|John McCain visiting Dunn Bros in Racine in 2008.|
Downtown lost a major attraction Monday when Dunn Bros, located at the corner of Main and Third streets, failed to open. A sign outside the door said the owners were closing the business for good. Dunn Bros, a Midwest chain, had been open in Racine for four years.
This is the second downtown coffee shop to close in a month. On Jan. 7, the Grounds Keeper, at 327 Main St., closed after 15 years of operation. Ironically, owner Cindy Gross blamed part of her store's closure on the competition from Dunn Bros.
Update: The Dunn Bros on Highway 100 in Kenosha is also closed. Not sure when that happened. The only one left in SE Wisconsin is in Pewaukee. Just checked and they're open for business and, apparently, doing fine.
Update 2: Cathy Allison, co-owner of Racine Dunn Bros, said work on the State Street bridge hurt the business. She tells Mick Burke at the JT that the construction project cut off Dunn Bros from CNH, which provided a steady stream of customers for coffee and lunch.
Sidenote: And, just because Ald. Greg Helding called me out on Facebook, I think this shows a need for the city to reconsider its Downtown parking meters. Parking is a major problem for any Downtown business that wants people to visit during the day. The $15 tickets are too expensive and almost certainly scare people away from shopping or dining. City officials should at least create a free parking lot somewhere Downtown to allow people to park and walk to where they're going.
Ben, owner of Circa Celeste (which routinely loses business to parking meters), had a good suggestion: Create free parking on streets along the Root River to highlight the river Downtown while giving customers a chance to avoid fines.
Ald. Helding disagrees, saying people should be responsible for plugging their meters and avoiding tickets. But in a time where major retailers offer better prices and free parking, is it really good business to charge people for supporting local businesses?
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