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Spotlight on Georgetown: Balancing small-town charm with expansive growth

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Posted at 6:00 PM, Oct 19, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-19 21:42:37-04

GEORGETOWN, Ky. (LEX 18) — "It's beautiful and it's friendly and it's practical to visit," Georgetown Mayor Tom Prather said about the city's downtown.

It's a staple of a place that embraces the old and the new. It's a perfect pairing that keeps people coming back to explore, shop, and dine.

Mayor Prather couldn't be more proud of the place where he was born and raised, and he said Georgetown's downtown core is busier, nicer, and larger than ever. But it has never forgotten what's made it special for more than 200 years.

"We have retained at all costs the small-town feel, the small-town charm that still defines Georgetown," he said.

A perfect example of balancing Georgetown's signature charm with growth is Abby Mae's Boutique, which sits right on Main Street.

It's a relatively new business at three years old, but the space it occupies has been around since 1899.

The building used to house a bank, which is why a massive marble vault sits in the middle of the store.

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"It's just kind of awesome to think of how many people walked through here throughout the years and stuff," Abby Mae's owner, Sarah Christian, said. "Different decades and eras and everything. This is just a wonderful statement piece. You don't get to say every day that you get to change clothes in a bank vault. Especially from the late 1800s."

The vault has survived through the decades, just like the kindness of Georgetown's people.

"If you show this community love, they will come out and support," Christian said.

That couldn't be more true at the restaurant a few doors down.

It's the people who come out and support local businesses who have kept Fava's Restaurant open for 111 years.

"It's a big community place where a lot of people have grown up," current owner Jon Gruchow said.

It's always been locally owned. Gruchow said it's been there through it all, including both world wars and the 1918 pandemic. And he's willing to bet it'll survive the COVID-19 pandemic too.

"Well after I'm gone I think it's still going to be going," he said. "A lot of people say how will it run? It'll run after I'm gone. It ran for several owners before me. It's just a staple of Georgetown."