LOGAN SQUARE — Mandy Metros closed her Logan Square store, Shop 1021, about a week and a half ago, but she hasn’t found the strength to make a public announcement. She’s “still working through the emotions of it all.”
“I’ve sat down to write it several times, but I just can’t find the words. I just can’t,” Metros said. “It’s devastating. It’s very, very heartbreaking.”
Shop 1021 at 2650 N. Milwaukee Ave. is the latest Chicago shop to shutter due to the coronavirus shutdown. Metros said her gift shop couldn’t weather the storm and “that’s all there is to it.”
It’s “a foot traffic store. People walk by, they’re going to [Logan] theater, they’re going out for brunch. That wasn’t the case for three months. It sucks big time,” she said.
Ann Kienzle opened Shop 1021 in 2011. The shop sold kitchen items, candles, books and accessories. It was one of the only shops of its kind in Logan Square, which isn’t home to a lot of retail.
Kienzle, who runs the Logan Square toy store Play, sold the gift shop to Metros in 2017. Metros had worked at the shop since the beginning.
Metros said she “absolutely loved” the shop: the customers, the neighborhood and “just helping people find the perfect gift for their loved ones.”
“I’ll miss so much about it,” she said.
Metros was forced to close when the statewide stay at home order came down in mid-March. She sold products online here and there, but it never amounted to much.
“It was minimal to what I would’ve needed to survive,” Metros said.
Metros said she was also awarded a small business loan, but it was only a “fraction of what we needed.”
With the shop permanently closed, Metros is now focused on selling what’s left of her inventory. The Shop 1021 website is still up and taking orders.
But Metros said the website isn’t her “forte,” and losing the physical shop stings. Her husband and three kids would always come in while she worked.
“It’s heartbreaking. The hardest part about it was it was out of our control. We didn’t ask to be closed. I didn’t want to close,” she said.
“It was obviously a really, really hard decision to make. I’m fearing that a close down is going to happen again. It if happens during the holidays, I’d be in a worse position than I’m in now.”
Metros said she worries about other small businesses surviving the coronavirus shutdown.
“Support the small businesses in your community. They’re the heart and soul of the community,” she said. “If you can’t get in there, see if they have a website.”
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