MaryBeth hosts today's corner shops 5; though not every shop in my play today is on the corner, I gotta say I love the multi-directional visibility of anything that sits or stands on a corner.
I'm combining MB's questions 1 and 5.
1. If you suddenly received a ton of money and could open up some kind of store or service just for the pleasure of having it (assume it wouldn’t have to be too financially successful!), what would it be?
5. We’ve all seen stores that combined books and records, beer and laundry, or coffee and whatever. One of my favorite places to get coffee in Honolulu is a cafe and florist, and there is a car garage that’s also a diner in a town nearby. What would be a cool hybrid of two disparate ideas for somewhere you’d like to hang out?
It's going to be an inner city sun country sensations: mostly make your own salads, sandwiches, smoothies, and sundaes; an art gallery that each month will feature about a dozen pieces each by 2 or 3 mostly local artists and artisans; a music venue with lunchtime offerings of many kinds. At least once a week we'll host a varied media art, or a various genre writing workshop. Free wi-fi? of course! And oh, my sun country hangout will have both indoor and outdoor seating. This great image I found on morgue file conveys the mood.
2. What service or store that no longer exists do you miss most?
Most small family-run eating places were truly wonderful, as were drugstores with ice cream counters. I'm being nostalgic for my cousin's former town of Hudson, Ohio, with the Colonial Restaurant and Saywell's drug store on Main Street.
3. What local business do you think you could make better if you were to take it over? And if you don’t mind sharing, what changes would you make?
I don't frequent them, in fact almost never ever have darkened any of their doors, but if only dietary supplement / nutrition shops had less clinical-looking signage, more inviting storefronts, more appealing product packaging.
4. What spot nearby seems to be impossible for businesses to survive in?
No matter how unique, excellent, desirable, and potentially valuable they are, small, 1- or 2- location retailers cannot survive unless they're in a strip mall or major mall setting that includes at least one Big Box anchor store.