Saturday, August 4, 2018

Slow Saturday Special: Last Call

"Friday was a time to mourn the disappearance of a classic Boston institution — the blue-collar neighborhood bar — and the changing makeup of the Allston neighborhood that once sustained it. Joyce Hynds said she has been crying all week. “You think the hardest part is opening your business,” she said. “And I’ve come to find out, the hardest part is closing your business.”

Yeah, “it used to be a neighborhood. Not anymore.” 

I'll bet she has lots of stories to tell.

Why don't you stop at the five-and-dime on the way home?

"Arlington’s five-and-dime shop to close after 64 years; patrons bid bittersweet goodbye" by Elise Takahama Globe Correspondent  June 22, 2018

To many Arlington residents, this five-and-dime store has felt like home for 64 years, a shop filled with nostalgia in the form of licorice pipes, candy cigarettes, rubber chickens, washboards, velcro, and more.

The store offers hard-to-find items, and a little bit of everything, as longtime owner Joe Balich likes to say. Now, the community is preparing to say a bittersweet goodbye, when the store closes for good on Saturday.

Balich 5 & 10 has been open six days a week for 64 years, gaining a strong, loyal support system of familiar faces, but the rise of online sales and new neighborhood development in the last several years has slowly drained the homey variety store of its business, and Balich says it’s time to retire. “I don’t have that many millennials shopping here to replace the older people,” he said.

He also lost a lot of his wholesale suppliers, he said, making it harder to secure merchandise.

Now, the Arlington Heights neighborhood is filled instead with new restaurants, banks, manicurists, and hair salons, Balich said, but Balich has reflected on his last 34 years with nothing but gratitude.

“My favorite memories are of my nice, loyal customers,” he said.....