Two unfortunate victims of continued economic and demographic pressure on small retailers: New Hope staple Lazer Illusions has apparently folded according to neighbors, and Rustica, a South Main Street retailer offering offering American-made, craft-style decorative items constructed largely of naturally distressed wood, became seemingly distressed itself, and faster than usual even by New Hope standards.
Originally specializing in other-worldly 3-D laser and holographic lights and novelties, owner Howard Kurs expanded the Lazer Illusions inventory to include gags, incense, and a popular lineup of Bobbleheads. His store had recently been located in the Four Seasons Mall on South Main Street, and he had occupied a space on West Bridge Street for many years prior to that. An unpretentious, eccentric personality popular among fellow merchants, one must believe we have not seen the end of Kurs on the New Hope retail scene.
Rustica, however, is ‘toastica,’ or so the empty storefront and ‘for rent’ sign would have us believe. This retail newcomer was featured in these pages scarcely one month ago, and offered some fairly well-made chachkas for a decent price, but the government shutdown and a challenging set of steps may well have led management to rethink its original decision.
Coming up later this week: A retail location is leased out on South Main, but not to whom we thought!
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