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the quick and the dead

July 28th, 2008 at 02:42 am

Saving log - $0 tip box + $35 drp
Spending log - $15 brunch/coffee + $12 produce

Saving log - $0 tip box
Spending log - $3.25 coffee & bagel + $4 latte & cookie

This morning we stopped into our local Sunday coffeehouse, expecting a fairly quiet coffee and Sunday newspaper reading. People were swinging from the rafters! We asked what was up ...

Owner: We got refugees from the Tully's Coffee across the street (87th/Greenwood). They closed.

Us: Huh? That was quick.

And it was quick - Wednesday nothing was amiss. The notice went up on Thursday. By Saturday they were closed. By Sunday, you can see the newspaper shroud along all the windows. About as fast as the Alaska Deli downtown...although at Tully's least there was a note.

There seems to be a spectra of closure styles.

You have the never-ending closure style of the Oriental rug stores in Pioneer Square. It wouldn't surprise me if those stores have only two signs - an Everything Must Go Sign and a Grand Opening sign - and the owner flips a coin to determine which one they put up for the month.

You have the political statement closure: a news-worthy proprietor who is retiring or the rent's going up. I call it a political closure because it usually takes several months with some local ain't-it-a-shame or shed-a-light-on-other-issues press. I lump the Starbucks closures in that category. Anybody go to that Starbucks on Dexter and Aurora? Its on the list.

You have the clear must get out by the end of the month sale and closure. My CD place was one of those. Burn off as much inventory in that last month as you can, with the goal of leaving only dirty carpet on the first.

To me, the oddballs are the really quick closures. Last year, the Denny's in Ballard closed with incredible speed and no particular warning. One Saturday we ate there, the next Saturday that Denny's sign was down, and the place was boarded up. Now this Tully's. Perhaps it makes a little bit of sense when a multi-branch company does it - they move the inventory out within a few hours, leaving cricket chirps behind.

But the Alaska Deli? Still a mystery - it was in the midst of construction, but it had been in the midst for a month or two, it was clearly marked Open with clear sidewalks. Frankly, with all the construction guys swarming around it should have been doing the business of its life. May 30, it was selling coffee; June 2 the door was locked. The extra mystery is that the Alaska Deli's stock is still mostly there even now. (this pic was taken in early July)

I'm probably reading too much into these quick closures. But a business has some sort of relationship with its neighborhood, and its customers. Do these quick closures tell us that we don't care or that we might care too much?

4 Responses to “the quick and the dead”

  1. boomeyers Says:

    We had that with a Quiznos up the street, one day it was there, the next the sign was ripped down, but all the fixtures are still in place, including interior signs, and it has been like that since May!!Weird!

  2. Joan.of.the.Arch Says:

    A closure that strikes me as particularly sad was just a fried chicken franchise that I had never even gone to. An employee was shot and killed in the drive through window. From that moment, the place was never to open again, but the boarded up building stood for years & years. I invented my own internal myth that it was not legal or insurance issues that kept the place from re-opening, but the heart of the owner. Kind of like-- if I hit & killed a pedestrian while driving, I'd never drive a car again.

  3. PauletteGoddard Says:

    You have the never-ending closure style of the Oriental rug stores in Pioneer Square.
    I'm reminded now of
    Text is this and Link is

    I lump the Starbucks closures in that category. Anybody go to that Starbucks on Dexter and Aurora? Its on the list.
    I may have noted in an earlier blog entry that my area seemed to have a larger-than-average share of Starbucks, payday lending places, and mattress outlets. We can walk to five places for Starbucks. Not that we want to. One store, in a mall with another Starbucks and the Nordstrom eBar (which we go to on occasion) is closing. Oh woe. I cry for the children.

  4. baselle Says:

    Ah, Almost Live. Miss it and Love it. Pat Cashman doing Taco Time commercials is just a waste from his glory days. But we'll always have YouTube.
    Since you reminded me of part 1, here's
    Text is part 2 and Link is
    part 2 Gracias for teaching me on the sly to do the hidden links with urls instead of hrefs..sweet!

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