Brownlee Jewelers opens in Manchester Village area

Sandra Cunnup of Brownlee Jewelers waits on a customer at the new store in the Manchester Village area on Monday.
Sandra Cunnup of Brownlee Jewelers waits on a customer at the new store in the Manchester Village area on Monday.

Brownlee Jewelers' Rock Hill store has moved to Dave Lyle Boulevard, joining a long list of businesses moving away from the once popular Cherry Road.

Brownlee opened Monday at its new location at 1969 Canterbury Lane, near Target in the Manchester Village area of Dave Lyle Boulevard. The store opened its doors in the corner shop next to Berry's at Manchester furniture store.

Owner Harold Rousso said the Charlotte-based jeweler decided to move near fast-growing Manchester Village. It had been operating in The Market shopping center on Cherry Road, home to Office Depot and the former site of Plej's, since 2001, when it moved from its original location inside the Galleria.

"We were looking for a more visible location," Rousso said. "We think this will be better."

The new location features a wider selection of merchandise and more space, Rousso said. He said the Pandora line of jewelry is one of many items new to the Rock Hill market that until now has been featured only in the Charlotte locations.

"There'll be no more reason to go to Charlotte for jewelry," Rousso said. "We're making this just like all our other stores."

The move also signals another chapter in the story of Cherry Road businesses drying up or moving out. During the past few years, Cherry Road has witnessed two grocery stores close shop and Burns car dealership move to the Manchester area. Most of the city's new retail growth has also bypassed Cherry Road for Manchester.

"We're getting killed, man," said Vinnie Centro, owner of Marco's Pizza, located in the same plaza as the former Brownlee Jewelers. "Dave Lyle Boulevard has stolen a lot of our business."

Centro said Brownlee's move is another piece of evidence that it may get worse before business gets better.

But Centro tries to remain optimistic. He said lower rent and the construction of a new Bi-Lo grocery superstore should give incentive for businesses to reconsider Cherry Road.

"Rock Hill is growing, and things tend to snowball," he said. "Let's keep trying to refurbish Cherry Road."

• What: Brownlee Jewelers

• When: 10 a.m. to 7 p.m. Mondays through Fridays, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Saturdays, 1 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sundays

• Where: 1969 Canterbury Lane, Rock Hill

• Phone: (803) 324-5292

• On the Web: www.brownleejewelers. com