The Colonial Market, an icon of downtown Niantic, is going out of business.
The store’s owner, John McTurk, said Friday that money has been tight for a few years now, and when he couldn’t come to an agreement with the property owners to have the rent cut in half, he was forced to close.
“I’m sorry we have to leave over the fact that they won’t meet us halfway,” McTurk said. “It is a little shortsighted, and it will end up hurting other businesses in town.”
The owner of the building, George Mitchell, didn’t comment in the story, except to say that McTurk was misrepresenting the details of the lease negotiations. That seems odd. If I thought my situation was being distorted, I’d sure try to set that straight, or perhaps Mr. Mitchell just doesn’t want to have this argument in the pages of The Day. One has to wonder, though, what kind of success he’s going to have filling that space in the meantime.
The bottom line is anytime a locally-owned business is forced to shut its doors is bad news. I’m guessing that competing against the monster Stop & Shop across town, or the BJs in Waterford was an impossible chore and eventually just became too heavy a burden thanks to this recession.