MONROE, LA (KTVE/KARD) “This street has boomed” says Shannon Haley, General Manager of Brass Monkey.

Take a ride down Desiard Street and you’ll see many businesses; two of them: the brand new Downtown Billiards and Brass Monkey

The owner says the first week of business has been successful at Downtown Billiards, and they are doing better than expected.

“I’m very excited and proud to be part of downtown Monroe. I plan to stay for a while; it gives Monroe something to do” says Hailey Ray, Owner of Downtown Billiards.

“Everybody has always wanted that, you know, downtown. That strip that has everything you could ask for so you don’t have to drive a million different places to go to a million different places” Haley says.

Brass Monkey, which has been in Monroe for several years, is also growing. They recently opened 519 Tap House, and will be opening a new Mexican restaurant soon.

“It’s going to be called Papi Loco” Haley says.

Both businesses attribute the growth to the revitalization vision held by those now in city leadership.

“Downtown has really been up and coming since Friday has been in office” Ray says.

“Friday Ellis has been the most supportive mayor I could ever ask for. He is all about local businesses, business owners. He’ll do anything to help us” Haley says.

Business owners say the city is planning upgrades to infrastructure such as more lighting and updated sidewalks. the hope is to increase safety and enhance the overall experience of downtown.