Discuss Detroit Archives - Beginning January 2007 Royal Oak landmark to close Previous Next
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Paulmcall
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Username: Paulmcall

Post Number: 70
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 9:16 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Dobie Jewelers on Washington Street in Royal Oak is having a going out of business sale.
There are only a handful of stores left from the 70's in downtown now.
The town has become yuppyfied and that's not necessarily a good thing.
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Susanarosa
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Username: Susanarosa

Post Number: 1360
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 9:26 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Oh wow, my mom's engagement ring is from Dobie's.

Bummer.
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Chitaku
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Username: Chitaku

Post Number: 1112
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 9:37 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I know that this isn't the idea on merchants row, but I always think it could become like downtown Royal oak was 10 years ago. Just a thought, then it can evolve into the yuppie seen the planners want out of it
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Focusonthed
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Username: Focusonthed

Post Number: 830
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 9:50 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I understand the ever-evolving sense of "hipness" that some people have, and also the latent hatred for anything "yuppie", however...

Most of the things people mourn for in Royal Oak are things that just don't exist anymore ANYWHERE. Independent record stores? Gone. Small jewelers? Largely gone. Corner groceries? Gone with the automobile.

The restaurants and coffee shops are filling the void, it's not like it's an either/or situation. I swear, it seems like some people would prefer Skid Row to Royal Oak, because at least there were no coffee shops.

Royal Oak is certainly not a "real downtown" but goddamn, we could do worse.
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Rjlj
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Username: Rjlj

Post Number: 255
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 10:24 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Royal Oak has a downtown.
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Lilpup
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Username: Lilpup

Post Number: 1671
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 10:25 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

We will do worse when people cut back on their discretionary spending. Ann Arbor's Main St. is mostly restaurants, coffee shops, and art galleries now. These aren't businesses that will pull a downtown through tough economic times.
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Focusonthed
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Username: Focusonthed

Post Number: 832
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 11:04 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Possibly. But again, business would CERTAINLY decline at a jeweler. At a head shop. At a record store. And at the numerous other things that have probably left Royal Oak since the 1970s. Most stores are discretionary spending.

And Rjlj, I didn't say Royal Oak doesn't have a downtown.
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Dialh4hipster
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Username: Dialh4hipster

Post Number: 1922
Registered: 11-2004
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 11:40 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Seriously, restaurants and coffeeshops do a better job of pulling a downtown through tough economic times than retail.

It's sad, but you know, times change. And frankly, how many people mourning the loss of this business actually shopped there? I know people love to feel like businesses will always be there, but unless you actively patronize them, don't count on it.

Speaking from experience. Positive thoughts don't pay the rent.
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Supersport
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Username: Supersport

Post Number: 11217
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Wednesday, February 07, 2007 - 11:52 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

quote:

Most of the things people mourn for in Royal Oak are things that just don't exist anymore ANYWHERE. Independent record stores? Gone. Small jewelers? Largely gone. Corner groceries? Gone with the automobile.



Funny, because my handful of visits to Chicago showed me that ALL of those things still exist in their neighborhoods. It is my belief that downtown WILL become overly yuppified over the next 10 years. Many who have lived down there long before Merchants Row, Woodward Lofts, and other high end lofts will all of the sudden find themselves living in the new Royal Oak so to speak. It is my hope that this will lead to neighborhoods throughout Detroit being developed into neighborhoods like Chicago, where they are self sufficient.

Corktown is the closest to achieving this. Woodbridge could follow it's lead considering there is plenty of vacant land along Grand River, Trumbull, Rosa Parks, and side streets. Some of the land was rezoned to residential some years back, but I would think rezoning wouldn't be a problem if it would benefit the community. As it is, I would say of all of the neighborhoods in Detroit, Mexican Town is by far the most vibrant and closest to being self sufficient, more so than even downtown. Rosedale Park is another that shows promise, but the businesses aren't what they were during it's glory days with little that is the basis of a walkable area thanks to big box retail and strip malls along Jefferson.

Many of my friends in Chicago seldom enter inside the Loop, as they have little reason too, and refer to as the place all the tourist go. Perhaps in 10 years that will be one downtown Detroit is.
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Focusonthed
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Username: Focusonthed

Post Number: 833
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 12:08 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Your friends in Chicago should know that there are comparatively few tourists in the Loop proper except on theater nights. ;) I kid I kid, ignore my semantics argument.

You are correct though, I exaggerated a bit. There are examples of those things remaining, just very few. For your Chicago example, I actually did most of my Christmas shopping at a combination of an independent record store and an independent bookstore, both 2 blocks from my apartment. Corner groceries are a bit of a different story...they definitely exist in Chicago, but the neighborhoods are a bit different here than in Detroit and it's inner suburbs.

I like your vision for the neighborhoods though, as that is one of the things I love about Chicago--my entirely self-sufficient neighborhood (Lincoln Square/Ravenswood, if you're curious). Which happens to contain some restaurants (chain and non-chain) and a Starbucks along it's main strip, God forbid. =)
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Gistok
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Username: Gistok

Post Number: 3611
Registered: 08-2004
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 12:59 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Well hopefully Noir Leather can stay the course. You never know when you need that special something... :-)
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Jerome81
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Username: Jerome81

Post Number: 1292
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 1:07 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Focus-
Where is LincolnSquare/Ravenswood? My aunt lives in Fulton River District (west loop between canal and halsted). Essentially right outside the loop and a neighborhood I really like. Close to freeways, walking distance to Michigan ave and the lake, close to all the L lines.

Anyway, I think I'm heading off to Chicago shortly and looking for a good place to live. Considering south loop as I will be working in the south suburbs and may take Metra from the LaSalle station. However, I always loved spending time in Lincoln Park, Wrigleyville/Lakeview, and one of my favorites so far was Southport strip up near wrigley.

However, I have not come even close to knowing all the good Chicago neighborhoods, so if you've got a suggestion, I'd love to get your opinion. Just gotta have easy access to the freeways. :-)
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Professorscott
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Username: Professorscott

Post Number: 161
Registered: 12-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 1:18 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Thriving cities experience what is now called "creative destruction". Businesses come, businesses go, and the city is constantly reinventing itself and changing. A thriving city is like a living organism, constantly changing with some parts dying off and some parts growing back, over and over, but always a bit different than the time before.

Ferndale and Mount Clemens are excellent examples of how this works in the Detroit area. Certain neighborhoods in Detroit, near downtown, also show signs of this. It is a positive thing, though jarring to some.

What kills a city, or a business, or a person, is a strong belief in the fantasy that you don't need to change; that how you are right now is how you still can be some time in the future. This weird belief killed Joe Muer's for instance, and has nearly killed the entire Detroit metro area.

We all change and grow, shed some skin and grow new skin. Thus it is and thus it has ever been; the changing nature of all things does not itself change; as it says in Ecclesiastes, "There is nothing new under the sun".

The Royal Oak of 2007 will not look like the Royal Oak of 1982; so long as we accept this and embrace the changes, each Royal Oak is a wonderful place at a different snapshot in time.

The biggest impediment to this creative process, as you might well imagine, is government. Governments can wreck this process, try to leave a city stagnant, and if they succeed the city dies.
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Focusonthed
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Username: Focusonthed

Post Number: 834
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 1:26 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Jerome81, Lincoln Square is at Lincoln Ave and Lawrence Ave/Western Ave. I find it to be the best mix Chicago has between a real, organic, self-sustaining neighborhood of all ages, and the more popular neighborhoods like Lincoln Park and Lakeview. If you know the Southport Corridor, it's about 2 miles NW of there, it's a pretty similar neighborhood in architecture and structure. Compared to Lakeview, it's also a bit less dense, has more open space/parks, is much cheaper, and is less pretentious. It's 35 minutes to the Loop on the Brown Line. It'd be a journey to the South burbs though, no matter how you slice it. At least 45 minutes by car, I'd guess, depending on your destination.

If you want to know more (I'm cluttering this thread), email me at jwilkin (at) gmail.com
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Chitaku
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Username: Chitaku

Post Number: 1116
Registered: 03-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 1:50 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Noir Leather won't close as long as he's in charge



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Danny
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Username: Danny

Post Number: 5502
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 8:09 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

HAH!!! Downtown Royal Oak is not just yuppyfied it's homosexually transformed!
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Paulmcall
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Username: Paulmcall

Post Number: 71
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 11:42 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I see ignorance is bliss for some.
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Fury13
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Username: Fury13

Post Number: 1325
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 11:49 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lincoln Square is at Lincoln Ave and Lawrence Ave/Western Ave. I find it to be the best mix Chicago has between a real, organic, self-sustaining neighborhood of all ages, and the more popular neighborhoods like Lincoln Park and Lakeview.

You don't mention any of Chicago's established or up-and-coming South Side/Southwest Side neighborhoods, like Chinatown, Bridgeport, Bronzeville, McKinley Park, Hyde Park, Archer Heights, or Beverly. All of those fit the paradigm you mention and all are easily accessible to the Loop within minutes, via the L or the Metra.
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Rjlj
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Username: Rjlj

Post Number: 256
Registered: 11-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 12:12 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Agreed Professorscott.
Those statements can also be applied to many aspects of Detroit such as City vs. Suburbs, yuppies vs. no-yuppies and why Detroit is still stuck in 1967. I the old just as much as anyone else but I think this is one of the core problems with Metro Detroit has.
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Focusonthed
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Username: Focusonthed

Post Number: 835
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 1:53 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Fury13, I thought about Beverly after I typed it. Hyde Park, though beautiful and comparatively affordable, is comparatively lacking in conveniences (there is only, as I recall, one grocery store, and it's a co-op), as any resident of that neighborhood would tell you. Bridgeport is nice, but again, currently somewhat lacking in the "get everything you need within 2 blocks of your home" aspect. Sure, you could drive to the Target on Roosevelt. The other neighborhoods, I'm not terribly familiar with. He asked about my neighborhood, and I told him about my neighborhood.

But again, this thread isn't about Chicago, or my neighborhood.

(Message edited by focusonthed on February 08, 2007)
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Terryh
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Username: Terryh

Post Number: 137
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 7:02 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Royal Oak has been steadily losing its trademark businesses and sense of character since around '97
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Charlottepaul
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Username: Charlottepaul

Post Number: 439
Registered: 10-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 7:05 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

That's arguably progress to some and downfall to others!!!
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 74
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 7:09 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Royal Oak has been steadily losing its trademark businesses and sense of character since around '97"

I agree Terryh. But I also agree with those who say the same thing is happening countrywide. Sigh. Every corner of this country looks more and more the same. I think it would be cool if giant chains were forced into taking into account local history/architecture/atmospher e when constructing their buildings, instead of plopping carbon copies of themselves all over the place. At least then when you drive 500 miles away from your house, it wouldn't look like you just went down the street.
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Courtney
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Username: Courtney

Post Number: 118
Registered: 06-2004
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 7:26 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Sheeple are creatures of habit, and unfortunately, I think a huge number will only go to places they are familiar with rather than try something new or different.

A decade ago I was in Ireland for a semester and I cannot count the number of times I tried to drag any from my university group to a restaurant I spotted on my walks. They were all living off of McDonalds and Burger King yet complaining that they were sick of it. People like that are the people that would be THRILLED at the "new" Royal Oak - they don't have to try anything new and it's all just as they expect.

When Noir was forced out of their old location on Main people were predicting the "death" of the downtown area. At least it just became generic Main St suburbia instead of burned out nothing.

Hopefully Frentz & Son Hardware and North Main Animal hospital are too far north of the development to be forced out. Those would be the only two places I think I'd actually cry over losing.
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 78
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 7:31 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'd be pretty upset if Gusoline Alley closed. Though its more and more possible since Sammy died. Oh yeah, and can't forget Hermann's Bakery on Main Street. I'm so surprised it's lasted this long, but that place is awesome. Stop by and try some of their homemade soups or pasties!
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 79
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 7:32 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I'd be pretty upset if Gusoline Alley closed, though its more and more possible since Sammy died. Oh, and can't forget Hermann's Bakery on Main Street! That place is awesome. Stop by sometime for some of their homemade soup and pasties! Delicious.
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Terryh
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Username: Terryh

Post Number: 140
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 7:42 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Lets see..there were the young punk rock types in front of Caribou Coffee; the vagrant and mentally ill 'types'youd see a mumbling man pushing a buggy along side yuppie 'types'; the bowling alley on Washington; the hardware store and joes army navy; the independent used record stores; the resale shops; noir leather and the middle eastern store with the best falafel sandwiches on main;the travel rama place with the 50s style sign; the low income apartments on 11 mile; the select inn; etc. all gone now.
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 80
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 7:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Oh wait I remembered another place thats not allowed to close. Comet Burger!!!!! Mmmm, grease.
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Terryh
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Username: Terryh

Post Number: 142
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 7:47 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Memphis Smoke and the Main Art independent film theatre seem to be going strong, although I thought I read somewhere it may be changing locations.
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Paulmcall
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Username: Paulmcall

Post Number: 72
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 8:26 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Alden's Alley and Courtesy Bar (before Gusoline)were my favs along with Monti Mahal on Main. Rathskellers (before Rumors) too.
Herman's Bakery is in the oldest building on Main Street. It was built in the early 1900's. One of the best bakeries for miles around.
Speaking of bakeries, there are fewer of those with Royal Oak Bakery and the old favorite on Washington and Lincoln closed up (Hagelsteins).
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Douglasm
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Username: Douglasm

Post Number: 771
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Thursday, February 08, 2007 - 8:44 pm: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Although I understand the need for downtown areas to reinvent themselves, I still mourn the passing of Dobie Jewelers. When I worked in Royal Oak in the early '70's there used to be a Kresge, Neisners,a bat and ball sporting goods store, a camera shop, a couple diners, Cunninghams, The Bank of Royal Oak, a Grinnells, Mary Jane Shoes and other stores and services that catered mostly to local residents. Like I said, I know times have changed but I miss the old style suburban downtowns. Maybe I'm just getting old.....

(Message edited by douglasm on February 08, 2007)
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Ccbatson
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Username: Ccbatson

Post Number: 71
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 1:06 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

What if the store is closing because the owner wants to retire? Does anyone know what is really going on before they assume the store is falling prey to yuppification (or whatever?).

By conjecture, logically, the most likely reason for closure is simple...declining profits into losses/debt. Why? Could be a multitude of reasons...it is called competition, business, and market forces.

Everyone is turning this into an emotional issue, when it is not. If a business is making money, it survives/stays open, if not, it closes. It is not an easy venture with a myriad of factors at play. Some can be manipulated by the business person, others cannot. Marketting, competition, demographic shifts, costs (rent, merchandise, labor, etc) have to be balanced out.

They have been there for a while/had a good run...but business is a dynamic animal, shops come and go as it is the nature of the beast. Consumers vote with their dollars in support of businesses that provide the best product and services at the best price. The successful business person recognizes this and provides what the customer wants.

No need to get depressed, the market will make everything right in the end. We all have memories of stores we grew up with and are sad to see go away, but if the need/desire exists, something new and better will replace it eventually. Its' OK to be nostalgic, but futile to get angry, and point fingers of blame at someone or something ("yuppies, hippies"...whatever)...that just foments prejudice and hatred.
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Ccbatson
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Username: Ccbatson

Post Number: 72
Registered: 11-2006
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 1:11 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

Oh, I forgot to respond to the comment about governments role in all of this....stay out of the way as much as possible...tax less, regulate less and let the free market take things in the right direction (it always does).
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Focusonthed
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Username: Focusonthed

Post Number: 836
Registered: 02-2006
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 1:57 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I assure you that from talking to friends, the transient market on 11 Mile is still going strong. With the Royal Oak Motor Inn, or whatever it's called exactly up there. I know a guy that used to work at the Hungry Howies right across the street.
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Paulmcall
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Username: Paulmcall

Post Number: 73
Registered: 05-2004
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 9:12 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I believe the third generation of Dobie owners want to do something else. Sure the competition is tough but I don't think their hearts are not in the business.
The one daughter is going back to school to get into cardiac rehabilitation.
They also have real estate holdings so I doubt they are hurting.
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Johnlodge
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Username: Johnlodge

Post Number: 85
Registered: 10-2003
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 9:23 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

"Everyone is turning this into an emotional issue, when it is not. If a business is making money, it survives/stays open, if not, it closes. It is not an easy venture with a myriad of factors at play. Some can be manipulated by the business person, others cannot. Marketting, competition, demographic shifts, costs (rent, merchandise, labor, etc) have to be balanced out. "

Oh c'mon. If one of your favorite places goes out of business, you are allowed to be sad or emotional about it if you want, regardless of why. Why do people have to argue with every single post. And if I don't happen to like all my favorite places being replaced by mega-chains, I can not like it. I can show it by trying to shop at places I do like. Geez. Sorry I'm not a free market robot that loves every business that succeeds and is apathetic about every business that closes.
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Sailor_rick
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Username: Sailor_rick

Post Number: 163
Registered: 02-2004
Posted on Friday, February 09, 2007 - 10:24 am: Edit PostDelete PostMove Post (Moderator/Admin Only)

I agree Johnlodge-look at the prime corner of Main & Fourth.

Now there's a Wireless Toyz, a chain electronics outlet, instead of a Cinderella's Attic (I know it's been gone for years) or an "independent".

That'z Clazz!

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