Group takes in downtown Marion


The 35 Happy Wanderers who traveled to Marion on March 20 learned how Marion entrepreneurs are bringing a renaissance to the city’s downtown.

Happy Wanderers were amazed and delighted to see the renovations at Bucci restaurant, long known as The Warehouse Restaurant on West Center Street in Marion.

The group entered through the newly constructed patio area to where the program began in the recently remodeled section of Bucci’s Italian Scratch Kitchen at 320 W. Center St.

Ed Emerson, the owner of ProMo Costumes in a nearby building, brought two of his mascots along with materials he uses for making costumes and mascots. Emerson, a native of Bucyrus, described making the Bratwurst Festival mascot, “Health Hound” for United Healthcare, “Rudy Flyer,” the University of Dayton mascot, and more than 100 other mascots and characters. Many of his customers are from out of state, and others, like the Marion Tech “Husky,” are local characters.

Happy Wanderer Judy Graham said to Emerson, “You are so creative. Your work is amazing.” Emerson, in turn, gave credit to his team. He said seven of his employees came into his business from the original owners when he bought ProMo Costumes three years ago. He was with Costume Specialists in Columbus for many years and is glad to have the opportunity to have his own business.

“It takes an entire team,” said Emerson. “It begins with a sketch, then head designers, sewing team and body sculpting.”

Following tours of the building with its elegant wedding venue “Urban 501” on the upper floor, Happy Wanderers enjoyed a buffet luncheon from the Bucci kitchen.

The afternoon speaker, Luke Henry, talked about the building’s history from when it was built in 1928 as the Columbus, Delaware & Marion interurban station. It operated interurban trains for just 10 years before automobiles took over popular transportation. The building was used as a warehouse and most recently was The Warehouse restaurant.

The Warehouse closed during the pandemic, and Henry and his partner Alex Sheridan bought the building for $300,000 in 2022, seeing the potential for both a restaurant and a wedding venue. Bucci’s and the wedding venue Urban 501 became part of the Henry and Sheridan “Main Street Reimagined” project in downtown Marion.

Henry, a Mount Gilead native and graduate of Mount Gilead High School, started his first business mowing lawns in junior high school. He financed his college education at Ohio Northern University Pharmacy College with his lawn business and bought his first property in Ada, Ohio, when he was in college. He continued his landscaping business, Proscape, after college and still owns the business, which employs 60 people.

Henry and his wife, Lindsey, moved to Marion after college and after working as a pharmacist a few years, he changed direction to investing in real estate. In 2018 he wanted to do more in downtown Marion with the many deteriorating buildings, which he could see had historic worth. He bought eight buildings on South Main Street, of which 70% were vacant and needed to be brought up to code as he renovated them. Some aspects of the historical buildings could be kept or grandfathered in.

He partnered with Sheridan, and they shared the dream of a resurgence of business in Marion’s downtown. He and Sheridan have done much of the construction and renovation themselves with the help of a team. He credits Sheridan with much of the design and artistic work of renovation, while Henry is more involved with the management and business aspect of the project.

The first showcase of Main Street Reimagined was the Brickyard for weddings and events on South Main Street. It was vacant for 20 years, and the opening was stalled with the pandemic in 2020. It has since hosted 50-60 weddings every year as well as other occasions. Many of its customers come from out of town and out of state to use the venue and stay in local hotels.

Henry said 50 buildings have changed hands in Marion since 2018 with 50 new businesses being established. Besides the Brickyard and Bucci restaurant, the downtown has added boutiques, a salon, apartments and lofts, an ice cream parlor and toy store.

There has been $5 million in private investment with just $7,000 from grants and the national historic designation, which allows some tax credits.

The podcast Small Nation on U Tube features Henry and the story of Main Street Reimagined. More information about Henry and Sheridan projects can be found at

The next Happy Wanderers excursions will be a May 24 matinee performance of “The Church Basement Ladies: Plowin’ Thru” at La Comedia Dinner Theatre in Springboro, Ohio.

For more information about Happy Wanderers and its full 2024 schedule, contact Linda Ruehrmund at 419-864-7520.

Alberta Stojkovic is a correspondent for The Morrow County Sentinel. She can be reached at [email protected].

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