NEWPORT, Ky. — Two new businesses are set to open at Newport on the Levee, further increasing visitor foot traffic and small business success. 

What You Need To Know

  • Two new businesses are coming to Newport on the Levee

  • As of 2022, Kentucky was home to more than 360,000 small businesses, with an employment of 716,000

  • At Newport on the Levee, visitor foot traffic was up 15% year-over-year at the end of 2023 

  • Stephen Marro and Andrés Maldonado Espinosa have owned Bon Mi Street for seven months

Business partners and married couple Stephen Marro and Andrés Maldonado Espinosa are living out their dreams running Bon Mi Street, a local bubble tea shop, at the Newport on the Levee. The two said they're the opposite of each other, yet their team works smoothly. 

Bon Mi Street sells dozens of items such as traditional Vietnamese sandwiches, smoothies and bubble tea. Maldonado Espinosa moved from Mexico and worked as an employee with Marro before taking over the business seven months ago.  

"I feel like I'm doing what I like for the most time … it's creating new drinks for our customers, seeing them actually enjoy my creations and everything," Marro said.

Now, he and his husband are part of the 360,000 small businesses across the Commonwealth.

"I've always wanted to own a business, and I've always wanted to do weird little things that create joy," Marro said. "This is an opportunity to do that. For me, it doesn't really matter what shape that takes, just as long as I can do it.”

Last month, Newport on the Levee announced the addition of two new businesses. Par 3, a miniature golf concept, will open in the summer before Prime IV Hydration & Wellness, an IV therapy clinic, opens later in the year. In its year-end report, Newport on the Levee’s general manager said visitor foot traffic was up 15% year-over-year at the end of 2023.

Over the years, Marro said Newport on the Levee has become a destination.

"Now, it's bright," he said. "There (are) people; you can hear laughter. And that's very exciting to me, not just as a business owner, but it's nice for my soul because I can spend a lot of my time here."