New business opportunities changing the face of downtown Nacogdoches

New business opportunities changing the face of downtown Nacogdoches

NACOGDOCHES, TX (KTRE) - Downtown Nacogdoches is being transformed with new business opportunities that city officials hope help build up the community.

In many instances, older businesses that have been a mainstay are selling out to retire, creating new opportunities for young and seasoned business owners alike.

Glass Castles Stained Glass Studio and Gifts ( is a landmark on Main Street. For 38 years, David and Teresa Darby have owned the business.

David is in production and Teresa does design.

The couple has another design in the works. The plan is retirement for themselves, but not necessarily for Glass Castles.

"There's a demand out there and it's not for David and Teresa Darby, it's for stained glass,” explained Teresa. “And there is a lot of people who want windows."

Enough demand to keep the Darbys in commissions to at least the end of the year. It’s doubtful a generic For Sale sign will be seen at this studio.

The Darbys respond in unison with an adamant, ‘no’.

Glass Castles is holding out for another stained glass artist to shine within its walls. The same walls shared with a new creative business next door called The Rusty Axe. (

Manager Jack Chandler positions a hatchet over his head and slightly behind his back. On his third attempt to hit a target Chandler says, "One of these days I'll get it.”

The axe lands square in the bull’s eye.

Chandler opens this week the first competition axe throwing business in Nacogdoches.

“All hatchets are axes, but not all axes are hatchets,” is a line Chandler will use on customers who pick up the wooden handled blades to see if they have what it takes to hit the bull’s eye.

“Guests will register online. We’re going to hold one of our four lanes open for walk in appointments,” explained Chandler.

Still under construction is an adjacent 24/7 members only cigar club.

A bit more conventional is Gall’s Cafe, a coffee and fresh eats bistro, set to open later this spring. (

The renovation illustrates neighbors talking to neighbors.

House of Traditions wanted to downsize. Across the street, Twigs and Tin owners wanted to open a restaurant. A match was made, with Traditions selling half their building. Another business neighbor, architect Laura Culpeppper is included in the extensive renovation.

What prompts all these changes at once? Coincidence and a can do spirit that doesn't happen unless you try.

"I think it's just that a lot of people have been waiting for an opportunity that wasn't gonna come, so they wanted to make their opportunity happen instead," said Chandler. He’s wanting his unique business to be on target with the SFA crowd and others.

Main Street Nacogdoches director Dr. Amy Mehaffey says just bacause a sign isn’t posted doesn’t mean progress isn’t happening.

“We worked with Twigs and Tin for over a year looking for just the right location. We work with other property owners and business developers all year long,” said Mehaffey.

The opportunity is not only for the owners, but also for employees, tourists and the residents of Nacogdoches.

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