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What Should Replace Antiques @ 236?

The Narberth store has announced it is closing at the end of January.

Patch wants to hear from residents of Narberth, Bala Cynwyd and beyond: What should fill the retail vacancies of your neighborhood streets?

Today, we're spotlighting 236 Haverford Ave. in Narberth, where a sign on the door of Antiques @ 236 announces the store will close when the lease expires Jan. 31.

The business will remain open online and will be present at antique shows, according to the announcement.

So tell us in the comments section below: What kind of business would you be most likely to frequent if it moved in? And what other vacancies in town do you have ideas about filling?

Cassandra Krivy Hirsch January 05, 2013 at 05:25 PM
A used/new bookstore (with readings and workshops) would be LOVELY. I'm an avid reader, writing coach, and novelist, and it smarts not to have a bookstore in Narberth, a perfectly lovely spot for it. There would be a hot pot and French press for tea/cocoa coffee and a few homemade pastries, as well as some second-hand (donated) comfy furniture. I couldn't run it alone, or be a sole investor, but all those interested, do chime in!
HenryI January 05, 2013 at 05:33 PM
A bookstore, yes! Lower Merion is in desperate need of a bookstore! We've lost them all.
Cassandra Krivy Hirsch January 05, 2013 at 06:55 PM
And now a more refined approach (to food) after a conversation with a friend: no food served except a little tea/cocoa/coffee/cake at events. During normal business hours, people can feel free to bring munchies from Narberth's establishments and eat in the bookstore while they read.
Cassandra Krivy Hirsch January 05, 2013 at 06:56 PM
Yes, we really have lost them. So sad for everyone - all ages.
TonyD January 05, 2013 at 07:28 PM
Combined books and music store. Throw in ice cream and water ice and you have a total winner.
Janis Fine January 05, 2013 at 11:33 PM
We definately need a book store. Nice music playing, coffee, tea, cocoa...mmmmm I may even knit along. PLEASE!!!!!
Jill Friedman January 06, 2013 at 12:31 AM
And on the subject of ownership/management: how about we all get together and do it as a cooperative? A small board handles day-to-day decisions, but everyone who invests (at some specified minimum level) gets a voice in how the place runs. I nominate my friend David Feldman, Narberth native, to spearhead this.
Cassandra Krivy Hirsch January 06, 2013 at 05:31 AM
Anyone who loves books, people, has a head for business, a bit of time on their hands, a bit to invest (pick one ore more of these contributions) - what miracle can we work here? I suppose there needs to be a meeting first, as Jill says. Does anyone know whom best to address of Narberth's powers that be (the mayor, I guess)?
Cassandra Krivy Hirsch January 06, 2013 at 05:32 AM
Tony, never even considered music, ice cream, ices; sweet!
Cassandra Krivy Hirsch January 06, 2013 at 05:33 AM
Lovely picture; something very small town pastoral in that image you create, Janis.
Cassandra Krivy Hirsch January 06, 2013 at 05:35 AM
Sounds like such a sound idea, Jill. Maybe we can meet to talk about how something like that works. I'm more a dreamer than a spinner of gold, so pragmatic people are always welcome.
JWT January 08, 2013 at 02:36 PM
Bookstore? Don't we already have a library and a coffee shop? Wouldn't the owners of the french cafe or cheese shop be open to improving the use of their space for people to sit and relax more and adding to their menus? An old fashioned bookstore would never make any money and be closed in 6 months. How about a nicer restaurant on the block with less of a party atmosphere than the three bars immediately nearby?
Deborah Holljes Lonsdorf January 08, 2013 at 09:20 PM
A bookstore would be nice, but it might be hard pressed to make it in the high-rent area that is Haverford Ave. I believe a coffee shop is in the works locally which may fill this need somewhat. You all may want to get on the Narberth coffee shop list to keep abreast of it. It's a Yahoo group I think...I also think a restaurant without a TV would be nice, but this is a very small space.
Cassandra Krivy Hirsch January 09, 2013 at 01:40 AM
Good ideas, though I've heard Narberth has a strong non-compete in terms of new eating establishments. The Cheese Shop did expand last year, and to great effect. Still, if books were a constant presence in one of those places, that'd be lovely. Somehow, Philadelphia has all but lost its bookstores; so many more in Toronto, in London, sprinkled throughout New England, and hardly any here.
Cassandra Krivy Hirsch January 09, 2013 at 01:41 AM
Yes, true about the rent...Do you know what the new coffee shop's name is, and where in the area it'll be?
Allie January 09, 2013 at 02:41 PM
Nannygoat!
JWT January 09, 2013 at 03:14 PM
Cassandra, what do you mean Non-Compete? Do the three bars operate as a cartel w/ support of the council or something?
Michael Alexander January 09, 2013 at 05:42 PM
Absolutely not. Zoning code prevents new restaurants from opening by way of off-street parking standards. Existing restaurants are grandfathered in. By the way, we're working on a new zoning code which will hopefully change this.
Cassandra Krivy Hirsch January 09, 2013 at 07:08 PM
I used that term too loosely. Sorry! But Michael Alexander's comment explains the concept, I think, far better than I did.
Cassandra Krivy Hirsch January 09, 2013 at 07:14 PM
Hi, Allie! Maido is leaving in May, I think (according to a newly released Patch News item), so how 'bout you move your lovely Nannygoat (I miss it!) in there and create a space for books that feels like a bookstore in the corner (not a bad name for it either) that can have the charm of a used (with some new) bookstore, with some old seats and some tea/scones?
Allie January 13, 2013 at 03:42 PM
Hi Cassandra! We would love to have Nannygoat Antiques back in Narberth, so are continuing to explore every option. We welcome any tips for spaces that could work for us, including pop-up options: info@nannygoatalley.com. I am hopeful that Maido! and the building's owner can find a mutually agreeable solution to prevent Pat from leaving. It's not over 'til it's over, as they say!

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