Anyway, the store did well for many years. It was badly hit by the recession, but staggered on—fewer employees working longer hours, basically. The final straw came last summer when the rent was hiked by about 25%. It was just no longer profitable to keep a storefront open. So the stock has all been moved to a warehouse for mail order sales.
If I was truly there on the first day, then I had to go in on the last day.
To cope with the shock, I took my camera down last December and snapped a lot of pictures; and then filled in some gaps last week, and again on Wednesday. I've put up a sort of "Memoriam" page on my website, too: full of reminiscences. It helps, I think, to get a perspective on the whole time I shopped there.
Fortunately, the manager, Joe, has got some financial backing; and so a new shop is starting about a block away in space shared with two other comics-related businesses. Upstairs. (Street level stores are just too pricy.) Joe will be managing it. Since John Biernat's getting out of direct sales, he let Joe take over the contract with Diamond Distributors; and I think most of the Dragon Lady regulars are moving to the new store. It minimizes the disruption to their routine.
Still, it's always a shock when things go.