River Nile Coming Back to Downtown Dothan

By: Ryan Rodig Email
By: Ryan Rodig Email

Three years ago, Katie Hart moved her River Nile Restaurant from downtown Dothan to Ross Clark Circle for increased space and exposure.

Fast forward to October 2008 and Hart is proving that you can go back home.

"I loved it I had a great business there, but I have wanted to come back downtown. Riding through there is a lot going on down here again and I never said I wouldn't come back!"

River Nile’s move back to North Foster Street means six restaurants are now open or will be open soon in downtown's historic district.

Executive Director of The Downtown Group, Cathy Cole, says, business owners are finding deals downtown.

"Right now I think real estate is very negotiable, so a lot of people come down here because the rent on the circle is so high. There are locations you can do much better financially."

Cole and Hart say rent per month on the circle ranges from $16 to $22 per square foot, but that number could be as low as $6 a month for space downtown.

And while Hart knows she has some work ahead of her, she plans to hold up her end of revitalizing downtown.

"Still have the same vision I had then this is a destination location. We have several great restaurants down here right now. We get some neat little boutiques down here and Dothan doesn't have to travel to Seaside they can come right downtown."

River Nile owner Katie Hart says the lease was signed yesterday, and her new building will be larger than the last.

If downtown is home to her, then I guess home is where Hart is. Hart says a contractor is working on adding a kitchen right now. They hope to open the day after Thanksgiving.

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