John Davis’s Colton Bay Outfitters slid out of the world just as another high-end outfitter of trout fishing equipment slid into it. Lauren Kingsley, one of the owners of the newly opened Bailiwicks Outdoors in Dexter, says her friend Davis’s store closed due to “several factors: sales were down. The recession didn’t help. Many of John’s customers have already found their way to Bailiwicks. In fact, pretty much all of them.”
Angelo Amante says the Mattress and Futon Shoppe in Boulevard Plaza (Arbor Farms, Ace Hardware) on W. Stadium will probably close at the end of August. It’s part of a small southeastern Michigan chain owned by Earl Eiben and Larry Rivetto. “We’ve been here twelve years,” says Amante, though he uses the word “we” loosely. He’s actually an independent contractor, a “closer” brought in to make those final offers you can’t refuse. Amante sells the old-school way with a machine-gun rapid spatter of semi-plausible wit and wisdom: “Hey, there are three things we can’t control: air, fire, and water, right?” he says, explaining to a young couple why they really don’t want one of those Sleep Number air beds. “Hurricanes, floods, forest fires. You don’t want your bed powered by forces we can’t control, do you?” To another couple looking at a “memory foam” mattress, he quickly enlists another customer in a demonstration. “If you sleep on your side, don’t even think about buying this bed. See what happens when she tries to turn over? But if you’re a stomach or back sleeper, there ain’t nothing better than this.” Amante claims that in one weekend, he’s tripled the usual monthly sales figures for the store. He previously owned Monte’s Fine Furniture in Ypsi. Is that Monte’s with an apostrophe? “Ah, who cares, I don’t know, it don’t matter.”
The Thompson brothers closed Wise Guys, the little triangle space next to Arbor Vacuum that served Chicago-style hot dogs. Here’s what the Wise Guys are up to, Kerry Thompson emails: “Kasey, the Chef, is an engineer at Boeing and attending Washington University in St. Louis for his MBA. Kerry, the Marketer, is working on his PhD at Michigan State. Kris, Events Guru, is a certified flight nurse and works in the critical care cardiology unit at the University of Missouri where he is completing his BS-RN.”
The storefront at the corner of Packard and Wells will soon reopen as a bakery and cafe called Real Baked Goods.
Grass has grown high around the Roma Bakery, and there’s no sign indicating why the little place on Washtenaw that sold both classic European desserts and Middle Eastern sweets and savories closed, nor if anything will replace it. Roma Bakery opened three years ago and was just an experiment in Ann Arbor–its mother ship is in Dearborn. Owner Sam Nemer didn’t return a call to the Dearborn Roma, but the woman who answered the phone said: “You can always visit us here!”
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