UMATILLA — City Manager Glenn Irby stepped out of a recent City Council meeting and saw something for the first time in his six-plus years at the city’s helm: people browsing along the sidewalks — at night.
“It was around 9 p.m.,” Irby said. “There were lights on at businesses across the street from City Hall, and people were walking along the sidewalks and peering in windows.
“It was amazing.”
Longtime residents of this sleepy town of 3,500 have noticed the increased activity along North Central Avenue (State Road 19), the city’s main artery, too, he said. Umatilla is enjoying a downtown renaissance that features a spate of business openings, including a Beef ‘O’ Brady’s restaurant in a three-story circa 1920s building at Central Avenue and Guerrant Street.