Perhaps the best (and sometimes the worst) thing about the West Chester restaurant and retail scene is it is ever changing. Exciting new establishments open all the time, but to make room sometimes we have to say goodbye to old favorites. So in this last post of the year, let’s take a moment to reflect on all those we have lost.
As 2019 comes to a close, let’s remember all the places we said goodbye to this year.
Appalachian Brewing Company
Appalachian Brewing Company closed their doors over the 2019 holiday break to the surprise of no one who has been there recently. We were there before the Christmas parade and while they were decently busy there was just no life left in the place. Hopefully the owners can find an establishment that has what it takes to make people want to venture to that end of town.
Restaurant 51 Tap & Spirit
The brewpub that brought back the old firehouse 51 sold its business to Slow Hand and officially closed its doors this spring.
Pure Fire Pizza
“It’s really good pizza and the employees were great. It’s a shame the West Chester location is closed now.”
-Sean L. on Yelp Reviews
The West Chester spinoff of the Collegeville-based Pure Fire Pizza never really seemed to find its footing in a crowded West Chester pizza scene. The “personal creative casual pizza” joint closed its doors in November of this year.
The Great Pumpkin Market
The natural food store shut its doors this September after serving the community for more than four decades. Thank you for your years of service. I wish I shopped you more.
“This is one of the most heartbreaking things I’ve seen in a while.”
-Fan on Instagram
After 20 years in the borough, Burrito Loco, the West Chester University fast-Mexican staple announced in August it was closing its doors. The decision, which caught many returning students by surprise, was made after one of the owners decided to step back while she dealt with some personal issues.
After months of remodeling and speculation, Perch opened its doors in December 2018 to large lines and long wait times. However after just four short months, the seemingly always-packed answer to Mrs. Mikes suddenly closed its doors. According to chatter on Nextdoor, the owners decided to sell for personal reasons. The Downingtown Pike location is once again open, this time under the name Two Birds Cafe.
“His shop added a novel and unique aspect to the downtown shopping scene.”
-Downtown West Chester on social media.
Hybrid Cycles, Electric Bikes
The E. Gay Street bike store had been in business for a decade before shuttering its doors this summer.
QVC Store and Studio Tours
After 22 years of welcoming fans and bargain-hunters to their Studio Park location, QVC closed its doors to the public in August. QVC Outlet stores in Frazer and Lancaster remain open.
To Local Yoga Cafe
The yoga studio with a cafe quietly (and calmly) closed its doors this fall. However it is not gone completely, the yoga portion has reopened as Earthborn Yoga Studio. The new owner hopes to use the now-vacant cafe portion of the space to add another studio.
My first Instagram quote post. Awww.
Landmark Americana Tap and Grill
In a New Year’s Day 2019 surprise, West Chester residents learned Landmark Americana Tap and Grill had quietly closed its doors on New Year’s Eve. According to a report in the Daily Local, the restaurant decided not to renew its lease on its Gay Street location choosing to instead focus on other markets. However, social speculation pointed to a menu change that was none too popular and a level of quality that had fallen off. Landmark owned the corner of Gay and Darlington for 10 years.
Just a month after they celebrated their one year anniversary, Fractured Prune of West Chester closed its doors. The Ocean City, MD landmark known for its always hot (and extremely sweet donut concoctions), made its way north in a wave of donut chain expansions that also brought us the North Carolina-based, Duck Donuts. Unfortunately the West Chester sweet tooth was not big enough to support two-icing topped donut shops and all those fresh-baked/cookie dough chains and so we said goodbye to Fractured Prune.
“It gives me the opportunity to do something smaller and a little specialized.”
-Agway Owner Cory Mattia
After more than forty years serving the West Chester community, the Agway on Matlack Street closed its doors on Sept. 30. However goodbye was temporary, owner Cory Mattia moved stock and employees reopened at the intersection of Route 926/202. According to a report in the Daily Local, the new smaller establishment, called West Chester Agway Wild Bird Center, will focus on “wild bird feed buyers, along with poultry supplies, pond supplies and wildlife food.”
This goodbye, was only a matter of time. After weathering the first several rounds of closures, the West Goshen Kmart finally received its pink slip.
Dilworthtown Inn and The Blue Pear Bistro
Both the Dilworthtown Inn and the Blue Pear Bistro next to it closed earlier this year after owner, James Barnes, passed away unexpectedly. While a definitive closing has not been announced, both restaurants and the gift shop remain closed through the holiday season. When you try to call you are redirected to an automated message that ends with a hopeful: “We look forward to reopening sometime in the new year.”
I hope you do come back Dilworthtown Inn. To the rest, (or some of the rest, I’m looking at you Kmart), you will be missed. However, I can’t help but be excited to see who will take their places (cough Stove & Tap cough) next year.
Thanks to all of you who have followed along this year, I’ve loved getting to know you and I can’t wait to see what happens next year!
If I’m missing anything send me a note or leave a comment and if you’re not following yet, please join for weekly updates of all things West Chester. See you in the new year!