Greg Masuda, co-owner of the Nikkei Ramen-Ya on Fifth Street, is just one of several new business owners injecting an urban vibe into Downtown Courtenay.

Anyone shopping in downtown Courtenay this holiday season would be forgiven for forgetting where they are for a moment – the district has suddenly taken on a noticeably “big city” flavour this winter.

Since the summer, half a dozen new enterprises have opened their doors downtown, adding to an already diverse network of shopping options for Comox Valley residents. New additions to the urban beat include retail outlet Rally Co., Cloves Catering, not one but two noodle restaurants (Nekkei Ramen-ya and the Noodle Joint) and even a couple of pop-up shops (Devine Emporium and States of Summer).

“People are loving the new additions to our distinctive downtown,” says Jenny Deters, president of the Downtown Courtenay Business Improvement Association (DCBIA). “The excitement and energy they bring to the area adds to a great group of existing businesses.”

“For my business, there was really nowhere else to be,” says Aspen Marshman, owner of Rally Co., of her downtown location. “It’s just such a great location; things are growing and new stuff is happening all the time.”

In addition to the new businesses, some new residential apartments are being added above Walker 24 Menswear on the corner of Fifth Street and England Avenue.

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