By Chelsea Chambers
The Eatonton Messenger
July 2, 2019

Summer is in full swing, and there’s some much-needed cultivation taking place in downtown Eatonton.

One might ride down North Jefferson Avenue and notice a few empty buildings sitting in silence and darkness. That darkness will find new light in the near future.

A new sign reading “El Cazador” sits above its new home. Translated, El Cazador means “the hunter” in Spanish. The new Mexican restaurant located on North Jefferson Avenue will serve as a bar and grill.

Owner Roberto Villaseñor’s establishment will highlight authentic-tasting Mexican cuisine. Villaseñor told The Eatonton Messenger that there’s no set open date, but things may start to heat up within the next month.

Walt Rocker III has also acquired some property in downtown Eatonton. The former Moore Gas property is now in his hands and could soon be home to a new establishment.

Unforgettable charm sits high above in the 14-foot ceilings inside the former Moore Gas building recently purchased by Putnam Development Authority Board Member Walt Rocker III.

Noting there are no formal plans as of now, Rocker said he hopes to create an establishment that will mesh well with the visionary changes occurring in Eatonton. There’s currently a crew cleaning up the 2,900-square-foot building that has been empty for a while. With its 14-feet-high ceilings and expansive rooms, the space has great potential and could tie in well with its surrounding businesses.

“We’re not certain about renovations yet,” Rocker said. “But, we are going to try and keep it accurate with the history period.”

In other business news according to the Putnam Development Authority:

> Lake Oconee Antique Mall, located at 871 Harmony Rd., recently completed an expansion.

> Window Concepts expanded the showroom at their 1093 Greensboro Rd. location.

> Lake Oconee Tree Farm at 813 Greensboro Rd. has completed a 200-acre expansion.

> Label Source has located in the South Industrial Park (SIP) in Eatonton. With another facility in Norcross, this is the company’s second location.

> Oconee Leisure has located at 937 Greensboro Rd.

> Merci Beaucoup Fine Cakes & Pastries has located at 105 Clack Circle.

> Lights of Oconee Warehouse has located at 881 Harmony Rd.

> Print & Sign Solutions has expanded and relocated to 1023 Lake Oconee Pkwy.

> Pella Windows & Doors has expanded and relocated to 113 Harmony Crossing.

> Vinyl Deck & Dock Covers, located at 209 Sammons Pkwy. Has expanded.

> Lake Oconee Hardware has developed a new business program that allows companies to order office supplies.

> Cosmo Cabinets is in the process of installing $400,000 in equipment. They already have 25 full time staff members and are looking to hire an additional 10 people.

> Wing Maxx of Lake Oconee is open for business at 6350 Lake Oconee Pkwy. It is operating a double drive thru.

> Aalto Scientific, located at Rock Eagle Tech Park, is in the process of conducting a $900,000 equipment upgrade and expansion project.

> Universal Forest Products, located in the SIP, is in the process of conducting a $600.000 new equipment project.

>Interfor, located on Dennis Station Road, is on schedule to do a $90 million upgrade to the facility this fall. “It will be automated with double capacity and double the truck traffic,” PDA Director Terry Schwindler said. “They will be keeping all 125 employees.”

> The former Magnolia House, located at 1130 Lake Oconee Pkwy., is being remodeled with plans to open before The Masters next April. The new name will be Lake Oconee Bistro. The property also has a new additional entrance from Clack Circle.