2 downtown shops close, owners say lack of foot traffic and coronavirus are both factors

“I wouldn’t have been able to forecast this if it was a crystal ball,” coffee shop owner says.

The owners of two businesses near the Arcade in downtown Dayton have closed.

Both cited a lack of foot traffic near their businesses and the coronavirus pandemic as contributing factors.

>> NOT SO FAST: Several local restaurants say ‘no’ to reopening — for now

Ed Dixon, the owner of Edward A. Dixon Gallery at 12 S. Ludlow St., said he is looking for a new location downtown.

Juanita Darden, the owner of Third Perk Coffeehouse & Wine Bar, says she is negotiating to lease a new downtown space for her business with hopes of opening in September.

“It is a blessed curse,” Darden said of the space at 46 W. Fifth St. “Beautiful space, bad location.”

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Credit: Amelia Robinson

The space that once housed the coffee shop is cleared out and there is a “For Rent” sign on the door.

Darden said she had high hopes that she would be able to attract patrons leaving shows at the Schuster Center.

>> FALLOUT: 51 Steak ‘n Shake restaurants are now shut down permanently

“It is like this mass exodus from the shows and they go fast,” she told this news organization. “It is insane.”

Darden’s Dayton Mall location, Third Perk Express, has now reopened and she has an online coffee subscription program.

In a Facebook Live message on Third Perk’s page, Darden said she appreciated the moments she shared with customers and friends in the downtown space.

She closed Third Perk in February with plans to reopen in April.

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Credit: Amelia Robinson

“The decision to move, it was just really timing, guys. Our lease was up as COVID was hitting, and it was just really convenient to let it go,” she said in the message. “When we shut down in February to refocus, retool and relaunch, who knew that we would be right here today. I wouldn’t have been able to forecast this if it was a crystal ball. I would have said you're lying.”

>> RELATED: (Feb 27, 2020) Dayton coffee shop closed temporarily and plans to re-emerge stronger than before

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Dixon said construction at the Arcade and the former site of the Dayton Grand Hotel, at Third and Ludlow streets, reduced foot traffic even further.

The sidewalks on the street are both partially blocked and the street is down to one lane due to construction.

>> PHOTOS: Dayton Arcade rebirth continues, as first floor slab completed and windows restored

“The pandemic was just the last straw,” Dixon said, adding that he asked his landlord for a rent reduction tied to the coronavirus and was denied.

“It just made sense not to renew my lease,” he said.

Credit: Submitted

Credit: Submitted

This news organization messaged the company Dixon says owns the property as well as a woman listed as the property’s owner on the Montgomery County Auditor’s website.

Dixon said he had high hopes when he opened in 2017, but it is hard to see his shop from the street.

“I’ve been waiting officially for three years,” he said. “There are people who work at City Hall who didn’t know I was there and I can see City Hall.”

The gallery is still open online.

Credit: Amelia Robinson

Credit: Amelia Robinson

About the Author