Fresno is preparing to welcome a new high-end clothing store, while saying goodbye to a couple of mom-and-pop shops.
First, the biggie: Women’s clothing store Madewell is coming to Fig Garden Village.
It’s scheduled to open Oct. 11 and work has already started on the store, which is next to Starbucks in the former Coach spot.
Madewell is owned by the same company as J. Crew. It has a more casual style than J. Crew and is all about the denim.
Madewell sells denim everything: Dresses, jackets, skirts, maternity jeans, sneakers, even overalls (which are a lot more flattering than the ones from a few decades back).
And of course, jeans. The $128 high-waisted skinny jeans come in lots of colors – and you can have the waistband embroidered with your initials, name, the name of your hometown, etc.
Madewell also sells everything that goes with denim, such as leather jackets, bags and T-shirts.
This is part of what could be big changes for Fig Garden. If you’re a regular reader of this column, you’ll remember that in July I wrote about other new stores potentially coming to the center.
A document with several retailers’ names went before a city plan implementation committee, but none of the stores had confirmed they are coming to the center.
That hasn’t changed, with the exception of Cyclebar, which is most definitely not coming to Fig Garden, its owner says. Don’t be surprised if you see Cyclebar – the modern version of a spin class with lots of lights, video and loud music – pop up elsewhere in town, though.
While Fresnans are already celebrating news of Madewell, there’s a handful of closures of independent stores that I know people will be sad to see go.
Martin’s Flowers has sold its last artificial flower. The family behind the 75-year-old business announced it was closing last year and shut its doors for the last time a few weeks back.
Already, new renters of the building on Blackstone Avenue are turning it into a furniture store.
Quality Furniture & Home Design kept a small collection of Martin’s most popular items – large bouquets and tall artificial trees, mostly – that it will sell in the new store.
But mostly it will be a furniture and home decor store with dining furniture, large rugs, recliners, mattresses and more ranging from high-end to discounted. They hope to open Sept. 1.
Two other independently owned shops that have been chugging along for years in a retail version of “The Little Engine That Could” have reached their final stops.
After five years, Misc. Trading Co. has closed its downtown shop but is still selling online. The vintage clothing, jewelry and home store was in one of the spaces flanking Warnors Theatre.
Owner Álvaro Romero had a strong following on social media and was dedicated to making things happen downtown. He organized various events, including the vintage pop-up sales on the sidewalk with lots of vendors.
Romero told me he was ready to call it a day.
“No specific reason,” he says. “There’s a whole slew of them, but it was just time after five years to try something else.”
The demolition and rebuilding of the Tuolumne Street overpass near Misc. in preparation for high-speed rail hurt business, but wasn’t the only reason for the closure, he says.
The vintage dresses and purses will continue to be sold through Misc.’s Instagram page, other social media and via MiscTradingCo.com.
Brush and Easel
The colorful wonderland of local art that is The Brush and Easel Gallery is also closing. The 3-year-old shop at 1476 W. Shaw Ave. will close at the end of the month, probably Aug. 27.
Artist and owner Valerie Greene is leaving the sweltering Fresno summer behind to move to Maine. She has family there and is a moving to a little village she gushes about with words like “beautiful,” “gorgeous” and “quaint harbors.”
“I’ve been traveling back and forth there for 40 years so now it’s time to move there,” she says. “I’m going to paint and if I have to dig clams for a living, I’ll do that.”
She plans to eventually open a gallery there.
Most of the 40 artists who sold through Brush and Easel have retrieved their art, but Greene’s paintings and artsy glass necklaces are on sale.
Construction has started on a new CVS at Fresno Street and Herndon Avenue.
The 14,460-square-foot pharmacy with a drive-thru is expected to open in February.
Pharmacies love to be on corners with lots of visibility to catch shoppers driving by.
CVS also has a store a mile away with a drive-thru in a shopping center at Cedar and Herndon avenues. Often in situations like this pharmacies will move into the new store and close the old one, but a CVS representative says that store will not close.