Reforming Downtown Canton


Camdyn Thigpen, Staff Writer

In 2018, a group of local developers came together to create a place beyond the boundaries of Cherokee County that would renew and honor the history of Canton. Soon after, downtown Canton began to gain attraction after opening a multitude of small businesses.  

One of the first locations in The Mill was Reformation Brewery which opened in June of 2019. Soon, many more shops and restaurants followed.  

“The developer of The Mill wanted Reformation to expand and be the first tenant in his new project,” Spencer Nix, Reformation CEO, said. 

Downtown Canton has more than two dozen food and drink businesses that offer a wide variety of options from doughnuts to seafood. Some restaurants include: Nava Taqueria, Atomic Biscuit, Community Burger, Queenie’s, Goin’ Coastal, and more. Many Creekview students are employed in the downtown area.  

“I work at Branchwater, and I love it. We serve mainly American foods,” Ryleigh Tritt, sophomore, said.  

The Mill started to grow in 2020 when more businesses were added to the area. The area totals 250,000 square feet, and all the stores are within walking distance of each other. There are currently nine shops only located in The Mill.  

“I like shopping there because all the stores are right next to each other,” Georgia Lutes, junior, said.  

The Mill often holds events for all ages. The green turf area in the front of Reformation is used for events and concerts. Trivia nights are offered every Thursday on the green featuring different topics for all ages such as Harry Potter, The Office, Marvel, Star Wars, and 80s night.  

“My family goes to downtown Canton a lot because we live so close. My brother loves Harry Potter, so we try to go to trivia night,” Luke Jack, sophomore, said.  

Most of the activities held in the Mill are planned by Aly Talley. She is the community coordinator, and she tries to find events enjoyable for everyone. 

“We work with companies such as Lights Up Entertainment to bring trivia, karaoke, and bingo. Working alongside The Mill on Etowah allows us to expand our reach to other individuals and families to come out during the week and enjoy a fun evening,” Talley said.   

Downtown Canton continues to grow and attract new businesses to the area. The once sleepy town by the Etowah River has turned into a place filled with food and fun for people of all ages.