WINDER - In July 2004, the ceiling fell in at 106 West.
The music venue had been open in Winder for three years, welcoming local acoustic musicians and even putting on a performance of the musical "Jesus Christ, Superstar."
With the opening of a gift shop in the old church behind the Dairy Queen, Becky Tollerson said she and her husband, Thom, hope to earn enough money to repair the ceiling and reopen the performance venue.
"We saw a need in Winder," Becky Tollerson said of the store. "It's a vehicle for us."
Named for its location at 106 West Athens St. in the 105-year-old Presbyterian Church where former governor and U.S. Sen. Richard Russell used to worship, 106 West was a popular all-ages venue for musicians in Barrow County and across the region.
Tollerson estimated that it would cost between $5,000 and $10,000 to repair the ceiling and reopen the venue.
The store had its first sale, a guitar with a built-in tuner, on
Dec. 16. In addition to a line of Washburn guitars, the store will sell strings and reeds,
T-shirts, decorative knives and swords and other gift items.
Thom Tollerson will offer voice and instrumental lessons, and the store will also repair band instruments.
The pair would also like to open the old church for services again, once the ceiling is repaired.
Becky Tollerson said she hopes 106 West will be open again by the spring.
The store's hours are 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. on Monday and Thursday, and 11 a.m. to
7 p.m. on Tuesday, Wednesday, Friday and Saturday.
For more information, call 770-868-1977 or visit http://www.106west.com/mallternative.html.