End of the road for a 32-year-old hobby shop in NJ
Maybe it’s not a big deal to the rest of New Jersey, and maybe it’s not a big deal if you didn’t frequently stop in to see the arcade games and pool tables, the remote control planes and cars. But for some in the Lumberton area, the closing of one business will be a very big deal. Part-of-their-childhood kind of a big deal.
Recreation Depot on the Mount Holly Bypass in Lumberton has been there for 32 years. That’s about the point where you start assuming a place will just be there forever.
It was recently announced on their Facebook page, “After 32 Years Recreation Depot will be closing. Pool Tables, Bars, Furniture, Darts, Hobby, Big Green Egg, all must go. Bring a truck and take it with you.”
Owner Tony DeSimone told NJ.com the closing is bittersweet but the change in consumer behavior and the slow death of the brick-and-mortar retail model was becoming too much.
An exact date wasn’t given but the store is expected to close by the end of this month.
Like I said, to the rest of New Jersey, maybe no big deal, although none of us should be happy to see a small business dry up. But to people there, it can sting.
I recently found out that Ted’s Pizza on Whittier Street in Rahway is no more. I grew up in this prison town and Ted’s was our go-to pizza joint for our family Sunday pizza nights as a kid. Decades later the writing was on the wall when it fell under new ownership that still sold the pizza made the same but was offering the rest of the menu as Mexican food. Sure enough, I learned the other day Ted’s went away and the same place dropped the pizza, is all Mexican cuisine and is now called Las Piñatas.
The Super Diner where my grandmother used to work as a waitress went away so many decades ago I can’t remember the year and the block where it sat is unrecognizable.
Soundarama record store (back when they had records and music was tactile) closed down at some point when I wasn’t looking.
Same for the Galaxy Diner on Saint Georges Avenue. It became another victim of the pandemic and never reopened.
Schatzman’s Toy Store on Main Street. Bell’s Drug Store on Irving. None of these mean anything to New Jersey. But if you grew up in Rahway at a certain time, they meant everything.
So it’s not just small businesses and tax ratables that are lost. For some of us it’s touchstones of our childhoods.
Opinions expressed in the post above are those of New Jersey 101.5 talk show host Jeff Deminski only.
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