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Pioneer in downtown's revitalization closing down

February 27, 2009 | 11:31 am

Bloom's General Store was an early outpost in the development of the Arts District east of the civic center. Joel Bloom, the late downtown developer, got it started. And a lot of lofts, eateries and new apartment developments have risen around it. But Anna Scott of the Downtown News is now reporting the general store will close:

Longtime Arts District pit stop Bloom’s General Store will close for good this Saturday, said owner Randy Bloom, son of the late neighborhood activist Joel Bloom, who opened the store in 1994.  The eclectic shop at 303 S. Hewitt St. was the first community store where locals could stock up on groceries, laundry detergent, magazines and other sundries. A beloved local hangout, Bloom’s has nonetheless struggled to stay afloat since its founder died in July 2007. Though a fundraiser last July helped to re-stock the store’s shelves and keep Bloom’s open for a short time, a 50% rent increase last September combined with the faltering economy ultimately made it unsustainable.

-- Shelby Grad