NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WKRN) – The historic Arcade in downtown Nashville is undergoing major renovations, and with it comes the end from some businesses.
The Nashville Arcade, located between Fourth and Fifth Avenues, was the city’s first enclosed shopping center. Built in 1902, The Arcade was once a bustling spot, but now you see very little foot traffic and many closed store fronts.
“I grew up here in Nashville and The Arcade is strictly a ghost town. This used to be the place where all the children came on Saturday’s to do this, do that, but I guess life moves on,” said Anthony Fulton who works downtown.
Maggie’s Arcade Grill, Katie’s Meat & Three, and the Post Office are among the businesses now closed, but it’s the latest news of long time staple Manny’s House of Pizza closing that has Fulton upset.
“Yeah, I feel like I lost my family,” he said, adding that they had the best authentic Sicilian food in the city.
After 39 years, the family owned business posted the news on their door, saying The Arcade is going under a transformation and thus leaving them without a full working kitchen.
“These were the hardest working, best people I’ve ever been around in my life and I’m sorry to see this go,” said Fulton.
A few doors down is another long time Arcade business, Tony’s Shoe Repair.
“We cannot stay here,” owner Sam Yi explained.
Yi and his wife Anna are moving their shop upstairs. It’s a relocation, but not a closing for the business that’s been in The Arcade for over 30 years.
“I talked to my customer(s). We are upstairs moving (to) number 73. Everybody understand(s),” said Sam.
Renderings paint images of what’s to come for the building that has been on the National Register of Historic Places since the 1970s.
“I think it will be good once they get done with everything,” said Fulton, while hoping Nashville treasures like Manny’s aren’t pushed out.
Right now, few businesses are flourishing inside The Arcade, like “From Nashville with Love”. The working jewelry studio features a variety of local gifts and draws tourists and locals alike. While the owner hates to see her neighbors go, she told News 2 she plans to stay while hoping the future will only be more promising for the longevity of the historic building.