The buzz over coffee:

An investment group headed by Woody Crenshaw purchased the exercise equipment from the failed Shortt’s Fitness Center and will open a new health club in the old Mama Lazzardo’s space. The new gym can’t come too soon. With a Mexican Restaurant opening in the basement of the Winter Sun and Nancy’s Candy Company opening an outlet in the Village Green, a lot of us who spend time downtown are going to need a place to work off the fat.

McCabe Coolidge and Karen Day are moving their studio out of The Jacksonville Center and into new digs at the Winter Sun, joining other shops and galleries in the new lower level retail area. This will leave Jacksonville with at least three empty spaces and add to the Center’s struggle for economic viability.

Coffee shop pundits predict a lively race for Commonwealth’s Attorney between Floyd attorney Stephanie Murray Shortt and newcomer Eric Branscom. The boldest predict independent Shortt could break the Republican male stranglehold on the office while others say the race could determine if the party of the elephant still controls the political face of the county. This race, along with two contested races for Board of Supervisors, will make the local election season fun to watch.