DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN)- – Ribbon cuttings are momentous occasions for business owners who have put a lot of hard work and sacrifice into their stores. Friday morning, the Downtown Dayton partnership facilitated two ribbon cuttings on the same street, showing signs that downtown Dayton is becoming more revitalized.

“The ribbon cutting was kind of signifying and letting everyone know come on and shop,” said Christian Armstrong, co-owner of GEMS, a new fashion boutique on Third Street.

Agnes, is a Caribbean-inspired eatery with a long history of serving fresh food in the Dayton area. But now they’re located prominently on Third street and are ready to serve the community.

Owner of Agnes, Jose Estremara, is also the co-owner of GEMS. He says, their idea was to get people to eat and shop at the same time. The stores are just a block away from each other. The boutique also is to spotlight local designers.

“A lot of people don’t have the money to start they own [store],” said Estremara. “They may have a clothes brand but they dont have a place to showcase it. So what we did is create a showcase for everybody.”

The two entrepreneurs persevered through the pandemic, seeing it as an opportunity to establish their businesses during a time when many were closing their doors and moving locations. Now that they’re open they’re hoping to inspire more people to explore Downtown Dayton businesses.

“We want to get more minorities to come shop,” said Armstrong. “There’s always been this “thing” that the West side of Dayton doesn’t cross this bridge to go downtown…so we want to help ease that a little bit.”

A new downtown restaurant, Zen Lounge Sushi Bar and Cocktail Lounge is also celebrating its opening weekend at 121 N. Ludlow St., Talbott Tower. Sushi is served for lunch from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m.; bar remains open the rest of the evening until 2:30 a.m.