Dublin: Local businesses churn the city's economy

Deano's Italian is just one of many locally-owned businesses that helps to churn Dublin's economy / WGXA

DUBLIN, Ga. -- Dublin lies right off of Interstate 16 between Macon and Savannah, which is perfect for out-of-towners making their way to and from the coast.

But it is also a perfect place for nationwide and international companies to set up shop.

Other than big companies, small, locally-owned businesses help churn the Dublin economy.

The Emerald City has made quite a name for itself on the food front. If you stop by for a bite anywhere in Dublin you are in for a treat, but each eatery is different.

Company Supply in downtown Dublin works out of a building that has been around since the 1800s. Owner Robert Mascaro said it is important to him to keep the history of his building alive. He even used the name of his restaurant to pay homage to what the building once stood for, which was a Woolworth hub for the Southeastern part of the state.

"We essentially reclaimed a bunch of lumber from a cotton and tobacco warehouse that was behind us," Mascaro said. "Then we were able to get into the walls here. We found a service elevator, we made our bar kick out of the service elevator rails. And just we were able to utilize a lot of the materials that were here. And to kind of see it transform and it's cool to see somebody walk in that was a part of the company and say 'I remember that.' I mean it happens all the time."

Mascaro said even the host stand at the front of the restaurant is an old fire door from the coal burner located downstairs. He said names are etched in the stand from the '20s and '30s.

Across the street from Company Supply is Deano's Italian.

Deano's has made a name for itself for its menu items such as the pizza and shrimp and grits.

The brains behind the operation, Robert and Jennifer Shaffer, said they were ready to close the doors but it was an award from USA Today that saved the restaurant.

"We had actually planned on closing Deano's in December of 2010 and when that newspaper article came out, it basically saved our business. and our sales almost tripled within a month," Jennifer said. "It was just the most amazing thing to see not only for us but for our community. It really kind of put Dublin, this little tiny town, on the map."

The restaurant won the Best Pizza in Georgia award in 2010 and 2013. In 2014, Paula Deen named the spot as one of her 10 pizza hotspots in the Country. They have also been named two times by the Georgia Tourism Department as having the top 100 plates in the state.

But it's not just food that gives off the community feel in Dublin. The hair salon is a local hot spot too.

Owner Jason Keyton said businesses are successful in Dublin because of leadership and teamwork.

"Dublin's a fantastic town," Keyton said. "I mean, the community is just the heart and soul of Dublin. The city leadership, the county leadership really work well together that they agree to disagree, so to say, and they do it for the better good of the community. And that's what really is the key to Dublin, you know, is people working together, supporting each other, and it's the American way. People helping people, you know, to advance the whole community."

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