BY Marjorie Woodfin
Pilot staff writer
The Central Building, Brookings' oldest historic building at 703 Chetco Ave., continues to thrive with the newest incarnation a mini mall.
The structure was built in 1915 by the California and Oregon Lumber Co. to serve as administration building for the Brookings Co. and its associated lumber and milling entities.
During the years the building has housed many different establishments including, restaurants, real estate offices, art galleries, and a small museum.
Now it is filled with antiques, collectibles, jewelry, clothing, books, musical instruments and as a showcase for local and visiting musical artists and entertainers.
A grand opening on Oct. 4 provided a peek at Centre Stage, Earl E. Books, Second Hand Rose, Karen's Kollectibles, Monkey Tree Antiques, plus Cousins & Co. Music and Antiques, and is looking toward the opening of the Book Nook Coffee Bar by the end of the year.
In addition to the new businesses, the current mini mall continues to include the Coldwell Banker Real Estate, plus Feather Your Nest and the small museum downstairs.
Entrepreneur Kim Banfield, owner of Cousins & Co., and Gordon and Michele Later, owners of Earl E. Books, joined forces to put the new mini mall in the Central Building.
Banfield initiated Centre Stage with the main focus to develop a music lesson program and provide a showcase for students and other local talent to entertain regularly. Mike Quale is her partner in Timbre, their musical performing duo.
"He is also my sound technician and repairs guitars," Banfield said.
Banfield said her goal is to have evening performances Tuesday through Saturday with a variety of performers, Karaoke nights, recitals, and other family events in the venue that has cabaret-style seating.
"We will have a regular Karaoke schedule," Banfield said. "Drop by to check us out and join the fun."
Centre Stage will also be available for meetings and small receptions, she added.
Banfield said she comes from a musical family and has been involved with music all of her life.
"My grandmother was a concert pianist and we always had music in the family. My youngest brother and I played receptions and weddings," she said.
However, life happens and she spent a number of years in banking administration positions. After moving to Brookings she provided temporary office services.
"I still do bookkeeping and office work," Banfield said. "I got back into music seriously when I met Mike (Quale), about five years ago and started joining in on a few songs."
She will offer individual or small group lessons teaching voice and guitar, adding bass and drum when teachers are lined up.
The Laters got into the book business in 1992 when they bought a little paperback exchange in La Grande, moving into a 500 square foot building with 20,000 books. They moved on to 1,500 square feet with 50,000 books, and then purchased an 8,800 square foot building to house 70,000 books with living quarters upstairs.
They sold 40,000 of those books and brought 30,000 with them when they moved to Brookings in 2003. The Central Building minimall is their third location since the move to the coast. The 27.000 books currently on their shelves include all genres, paperback and hardback.
Gordon said, "If you don't see what you want, just ask and we can probably find it for you."
The mall is "a conglomeration of six vendors here, with separately owned businesses, and people can go from one to another," he added.
Karen Douglas, whose Karen's Kollectibles offers antiques and collectibles said about her business, "It's mostly collectibles, little gift items that I like, and that I think people will like."
Second Hand Rose also offers antiques and collectibles, including a selection of previously-owned jewelry.
"All of us are really compatible and this building lends itself really nicely, and (building owner Eldon Gossett) has been really excited and helpful," owner Ann Harris said.
Another section of antiques and unusual pieces is Enika and Michael Meeuwsen's Monkey Tree Antiques.
Feather Your Nest Home Dcor and More downstairs is a mini consortium with three owners and seven members offering a variety of merchandise. Each of the members provides displays from a specific expertise and point of view, including "shabby chic," French country, vintage, collectibles and garden dcor.
Hours for the business are 10 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday. Centre Stage will be posting a weekly schedule. Banfield can be reached at (541) 251-3952 for scheduling information.
The phone number for Earl E. Books and the other shops is (541) 412-8099.