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Growth finding Pembroke
From left, Brew Station employee (and owner’s daughter) Karleigh Canale, owners Joey and Donna McIntosh, Pembroke Mayor Judy Cook, Steve Nolan and Tonya Raulerson of the North Bryan Chamber. - photo by Ross Blair

With several new businesses popping up recently and more on the horizon, Pembroke is showing signs of regaining some of the economic stability that it enjoyed during its boom period in the 1950s.

Since the 50s, the city of Pembroke has had its economic ups and downs. Locals recall a scene when the downtown area was hopping with commerce.

Baby steps have been observed recently to perhaps give a glimpse of those glory days while showing promise for the city’s future.

On Saturday, a gourmet coffee shop called The Brew Station opened up for business - a first of its kind for the city.

This past year has also seen ribbon cuttings for Evelyn’s Boutique and Jobar Wireless, he first ever cell phone retail shop for the city.

Several projects are on the horizon as well. The Pembroke Downtown Development Authority is proposing a commercial strip near DuBois Square. In the more immediate future, zoning was approved Tuesday for an Atlanta developer to bring a retail project just west of the Harvey’s Shopping Center.

The 26,000-acre tract is slated to include an Alco chain store. Tonya Raulerson, of the North Bryan Chamber, describes the chain store as a "mini Target." Alco’s website describes the chain as one that "brings the experience of big-town shopping to small town America."

Pembroke Mayor Judy Cook said that many developers have recently looked at Pembroke as a potential spot for future projects.

"This year so far has been unreal," said Cook. "We haven’t slowed down as far as accommodating different business people who are inquiring about Pembroke."

In the meantime, Pembroke residents and new business owners Joey and Donna McIntosh are looking forward to what they hope will be a successful run with The Brew Factory.

They are banking on their sleek, rustic design and gourmet, yet affordable, coffees, pastries and smoothies to be a sensation in the small town. They also have plans for the shop to be a meeting place for youth and civic groups, and are contemplating renting the place out for private parties. They already have expansion plans as well with a planned patio attachment.

"We have been tossing around the idea of opening up a coffee shop for quite a while," said Donna. "We initially thought along the lines of a railroad theme since this is a railroad town. Then we thought about calling it "Pembuck’s." We eventually ended up with what you see here today."

The bulk of the shop’s rustic appeal comes from exposed beams, which Joey says are original and "uncovering them during renovation led them to that theme." An eclectic tone was set beyond that which appears to compliment that theme, said one customer while admiring the new age look.

"The building led us to the style," said Joey.

"One of our business goals is to give back to this community," said Donna, speaking of a gap she believes that is being filled by this type of business in the city of Pembroke.

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