Downtown Wausau Businesses Hopeful 400 Block Will Boost Sales

By: Liz Hayes Email
By: Liz Hayes Email

Downtown Wausau business owners are hopeful the new 400 Block will help boost the local economy.

Construction has plagued the downtown area for years, but now it's completely open for business.

Construction orange has been a familiar color for businesses surrounding the 400 Block, but now that it's complete, owners hope they'll be seeing more green.

"It was difficult during construction most recently because ya know they had the street closed, but now that its done it looks pretty darn good, so we're happy about that," said Terry Koss, the owner of H.T. Cobblery.

Koss is optimistic the downtown attraction, which is complete with a permanent stage and seating, interactive water fountain and green space, will bring him more customers.

"It's a good spot, being right next to it there's no doubt about that," he said.

Koss took a dip in sales during the latest bout of construction, as did Malarkey's Pub, just across the street.

"When they were re-doing Third Street there were nights when they shut down utilities to our building after 9 o'clock so they wouldn't disrupt anybody else in town but it made it so we couldn't operate at all," co-owner Tyler Vogt said.

Still, Vogt is a big supporter of the improved 400 Block, and he says sprucing it up was worth it.

"If the goal is to bring more business, more jobs, and more tourism to the area this is a big step in getting that done."

And over at the Mint Cafe, owners are already noticing a new crowd.

"Absolutely we saw that over the weekend Friday and Saturday," Joe Pepowski said.

His wife Mary says customers Monday, the day of the 400 Block dedication ceremony, told her they'd never been to the Mint Cafe before.

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