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STAY LOCAL | Vol. 17, No. 5, March 11, 2010
(Stay Local)

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R.I.P. Local Flavor

by Rick Outzen


Three longtime local businesses closed their doors over the past four months. Each was a business that had built its reputation on customer service. Each had been part of this community for over 60 years.

In January, Bogan Supply, a family-owned kitchen and bath fixtures store, shut its doors after 70 years in Pensacola. As the housing market collapsed in 2008 so did their business. It didn't help that Home Depot and Lowe's expanded their presence in this market.

Robinson Barnes Jewelers, a fixture in Pace for almost 80 years, closed because of owner William Cobb's health. Cobb had bought the business in 1978 and had developed a loyal clientele for whom he had sold, designed, repaired, engraved and sized fine jewelry for generations.

Merritt Paint and Supply Co. folded in November 2009 after being in business for 61 years. The paints and wallcovering retail store specialized in quality name brand products and was known for its customer service to painting contractors and homeowners. The Merritt family felt the same economic pressures as Bogan Supply and found it more difficult to compete with the Big Box Stores.

These three closings add to an ever growing list of local businesses that couldn't keep their doors open in an economy that has survived the impact of the 9/11 tragedy, two hurricanes and a declining population. Other longstanding Pensacola businesses have shut down in the past decade including Sarah's, Trader Jon's and Skopelo's by the Bay.

According to the U.S. Small Business Administration, over 50 percent of small businesses fail in the first five years, but it's troubling to see community cornerstones like Bogan Supply, Merritt Paint and Supply and Robinson Barnes Jewelers shut their doors.

As the economy struggles to dig out of this recession, the importance of locals shopping with locally-owned businesses increases. The local dollars spent with local businesses stay in this community.  Jobs are created. Local schools, youth athletic teams and charities are supported. And the unique character of this community is preserved.

Here is a list of 100 locally-owned businesses have that have closed since the Independent News was first published on July 1, 1999:

Adorn Lingerie
Alice's Gourmet
Bailey's Farmers Market
Banana Bob's
Bayfront Gallery
Bayside Grill
Beachside 33 Fine Gifts
Blues Cafe
Bon Appetit
Bucket Sports Grill
Buddy's Bagels
Cabo Grill
Cafe 22
Cajun Experience
Central Bark Bakery
Chan's Gulfside
Chrisoula's Cheesecake Shoppe
Cigar Brewery
Club Carousel
Crema Coffee & Baking Co.
Crust & Crumb
Dinah's Shore Shop
Donahue's Liquors
Eat Wright @ Palafox
Elegant Lady Boutique
Fattahi Fine Art
Finnegan's Wake
Fish Pie Records
For All Seasons
Four Seasons
Funktional Furniture
G&L Bank
Galerie Melange
Garden St. Rotisserie
Garden Street Fabrics
Glenmar's Antiques & Collectibles
Global Owl
Government St. Deli
Gus's Gifts
Harris Music and Sound
HKH Cigars
Hopkin's House
Hurricane Books
Ice Cream & Yogurt Club
Jack & Ron's
Jamie's Restaurant
JJ's Pizza
Julian Marcus
Larcodile Amphibious Tours
Lou Michael's Downtown
Magnolias & Lace
Mahi Mahi Grill
Marchelo's Italian Restaurant
Margarita's Mexican
Marisa's Boutique
Michael's Blue Water Cafe
Moon Dance Bead Shop
Napoleon Bakery
Network Telephone
New Market Steakhouse
Ninth Ave. Antique Mall
North Hill Grille
Olive Drop
Palafox Restaurant & Trolley Lounge
Pensacola Blues
Pitzmann European Bakery
Portofino Medical Spa
Ray Cranford's BBQ
Reverie Bakery
Rplace Gallery Bar Bistro
Screaming Coyote
Secondhand Rose
Simply Delicious
Skopelo's by the Bay
Sun Ray Taco Shop
Sunflower Bagels & Deli
The Food Barn
The Greenery Cafe
The Light House
Trader Jon's
Unique Collections
Vintage Gourmet
Whistler's Walk Cajun Cafe
Wilderness Arrangements