care and I’ve worked to get them back on their feet. A lot of patients have been able to return to work because I’ve been able to help them and that gives me satisfaction to see them in the workforce and able to provide for their family.”

Dr. Nuthalapaty specializes in spine and pain care. She’s been at her current location since 2014 after three years of working at River Park. Dr. Nuthalapaty is board-certified in pain management and PM&R, which stands for physical medicine and rehabilitation.

Dr. Nuthalapaty says she is keenly aware of the problems that have stemmed from the abuse and addiction to pain pills.

“You have to remember pain medicines were developed for a good cause,” said Dr. Nuthalapaty. “But they are becoming more dangerous than a benefit.”

In her role as vice president, Dr. Nuthalapaty says she will represent over 100 physicians in Tennessee and she will work with government officials in providing input on best practices.

For more information about Dr. Nuthalapaty or Regional Rehabilitation Center, call 815-1616.

Chamber adds new face

Friendly and full of energy, Sarah Cantrell has joined the Chamber of Commerce staff as its new membership coordinator. She’s excited to be back working in McMinnville after working out of town in TV, newspaper and marketing for years.

“The economic culture is exciting in McMinnville again,” said Sarah. “People are moving back here for a reason and the Chamber is a great channel to get them involved in the community.”

Although Sarah has worked out of town for years, she moved back in 2014 after years of living in Murfreesboro. She and her husband, Nick, had their first child, Ezra, seven months ago.

In her role with the Chamber, Sarah will be working to build on the organization’s 290 members. She’s helping with two new programs, the Young Professionals Group and the Ambassador Program.

“There’s so much you’re missing out on if you’re not a member of the Chamber,” said Sarah. “We’re working hard to keep the Chamber connected and to keep our members connected. When you make friendships and build connections it helps retain people in the community.”

The Young Professionals is a Chamber-sponsored group which kicked off in January. Chamber president Mandy Eller was stunned by the response.

“We started with 46 and we’re growing,” said Mandy, who indicated she’s now received interest from around 70 people interested in Young Professionals.

Mandy says the Chamber is fortunate to have landed Sarah, who graduated from MTSU with a degree in communications. Her work in media and marketing has given her the skills the Chamber needs.

“It’s the perfect combination,” said Mandy.
For more information about the Chamber or any of its programs, call 473-6611.

Home Town adds a King

Warren County native Crystal King has joined the friendly staff at Home Town Realty and is eager to help local residents with their real estate needs.

Home Town Realty owner Jana Wilson-Ringemann says she’s happy to welcome Crystal on board and she’s already been busy showing houses in the area.

Crystal studied business management at Trevecca Nazerene University and received her bachelor of arts in 2009. In her free time, Crystal loves spending time with family and friends outdoors and going fishing. To get in touch with Crystal, call (931) 314-9720.

That’s all folks

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