ANDERSONVILLE — Antiques store Brimfield will soon close just six months after it faced boycotts for a run-in its owner had with Black Lives Matter supporters.
Owners of Brimfield, 5219 N. Clark St., said on Instagram last week this would be the store’s last holiday season in Andersonville. Husband-and-wife owners Jeff and Julie Fernstrom said they will close the store while “debating our next adventure.”
It is unclear when Brimfield will host its last day in business. Jeff Fernstrom did not return requests for comment.
“It has been our extreme pleasure to offer our customers a place to browse for vintage home goods and nostalgia-prompting holiday treasures for the past 13 years,” the couple wrote on the company’s Instagram account.
Brimfield created controversy in June after the owners called the police on a pro-Black Lives Matter sidewalk chalking event on Clark Street organized by the business community. Management then washed away chalked messages near Brimfield that expressed support for the social justice movement.
Julie Fernstrom verbally sparred with activists at the chalking event, calling them “cop haters” and falsely saying “my husband is Black,” according to video of the incident.
Police responded to the scene but left without taking any action.
The Fernstroms apologized for calling the police on activists and said they would listen to the dissatisfaction being expressed to them by neighbors.
Still, some neighbors called for a boycott of the store, and a protest outside of Brimfield was attended by dozens who denounced the owners’ actions.
Brimfield has been open intermittently since the June event.
Like past years, the store did bring out its elaborate decorations for the holiday season.
When Brimfield closes, it will leave another vacant storefront on Clark Street in Andersonville. Since the start of the pandemic, at least seven Andersonville businesses have closed. In one case, an empty storefront has already been reopened as a hair salon.