HUB E-Nite Explores New Lebanon Commercial Street Startups
Over 20 people from all around the Lake Area attended The HUB Business Incubator’s E-Nite on Wednesday evening, April 21 to hear from owners of three new businesses operating on Lebanon’s Commercial Street. The event was Emceed by Lebanon’s Regional Economic Development, Inc’s (REDI) CEO and board member for The HUB, Brian Thompson. The event kicked off at newly opened The Rail 1868 Restaurant and Tavern. From its upstairs landing meeting space, the group heard first from Ashton Light, Executive Director of Lebanon’s Downtown Business District initiative, about the progress made in the rejuvenation of Lebanon’s historic downtown. Ashton highlighted the 16 new businesses opening in the Business District, along with renewed interest by entrepreneurs and real estate investors in the buildings and land inside the District.
Chris Walters, co-owner of The Rail 1868, located at 123 Commercial St, introduced the group to his career journey in the culinary arts and restaurant management, entrepreneurial ambitions, and his attachment to the history of his redeveloped building and Downtown Lebanon, generally. Chris is the executive chef, working alongside his wife Nicole Walters, and mother-in-law, Rhonda Smith, each co-owner of the establishment serving a large American menu and active full bar.
Completing the evening were presenters Joanna Wilkinson and Jamie Johansen, sisters and co-founders of Honey Creek Media. Wilkinson and Johansen talked about how they envisioned a new media business of their own, and then used the tools they apply with clients on themselves to decide to buy and renovate a 3 story building on Commercial Street. They described the customer exploration and business planning process they followed to add these investments to Lebanon’s Downtown Business District. Although still under renovation, attendees of E-Night got to tour the new location of Honey Creek Media, as well as a future coworking and shared space known as The Hive, located at 121 Commercial Street.
E-Nite (Entrepreneur Night) events, are sponsored by The HUB – Lake of the Ozarks Virtual Business Incubator, and guest-hosted in locations throughout the Lake Economic Area. Participants joined the meeting in person for the first time in over a year, while others continued to join virtually. The HUB is designed to connect people with business and non-profit startup ideas and goals to resources to assist them along their startup journey.
The next E-Nite will be held in June at a location to be determined. For more information about The HUB, our events like E-Nite, and services, please visit www.HubLakeoftheOzarks.com or call K.C. Cloke at the Camdenton Area Chamber of Commerce at (573) 346-2227.