Saturday, January 11, 2014


2014 begins with a number of long-time neighborhood businesses closing.

Larkin between Pine & California Streets
One of these is Ideal Auto Rebuilders, Inc. Family owned since 1954 by Alfredo A. and Jorge R. Fernadez, and have been in their current location for over 20 years.

      I asked one of the brothers, a big, gruff burly man, if rising rents had anything to do with their closing. 
     He laughed. ‘Nah. I’ve been doing this for over 40 years, since I was 28 years old,' he said with a smile. 'That’s long enough.‘

     Another long-time business that's closing after many years is Naomi's Pottery 

Polk between Washington & Jackson
as is, Studio right next door, an art gallery for local artists.

One closing that's surprised a lot of people is the Big Apple Discount Center after 32 years.

Big Apple Discount on Polk & Clay

I talked with some of the clerks why the store was closing. ‘Too much competition,’ said one, while another cited rising minimum wage and Obamacare – the owners can’t afford to provide health insurance to their employees under the new law.

I'm going to miss the Big Apple. But what I'm especially going to miss

is that great mural of theirs on Clay Street.

Every time I see it, it always makes me smile.

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