The rumor mill a-churnin’

Found over on the blog Jack and Mrs. Elliott Move to Bend: rumors about happenings in the Minnesota building downtown that houses Marz and Astro Lounge, among others.

First, Chocolate e Gateaux has not has his lease renewed. The shop will be shuttered by the end of this coming weekend. The awning is already down.

The rent at Marz is said to have been raised 28%. This in an effort to get them out. I didn’t learn what’s going on at Astro, but since the owner plans to knock out all the dividing walls and join all three shops into one, Astro probably has been given unpleasant news, too.

Additionally, the owner has made an offer to buy the building which houses Dudley’s and Kitchen Complements. Again, to bang down the walls and further open up the space.

Converting what was five small business into one big business.

The speculation as to what the "big business" is: a wine and tasting shop of some sort. Interesting, but is it true? I haven’t been downtown lately—is Chocolate et Gateaux’s awning down?

8 thoughts on “The rumor mill a-churnin’

  1. I certainly hope none of this proves to be true. I personally wouldn’t much miss Chocolate e Gateaux or Dudley’s but I know many who would. And I know a WHOLE LOT MORE folks — not to mention just the general energy/ambience of downtown — would sorely miss Marz, Astro and, yes, Kitchen Complements. (Heck, regarding KC, there certainly are enough people who’d miss Diane’s store that it’s absence would leave a noticeable void in not just downtown, but Bend in general; if that’s not the case, then someone will have to explain to me how it is that, even in the best of times, just about everyone who has opened stores that compete with hers comes and then goes, but Diane keeps plugging and chugging along.

    And, yeah, that’s what we need: another "wine experience" place. Let me guess who the owners of that are: Mr. and Mrs. We Won’t Fail Cuz, Well, We’re Different.

    Of course, what they will have going for them is the fact that the recession’s over, recovery’s ’bout ready to kick into high gear, and the next bubble, yeah, the NEXT bubble, that’s the one that will never burst.

    Maybe I’m reading this whole thing incorrectly, this rumored consolidation of spaces on Minnesota. I hope so. Because what I see in it, if this is actually true, is more of Bend’s soul being callously and ignorantly suffocated by greed.

    Again, I really hope I’m wrong about this.

  2. I will really be disappointed if this is true. I love Marz and would be so sad if they were to go. We do not need another wine shop/tasting/drinking/bar….

  3. Maybe another Starbucks on that corner makes sense, they were looking back in 03-05 to put one there in addition to the one just up the block. Wine Tasting makes no sense and won’t happen.

  4. Hey everyone this is Josh the owner of the Astro Lounge and we are not closing. Marz is not closing. The chocolate shop couldn’t afford the lease. All of our lease rates went up in July. We all have a couple of years left on our leases and nothing will be happening to our businesses because of the landowner until 2011. If something happens it will be business, olcc, financial, recession related, NOT LANDOWNER related.
    Thanks to you all the other listed reasons have not greatly affected our business to the point where we have to close our doors. Thank You.

    The OLCC tried and are now getting their retribution. Jason Evers deserves to be fired not just moved and it will happen if I have anything to do with it.
    Hopefully the Dept. of Justice will give us our fair shake to tell it how it really went down with the many situations that Jason created.

    On a better note the Astro is still producing quality drinks and food so come check us out. Ken Bryant formerly of Blacksmith, Ciao Mambo, and some San Francisco stallworts is slinging killer drinks like mad. Tyanna White from Nashville is holding down the Monday, Tuesday and wants everyone to know that she is single and looking good.

    As always thank you for your continued support, The Astro Lounge the heart of downtown bend since 2001.
    147 NW Minnesota
    Open 5-7 Mon-Sat.

  5. Not sure Josh has all his facts straight. The chocolate shop owner said he was not given the option to renew; it wasn’t even cost-related. He expected to keep his business going and lost all his tenant improvements, etc. Forced the owners into semi-retirement, or at least a hiatus. The landlord had a new tenant that wanted to open a wine shop/bar.

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