Thursday, October 31, 2013

Ch-ch-ch-changes

Friends, what goes around comes around.  Or everything old is new again.  Or the more things change, the more they stay the same.

Here in Lexington, KY, a city of about a quarter-million folks, things change, but not at a breakneck pace.  But recently, a LOT is changing, and I suppose we'll have to see how much of it is for the better.

For instance, it was announced not long ago that the local Sears department store, which has existed in the Fayette Mall (original name, right?) since it was built in the early 70's, will close at year's end.  Now, I don't know about you, but Sears has been a retail presence in my life for as long as I can recall.  Growing up in Paris, a town about twenty miles from Lexington, I recall having a Sears catalog store that also sold appliances, tires and some lawn equipment.  Bought clothes from them via their catalog for some time, until I found better alternatives.  My parents always bought Kenmore appliances from Sears, and my wife's car right now has a Sears Diehard battery in it.  Sears used to stand for good value, in my view.

Nowadays, Sears is kind of a retail afterthought.  We go there mostly because they have a Land's End store on the premises (until 12/31, anyway) and my wife buys a lot of their clothes.  They don't stock my sizes onsite, but they do handle returns and exchanges.  And there was a time that we bought our larger electronic items, TVs and such, from them, but no more.  Last thing of consequence I bought there was a lawn mower a couple of summers ago.

J.C. Penney is in the same boat, in trouble with no end in sight.  It will be interesting to see what changes come to both.

Anyway, since Sears was an original anchor tenant of this mall, the plan apparently is to demolish the store (it's the joining point between two wings of the mall, so I'm not sure how this will play out) and build a Cheesecake Factory.  We like that restaurant (I know, food's not good for you, etc., but it's GOOD) and it will be a welcome addition to the local scene.

There's also a Long John Silver's that was built when I was a kid, on the same main road as this mall, although about a mile apart.  It closed a year or more ago, and has sat vacant since.  But recently a sign sprung up saying that it was soon to be the home of a Noodles and Company location, another restaurant chain we like that didn't previously exist in Lexington.

And also within a mile of one another, both the McDonald's and the Burger King are closed for renovation.  They're also pretty old buildings, so it's probably way past time.  I don't frequent either, but it was interesting to see them both shut down at the same time (the McDonald's drive thru is still open, oddly).  Likewise, the Wendy's a bit further up the road was torn down and replaced within the last couple of years.  This is apparently more common these days, wherein fast food companies are beginning to require their operators to renovate or rebuild.

I can think of a Pizza Hut and an Arby's that closed and were razed in pretty short order in the past few months, too.

My own household is a little left out of this, so I'll just mention that about a week ago we had two trees removed from our front yard.  So there's that.

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