Lewisboro is home to many businesses that have become long-standing fixtures in the town. One of these, the Cardware Store in Goldens Bridge, will soon close its doors for good.
Vishnu Patel, the owner of the store located in the North County Shopping Center for the last 15 years, said he shut down the store for several months when the coronavirus pandemic hit. Like many others, Mr. Patel said he was unable to pay rent during that time, and after falling behind on payments, his landlord told him that he must leave.
Now his lease is not being renewed, despite his efforts to renegotiate terms, so the store must close, said the deeply disappointed owner.
Mr. Patel also noted that over the years the landlord has brought in businesses, such as the supermarket in the shopping center, which also sell greeting cards and compete with his store.
Mr. Patel said the community has been very supportive of his business. “We have received a lot of feedback from customers and they don’t want us to leave,” Mr. Patel said.
The Cardware Store’s lease will be terminated at the end of the month, and Mr. Patel said he currently does not have any plans once his business closes. “We’re going to miss the customers, too, and they are more than friends,” Mr. Patel said.
Salem Wine and Liquor on Route 35 in South Salem also has been dealing with a lease issue, but experienced a positive outcome.
In 2019, the owners of Salem Wine & Liquor, Jay Goldstein and his wife, Elyse, were informed by their landlord that the store’s lease would not be renewed.
Mr. Goldstein managed to gain an extension from January of this year to the end of August.
The landlord initially refused to extend the lease further. However, the liquor store announced on June 26 through its Facebook page that the lease has been extended. Mr. Goldstein said in a follow-up interview the lease has been extended for another two years, beginning next month.
Mr. Goldstein said that after months of no communication with the landlord, the landlord’s lawyer suddenly reached out to offer the extension.
Mr. Goldstein said the community has expressed support of the store through social media postings and a Change.org page he created for the lease extension, which received 1,500 signatures.
“The community is thrilled,” Mr. Goldstein said. “There was such an outpouring.”
He said he had no explanation for the landlord’s apparent change of heart to retain the store, but added he was grateful for the extension.
Mr. Goldstein said he and his wife have sent the landlord, who was out of state until recently, a letter expressing their thanks, and plan to pay her an in-person visit soon.