“I haven’t even started looking for another job yet,” said a multiply pierced Village Corner cashier the week before the VC closed in early November. She was talking to a former employee who’d moved on to another retail job—and who told her, in a mournful tone that seemed far too world-wearily wise for his twenty-something years, “You’ll never work in a place like VC again.”

In fact, the clerk may soon have a chance to work at the Village Corner itself again—owner Dick Scheer says the store is going into hibernation, not extinction. Scheer locked the doors of the campus landmark in early November after four decades of purveying fine wine and groceries at the intersection of South U and Forest. Next door, Bill Loy closed his Campus Student Bike Shop location on Forest after a thirty-eight-year run.

The businesses are making way for the oft-delayed construction of the 601 Forest building, part of a wave of high-rise student apartment complexes going up around campus. Both men emphasize that they are not going out of business, and each is trying to find a nearby location. Nonetheless, Loy in particular found the closing wrenching. “It was a tough thing to do,” he says. “It’s a pretty big deal. No more free air and tools for the students.” He’s moved all the bikes and equipment from Forest Street to his other store on Maynard, and says the do-it-yourselfers “will have to come over here now.”

Loy says the developers offered him space in 601 Forest, but he doubts he’ll take them up on it because he figures the rent will be too high. He’s hoping to find someplace more affordable nearby. “We want to stay over there,” he says. “We were over there for years. It was very sad.”

Scheer is also saddened by the closing, but he’s looking forward. “We have several locations we’re considering,” he says, and he expects the move to work out for the best. He hopes to find a spot with more parking, since many customers don’t come in as often as they’d like because they can’t find a parking space.

Scheer says they’re shooting for a reopening in a new location by the end of 2010. He doesn’t know if they’ll carry the same mix of groceries, beer and wine, sundries, hardware, and other student staples—that will depend on how much space he has. But he’ll definitely be continuing the VC’s famously deep and varied wine selection. He held a 20 percent off sale in the days before the store closed, and customers seized the chance to stock up. “At the rate it’s going,” he said shortly before he closed, “we’re not going to need much [storage] space.”

This article has been edited since it appeared in the December 2010 Ann Arbor Observer. The anticipated reopening date of the Village Corner has been corrected.