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Nest owner purchases longtime Natchez antiques store

NATCHEZ — A long-standing bridal gifts and antiques store on Franklin Street is moving into the Nest, owners said.

Alicia and Edward Dutton from Atlanta, Georgia, purchased H. Hal Garner Antiques & Interiors’ existing buildings at 614 Franklin Street in January.

Alicia Dutton said they planned to use the main building as an event venue and dinner theater and either rent out the additional storefronts or turn them into a business incubator. However, those plans are currently on hold due to pending litigation, Dutton said, who declined to comment on legal matters.

Nest owner, John Grady Burns, purchased the store’s name and inventory and said he would be marrying the two businesses together.

“I felt that John Grady Burns would carry on the legacy of Hal Garner beautifully,” Dutton said of selling the name and inventory of the store.

Burns said he closed on purchasing Hal Garner on Monday last week and plans to keep the store open until he is ready to move the inventory into the Nest location in the late summer, either July or August.

“For me personally, since I do flowers for weddings, believe it’s a great marriage to do both the bridal registry and the flowers,” Burns said. “Now that I’m back in Natchez, I can do a wedding of any size, no matter how small it is. … I used to have to have a budget to travel back from Atlanta. Now that I’m here, it just seems like a perfect fit for me.”

The store — which is comprised of three buildings — has been in operation in downtown Natchez in excess of 30 years and houses high-end gifts, jewels, china, crystal, fabrics and furnishings.

The Nest specializes in greenery for homes and businesses and provides fresh flowers for weddings, funerals and other events, Burns said.

“I purchased all of the contents and the name of the shop and will be bringing the bridal registry to the Nest,” Burns said. “It eventually will be called ‘H. Hal Garner Gifts at Nest.’ … All of the employees will stay where they are and will later work for me and the new owners will have plans for the building. … The shop may close for a week while we make the transition but hopefully no longer than that and it will be during a very slow time of the season.”

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