Wednesday, June 8, 2011

LJ's Pizza, We Hardly Knew Ye.

I saw a really sad thing the other day. In the window of LJ's Pizza, there was a sign that said "Closed." Sad enough as it was, but making it worse was the sign underneath that said "Out of Business." Down the road, another pizza joint had a sign up that read "RIP LJ's"

Lucky always cries when a local pizza joint goes out of business.

Apparently they've been losing money, and their lease was up. On top of that, the landlord refused to lower the rent.

Which makes me wonder what the heck is wrong with the landlord. Sorry to get local on you folks, but Mesa's new tag line ought to be "Empty Commercial Buildings - We've Got Them!" Alternate that with "Ever-Expanding Blight - It's What We Do." LJ's was practically the only open business on it's block. I believe that they were losing money, but they always had cars out front whenever I drove by - unlike most places in Mesa. Who do they expect to rent that place now?

Honestly, if you want to be sure your new retail business will fail, open it in downtown Mesa. Every time a new business opens up in the area, I root for them and try to give them some money, but I don't expect them to last long. A couple of them actually seem to be doing OK - finally - but in the 9 years I've worked and lived around Mesa, I've seen a tremendous amount of turnover in the local businesses. And there are a ton of empty storefronts.

I hate it, because the buildings in downtown Mesa have charm and character in bulk. I want to rescue every one of these buildings and put something amazing in them. Unfortunately, the way of retail seems to be "Move to the newest mall or perish." And if there's one thing we build a lot of in the Valley of the Sun, it's new malls.


Anyway, there's an article about the closing of LJ's over here. I wish their owners the best in their new endeavors.