Business Spotlight

Expert Skincare in Downtown Ashland

The Institute of Advanced Medical Esthetics is new to Downtown Ashland. Located at 405 England Street, the business is celebrating 15 years as a master esthetician school and includes a medical spa clinic.


Visit the Insitute for a special day of pampering or as part of a wellness routine. The medspa offers luxury and results-oriented skin treatments such as hydrafacials, peels, and microdermabrasion. Click here to make an appointment.

Owner Laura Todd is an expert in the field of esthetics.  She has served as a leader in the field, contributing to development of Virginia’s state regulations, standards of practice, and licensing examinations. Laura has several Advanced Esthetics textbooks in publication, and a new edition to be released in 2020.


The Institute of Advanced Medical Esthetics serves students from all over Virginia with programs to become licensed as basic and master estheticians.  As part of the students’ training, they provide skincare services to the public under the supervision of highly qualified staff. Graduates are employed in the growing medspa industry, and many operate independent businesses.

Treatments at Institute of Advanced Medical Esthetics will leave your skin glowing. The price tag will help you feel good about the experience too. Services are offered for a reduced price, in order to facilitate training of esthetic students.

Appointments are available on Sundays and Mondays. Click here to book online.

Institute of Advanced Medical Esthetics
405 England Street
Ashland, VA 23005
(804) 346-1979

Ashland Theatre Recognized for Historic Preservation


The Art McKinney Historic Preservation Award was presented to Ashland Theatre Foundation and the Town of Ashland on May 29, 2019 in recognition of the extraordinary renovation of the 1948 property in the heart of Downtown Ashland.

The following video tells the Theatre’s remarkable history.

The Ashland Theatre building at 205 England Street first opened in 1948 and continued to operate as a movie theater until 1996.  It was purchased by local developer A.D. Whitaker who made initial restorations and generously gave the building to the Town of Ashland in 2013. A Downtown Ashland Association volunteer committee re-opened the theater in “pop-up mode” in November 2014, leading to the creation of Ashland Theatre Foundation, which undertook a capital campaign and $2.1 million renovation. Ashland Theatre reopened in December 2018 to public acclaim.


Ashland Theatre is beautifully restored and serves as the center of entertainment for Downtown Ashland, with a wide variety of performances including first-run films, live music, and community events. See the full schedule and buy tickets online at

Ashland Theatre
205 England Street
Ashland, Virginia 23005
(804) 401-7007

Jake’s Place: Southern Comfortable

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Jake’s Place restaurant offers Southern Comfortable atmosphere, food, and drinks in an historic location at 115 Thompson Street. A 1920s service station is now a culinary hotspot for Ashland and beyond. Jake’s Place offers southern-style dining, takeout, catering, and special events.

Owners Wendy and John Yohman hatched an unthinkable plan in 2013—to renovate the old BP station into a thriving restaurant. After two years of investment and hard work, the duo launched Jake’s Place—named for Jake and Rosalie Spears who operated the service station for more than 45 years.

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Today, the original swinging doors welcome you to a quaint dining room with handmade tables by the hearth. The back patio offers space for family outings and corporate gatherings. On the menu is something for everyone, from John’s famous smoked brisket to homemade pies. No one leaves Jake’s Place hungry.

The Yohmans’ story is part of Ashland’s renaissance. The town is actively cultivating new life in old structures. We embrace history and bring it into the modern day, in a way that only homegrown hometown efforts can achieve.

Ashland is an authentic and vibrant setting for locals and visitors. Nowhere is this more evident than at Jake’s Place. On a typical Friday night, you’ll find a packed dining room that feels like a friendly gathering. Wendy and John greet guests and offer wine and craft beer, while the kitchen delivers unforgettable southern dishes.

There is a special feeling when you walk into Jake’s Place, and you’ll be quick to share the story with friends and neighbors. It’s an experience that lives up to the the restaurant’s moniker: Southern Comfortable.

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Jake’s Place Restaurant & Market
115 Thompson Street
Ashland Virginia 23005
(804) 798-3287