Old Town Antiques’ Last Week in Business Before Being Forced Out of Building by Owner
Hall Equities, out of California, sent a letter to Old Town, Huckleberry, and Chinese Dragon restaurant last month saying they all needed to be out by January 31st.
DULUTH, Minn.- It’s the last week open for Old Town Antiques and Books on Superior Street in Duluth, one of three businesses in that location forced out by the company that owns the building.
Hall Equities, out of California, sent a letter to Old Town, Hucklebeary, and Chinese Dragon restaurant last month saying they all needed to be out by January 31st.
The real estate investment and development company has yet to make plans with the City of Duluth for the site.
But the 28 dealers who sell out of old town antiques have been selling at up to a 75% discount since the closure was announced.
Owners, the Jouppis, said it’s been a hard few weeks.
They’re worried their part of downtown could soon be without retail businesses, pushing more to other parts of town.
“It’s not friendly to the mom and pop business, it’s just not, and they don’t try to make it that way. But money talks and people walk,” David Jouppi said.
Over the years David and his wife Carol have built a loyal following not only of shoppers hunting for unique antiques, but Duluth residents new and old looking for some friends.
“You really don’t realize it until it’s coming to an end,” said David. “And people come in and now they tell you that how important this store was to them, and that makes it, it’s gratifying it’s very gratifying.”
One shopper says she’s thankful to have gotten a chance to hear the owners’ stories, and shop their treasures.
“It’s kind of sad because it’s so iconic. It’s been here as long as I’ve been here,” Karen Michalski said.
“It’s so important for a tourist city too. Because people when they come into town they want to see different things they don’t want the big box store, stores to go to they would love the mom and pop things like this,” he said.
Old Town Antiques will be open until Thursday, then they’ll take a few appointments for a couple days.
The Jouppis said they are looking for a smaller spot, but unfortunately their time in Duluth may be coming to an end.