By JOHN T. WARD
But in the wake of the COVID-19 pandemic, Brown has decided to close the shop.
Read all about the end of the Nearly New Shop and other changes downtown in this edition of redbankgreen‘s Retail Churn.
During her 27-year run at 70 Monmouth Street, Brown has seen Red Bank emerge from the economic depths of the “Dead Bank” era, outlasting “four or five” landlords of the building along the way, she told Churn last week.
But the challenges of operating in the post-lockdown era, combined with other factors, led to the difficult decision to close the shop, she said.
“I can’t have customers trying on clothes, and if they handle an item, I have to take it off the floor for 24 hours,” she said.
The fact that she’s 73 years old and doesn’t have the energy she had when she started the business in 1993 also weighed in the decision, she said.
Brown is now in the process of donating her inventory to any organization that will accept it. Other vintage clothing shops can’t take it, she said, because they’ve been “inundated” with clothing from people busily cleaning out closets during the lockdown.
“I loved this business,” she said. “I really loved it – people coming in and getting wonderful clothes.”
• At the other end of the economic scale, glam dress-and-shoe boutique Coco Pari did not reopen after shutting down March 16 because of the health crisis.
Now, the store, at 17 Broad Street, is empty, and its social media accounts, once packed with news of new Jimmy Choo and Christian Louboutin footwear, haven’t been updated in months.
Owner Kimberly Lindau could not be located for comment.
• Lake K’s Bake Shop has vacated 4B West Front Street, the tiny storefront where it’s operated since February, 2018.
“In the wake of the recent events that have affected small businesses like my own, we’ve made the difficult decision to close down our retail storefront while continuing to provide the most delicious and eye appealing desserts we have come to be known for,” Kayla Barbuto posted on Facebook earlier this month.
• Ocean Café has vacated 21 Monmouth Street.
• The Ritz hair salon, at 76 Monmouth Street, has also cleared out.
Those businesses join others previously reported to have closed or departed in the wake of the pandemic:
• Alfonso’s Pastry Shoppe at 86 Broad Street.
• Theo, a clothing boutique at 3 East Front Street.
• Pinot’s Palette, a DIY painting party business at 12 Broad Street.
• Haute Maven, a clothing boutique at 18 Broad Street.
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