BY DAVID ANDERSON, email@example.com
2:11 PM EDT, November 1, 2013
Four downtown Bel Air businesses held joint grand openings Friday, and the operators of a downtown eatery will observe their first anniversary on Main Street.
The grand opening ceremonies took place for Main Street Oyster House, in the 119 S. Main St. building formerly occupied by the Dark Horse Saloon; La Bellezza Boutique at 108 S. Main St.; All About Cookies at 116 S. Main St. and Divine Divas at 107 S. Main St.
Operators of the Sunny Day Cafe at 101 S. Main St. also celebrated one year in business in downtown Bel Air.
In addition to an 11:30 a.m. ribbon-cutting ceremony, grand opening specials and free gifts will be available, according to a flier posted on the Bel Air Downtown Alliance's Facebook page.
Amanda Vaughn, owner and operator of La Bellezza and a resident of Cecil County, cut and styled the hair of customer Laurie Shelsby of Bel Air Thursday afternoon.
"Bel Air is such a quaint community," Vaughn said. "It needed a little beauty boutique."
Vaughn said she has been styling hair for about 20 years, and her downtown shop has been open for a week.
She said the name La Bellezza Boutique is Italian for "The Beauty Boutique," an homage to her Italian grandmother.
Vaughn credited "divine intervention" with leading her to set up shop in Bel Air.
"I was definitely led in this adventure," she said.
Vaughn said denizens of downtown Bel Air have been friendly and welcoming.
"Everybody's been stopping in," she said. "They've been so friendly, just saying, 'Hi, welcome to Bel Air!' "
Vaughn said she had designed her small shop so customers "feel welcome, like this is a home away from home."
Shelsby said she was glad to hear about the new businesses opening downtown.
"I think it's amazing," she said. "I think this area, it's exactly what it needs, especially a beauty shop like this."
Vaughn said she had "really hit it off with the divas across the street," referring to the operators of Divine Divas.