Recession hits Newton Center businesses long and hard

By Denebola
Published: March 2011

Recessions hit hard. Every couple decades when the economy takes a swan dive, casualties are seen everywhere.
Due the economic downturn in recent months, small businesses such as the Pie Bakery, the Starbucks on the Centre T Station, Tess and Carlos, and the Cold Stone Creamery have been forced to board up their windows and close their doors for good.
Although these stores went out of business, new stores step in to take their place.
With a new diner, a restaurant taking the place of Pie, a Panera Bread, and a cupcake store opening soon, Newton Center is getting a new look, as well as a new feel.
What used to be mostly takeout restaurants have become more upscale, sit-down eateries.
“Unlike Tango Mango or Subway, the new food places like [the diner] are becoming more of a sit down and stay place, rather than just run in, get food, and leave,” sophomore Eliza Spiegalman said.
Although more stores are now available for a wide range of tastes, Newton Center might not feel a difference in business. “
I don’t think I’ll go there more than I already do, which is at least a few times a week, but what could be bad about cupcakes?” sophomore Jessie Rosen said.
Bringing a unique look to Newton Centre dining, the Deluxe Station Diner on Union Street opened its doors with high hopes that have been met well.
“There is not anything like this anywhere,” said manager Jerry Ullman, “You can come here and have breakfast, lunch, dinner, or just breakfast all day if you want. It’s awesome because that sort of thing appeals to all demographics.”
Unlike Rosen, however, senior Bryan Cheng feels differently about the renovation’s effect on business. “I may go just to try some of the new places out, like the diner or the cupcake place, but as for places like Panera, I doubt it because it’s kind of on the expensive side,” he said.
With all the excitement, it’s easy to forget that other places in Newton have also been hit hard by the economic recession. Rugged Bear, a clothing store for young boys, is closing after many years in business.
The economics woes, however, do
not stop there. Places that have been in Newton for many years, like the Atrium Mall, are closing too.
South students agree that they have outgrown the Atrium Mall, but they still miss certain things about its presence. “The Atrium Mall hasn’t really been the place to go since middle school, but I’ll be sad about Bertuccis closing,” junior Aafreen Rajani said.
Other eateries that have become an institution for Newton have stayed strong throughout the economic downturn.
Cabot’s, an exteremly popular ice cream shop around the Newton North areas has refused to shut down due to their wildly supportive customers; “Cabot’s has been a neighborhood business for too many years to shut down,” North graduate Bohan Leng said. “It’s a big part of the Newton community and everyone knows it.  It just wouldn’t shut down.”
Although the economy may have turned sour, and stores that have been in Newton for years have left, new stores have come to take their place. They have transformed the rustic old Newton Center into a new, nuanced, and very promising atmosphere.

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