I was downtown yesterday.  I will confess that I rarely (read almost never) go downtown.  I live on the north end of the city, on the “wrong” side of the river.  On the southwest end of the city live all the big box retailers.  And I can get to the southwest end without having to pass through downtown, so I do.

However, yesterday I had some time to kill between an appointment and a meeting, so I decided to go comb through Value Village and the used book store.  It was while I was down there that I discovered that Zack’s, one of the coolest coffee hangouts in the city’s history, was closed.

Now that it sad for a whole bunch of different reasons.  The closure of such a successful business in our downtown doesn’t say great things about our city’s economic picture.  (Although it has been literally years since I actually went to Zack’s, so perhaps the recent past hasn’t been quite so successful.)  Zack’s was also the place where I met my friend (and once boyfriend) Sean for the first time.  And, it wasn’t a Starbucks.

As I drove past, I wondered how long it’s been closed, why it happened, why no one mentioned it to me…  And then!  I turned the corner, and Bead Connections (the only place in the city to get great crafty stuff, apologies to fans of Michael’s) was closed, too!  Gasp!  Two of my favourite downtown spots, located within one block of each other, shut down with no signs of having just moved to a different location or anything.

Of course, since I get downtown so often, I’m lucky that the used bookstore was still there.  I know I would have heard if Value Village had closed, and the used bookstore was just in the local news because the owner walked in one recent a.m. and discovered someone hanging out in the store.  At something like 6:00 in the morning.  Who likely came in through an alley door with a malfunctioning lock.  Point being, I knew the store was still there because of the news (not that I even thought about closures of city landmarks).

I didn’t drive through the downtown core to see what else is closed.  Two shops of significance is enough for one day.  And now I have a whole new reason to try to justify why I seem to avoid downtown Kamloops.

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