EDGEWATER — One of the neighborhood’s most prominent antique shops has closed for good, but the business could come back in a different form.
The Edgewater Antique Mall has closed its doors at 6314 N. Broadway, saying in a Facebook post last week the business would not reopen following the coronavirus-caused shutdown. In early March, the mall announced it was closed due to the virus and would remain so until at least April.
Edgewater Antique Mall was in business for 18 years, building itself into a destination in a neighborhood known for its resale stores. It was known for quirky and eye-catching storefront displays, vintage furniture and extensive collections of all things antique.
“As sad as it seems, we are very blessed,” a Facebook post announcing the closure read. “Fortunate for our good health, our friends and family. And filled with so many awesome memories of antique slinging here in Edgewater!”
The coronavirus shut down hurt the business, but the uncertainty surrounding the re-opening and future small business landscape compelled their decision to close, said Rod Harbaugh, manager of the Edgewater Antique Mall.
With Loyola University’s campus shut down, and the local movie and TV production industry still shut down, the business lost two of its biggest customer bases, Harbaugh said.
“Our business model relies on big crowds, because we have 40 vendors,” he said. “There’s just a lot of uncertainty.”
On Facebook, the antique mall hinted at a “virtual transition.”
The business will continue selling items through its Instagram account, Harbaugh said. Harbaugh and business owner Paul Chaty will also sell antiques through their personal accounts.
As for the future, Harbaugh said he and Chaty could open a new store. If they did, it would be a smaller store with far fewer vendors. The single-owner antiques stores have been able to pivot more easily during the pandemic, because having private appointments can support a small store but not a mall, Harbaugh said.
And if they do open again, the business partners would love to stay in Edgewater.
“We’ve established such a great relationship with the neighborhood,” Harbaugh said. “We love the community, and we appreciate everybody.”
Customers have taken to Facebook to lament the loss of the store, with some saying the would miss visiting the store from outside the city and event the state.
“Our home is full of beautiful items bought from your store,” one customer wrote. “You always made us feel welcome! Not to mention the loads of fun shopping with you guys.”
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