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Grease Monkeys Closes Village Store

Clothing retailer opened a year ago but foot traffic and in-store sales didn't justify a storefront so it's going online-only.

EAST ATLANTA VILLAGE — Grease Monkeys, the independent, biker-themed retail clothing shop, closed on Tuesday.

A sign posted on its doors thanks customers for their patronage.

"We wish to thank the East Atlanta community for their hospitality and making us feel welcome," the sign read. "We hope that we served you well."

The store, which opened about a year ago at 1287 Glenwood Ave., will continue to sell its merchandise on its website.

"We didn't have enough people coming in the door and spending money," Shannon Ruff, who co-owns the store with Joe Grondalski, told East Atlanta Patch on Wednesday.

"I think we had a good product, but the money wasn't coming in and the overhead became too much."

Ruff said she and Grondalski, who both live in East Atlanta, made the decision to close before the early morning Jan. 9 break-in that occurred at the store.

And while their website will be the primary sales channel, she said they will continue to sell at events in the Southeast, such as the upcoming Days of the Dead convention scheduled next month at the Sheraton Downtown.

The closure underscores what has been a tricky issue for the Village in terms of its business mix.

While the Village is a hipster haven that teems with foot traffic at night, daytime traffic is much lighter.

That's led to East Atlanta being known more as a bar and entertainment district than anything else.

It also has led to some boutique retail shops closing to relocate elsewhere.

It's something neighborhood leaders acknowledge that needs to be addressed.

"You have to have more than the bars and restaurants," Kevin Spigener, president of the East Atlanta Community Association.

"You have to have the daytime traffic."

Ruff said she and Grondalski took that into consideration and tailored the store's hours to maximize potential customer traffic, but that in the end, it just wasn't there.

J in EAV January 18, 2013 at 06:17 PM
The writing was on the wall.
Grease Monkeys January 23, 2013 at 01:06 AM
Would you mind elaborating on your comment J?
J in EAV January 23, 2013 at 07:19 PM
As this article states, "...daytime traffic is much lighter....East Atlanta being known more as a bar and entertainment district than anything else." (Also, parking can be a hassle.) Unfortunately, your location won't be the last to close due to these circumstances. Surprised you lasted this long, but I'm guessing the lease was for a year. Best of luck with the website.

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