I learned this week that Apocalypse, a cool little store located at 355 Talbot Street, is closing its doors. The owner, Bryan Ramsden, has tried to make a go of it over the last year, and it's been difficult, as it is for a lot of downtown independent businesses. I've mentioned his store in a few of my blog posts, and even though he carries primarily men's clothing and accessories, I would stop in to have a look and a chat, and see what he had on display in the gallery space at the rear of the store. I purchased my much-loved Palladium boots there. His store is located in the same block that is home to Frilly Lizard, Commander Salamander, From Mars, and the excellent restaurant Kantina. Often I will get asked by colleagues who live in the suburbs where I buy my clothing and when I've tried to explain where these stores are located I'm met with a blank stare. It is the sad reality of London that while we are told that Downtown is on the upswing, and more new businesses are starting up, the majority of the population live in the suburbs, and spend their money in the suburbs, except if they happen to work downtown, attend an event at the JLC, or, they make their annual pilgrimage to Victoria Park for Sunfest. People I work with have said to me, "I never go downtown. Why would I?"
As someone who has lived, worked, and shopped downtown for the last 25 or so years, and makes a point of promoting businesses and activities going on downtown on this blog, it makes me sad to hear things like that. Ladies and gentlemen of City Hall, there is something seriously wrong here that no amount of brightly-coloured metal trees or two hours free parking on Saturdays is going to fix. I wish I had the answer.
But, back to my original theme, which is the closing of a store that added another element of funkiness to downtown. Bryan is closing the doors this Thursday (June 30th), and everything in the store is 25% off, with a larger discount if you're paying cash. Stop in and have a look around, say hello. There was still a good selection of cool kicks, hats, watches and shirts when I was in on Saturday.