Tuesday, 25 June 2024

Businesses in transition: Well-known businesses close, others expand and plan to open

LAKE COUNTY – Lake County's business community is saying farewell to a few of its well-known members and preparing to welcome a few new ones.


Several local businesses have closed their doors recently for a variety of reasons. Business owners and local officials explained that the current economy isn't always the main factor in their decisions to open or close.


“It is really normal for transition to occur within a community in terms of businesses relocating, closing and new businesses coming in the door,” said Richard Knoll, redevelopment director for the city of Lakeport.


One of the businesses taking part in the local transition is Jack’s Gaslight Grill on Main Street in Lakeport, which recently closed. The owner couldn't be reached for comment.


Knoll suspected the eatery closed not due to a financial situation but because of a desire for change. The restaurant will most likely reopen with a different concept and angle on food service, he said.


He reported that there are numerous improvement projects happening all over the lake, such as a building façade enhancement program. Thanks to the program, the Campos Casuals storefront on Main Street has a fresh look.


Knoll also noted that several businesses have remodeled or expanded, such as Grocery Outlet in Lakeport, North Lake Pharmacy, Jimmy’s Deli, Lee’s Sporting Goods and the Tower Mart on Lakeport Boulevard.


Grocery Outlet Inc. also is opening a completely new store in Clearlake, according to the company’s spokesperson Sheena Stevens.

 

Although some recent closures come as a surprise to many, money is not always the issue.


On the other side of the lake in Clearlake, Wild About Books is closing, but founders Ellen Lundquist and daughter Lori Peters find that caring for Lundquist’s elderly mother is their main priority.


“I’m not going to have her around much longer,” said Lundquist.


The store has been closed since May 24 but will reopen June 16 for the blowout sale, which will last until June 30. After June, Wild About Books will be closed, but perhaps not permanently.


“Thank you ladies for bettering our community through reading,” said one reader in a comment on a previous Lake County News article announcing the store’s closure. “You and your services and products will be sorely missed.”


“I just thank all of the people, from the bottom of my heart, for all their support,” Lundquist said.


She said she is trying to sell the store to keep it open, but family comes first.


Another family-owned business that has had to close one of its stores is Curry’s Furniture.


They have three branches – one in Lakeport, Ukiah and Clearlake. The Clearlake location, which opened in 1986, is the one closing its doors.


In 1984, owner George Kilker began running the family business, which was started by his grandfather, James Curry, in Lakeport in 1912, said his daughter and employee, Kristi Domagalski.


Kilker and his wife, Nanette, live in Ukiah and were finding the distance to Clearlake more and more difficult to contend with over the years, she said. The Clearlake store will close its doors Saturday, June 19.


“We very much appreciate our customers’ loyal support these past years,” said Domagalski. “Please come and see us in the Lakeport and Ukiah stores.”


Despite the recent closures, Knoll is optimistic about what's ahead.


“Businesses have been pretty resilient,” said Knoll. “With nice water conditions and water levels we expect a good tourist season to benefit the local economy. We look forward to summer time and better things to come.”


E-mail Tera deVroede at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. Follow Lake County News on Twitter at http://twitter.com/LakeCoNews and on Facebook at http://www.facebook.com/pages/Lake-County-News/143156775604?ref=mf .


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