Downtown Fort Dodge Renaissance
12 Feb 2017
Fort Dodge’s downtown business district was once the heart of commerce in the community. After decades in the doldrums, Central Avenue and nearby venues are experiencing a significant renaissance. This retail revival features an array of small shops, many of which are unique, heartfelt expressions of the specialized interests or talents of their owners. There is more to the story, however, than just a retail rebirth. The array of new business ventures located in the city center is quite diverse.
Kingsgate Insurance Center
In late 2015, Kingsgate Insurance Center moved to a state-of-the-art facility in the heart of downtown Fort Dodge — 924 Central Ave. The agency is now located not far from where it was launched in 1990 by Ed and Denise Smith in the Boston Centre.
One of Fort Dodge’s newest businesses expanded so fast that less than a year after it was launched, it outgrew its original venue. Eastwood Realty, owned by Laura and Steve Eastwood, initially was based in the Eastwoods’ home.
Brothers Nate and Todd McCubbin launched ShinyTop Brewing at 520 Central Ave. in 2016.
The business, which had its grand opening May 18, 2016, not only makes beer, but also sells it through a taproom. According to Todd McCubbin this is the first time since 1885 that the city has been home to a brewery.
The inspiration for this venture came from his time serving with the U.S. military in Germany, Todd McCubbin said
Downtown is the home to a growing array of small businesses that each appeal to a specialized clientele. That was exactly the type of venue Maggie Hanrahan was seeking when she decided in June 2016 to open Spice Shack.
New Age Media Productions
Preserving treasured memories got easier in 2016.
Joel and Alisha Johnson have moved the business they had operated out of their home to downtown Fort Dodge and expanded its offerings. New Age Media Productions is now in the heart of the city’s historic commercial district at 12 N. 10th St. — just north of Central Avenue. The shift to the new venue occurred in mid-August.
The Picture Place
In contemporary America, just about everybody seems to have a cell phone capable of capturing photos. There are times, however, when something a bit more professional is desired. The Picture Place, 1301 First Ave. N., a locally owned business that was launched Sept. 6, can address that need.
Body Balance Chiropractic and Rehabilitation
In September 2016, Dr. Trevor Peters, a chiropractor who grew up near Gilmore City and has a practice in Ames, opened a Body Balance Chiropractic and Rehabilitation office in downtown Fort Dodge at 21 S. 12th St. — above Studio Fusion.
In expanding his practice to Fort Dodge, Peters said he is bringing to the community an approach to chiropractic care that he views as distinct from what is already available here.
The Fish Room
The Fish Room, 1232 Central Ave., is among the many enterprises that are restoring vibrancy to the town’s historic downtown. Owned by Tom Bethke, who operates the store with the assistance of his son, Ben Bethke, this unique shop got its start in mid-April as part of the now-closed Pet Central.