Downtown Doughnuts Closes Today Five Months after Their S. Main Street Opening and a $10,000 Investment in Their Landlord’s Property

Posted on January 7, 2018

RFP Staff

♦ Coming as a sad surprise we learned two days before Christmas that Downtown Doughnuts of Salisbury, a wonderful doughnut, coffee, and pastry shop at 209 S. Main Street in the heart of Downtown Salisbury is closing.  It’s an all too common story for young people with high hopes willing to put their life savings on the line to open an eatery or a retail shop Downtown and close within 8 months to a year.  Many lease their buildings and spend lots of money improving the landlord’s property, bringing it up to code, and then, because of slow business and high overhead, throw in the towel.

The barriers to business success in the Downtown area have grown over the last 10 years.  Retailers face the onslaught of online shopping if they are not selling food.  Downtown shops generally close early because its streets are deemed unsafe after nightfall.  In 2017 two young men were murdered in the area of the Well Fargo parking lot on W. Fisher Street.  Car break-ins are not uncommon. Shootings, robberies, and muggings happen.  Anchor businesses and eateries have closed their doors due to a lack of Downtown foot and vehicular traffic. Parking is often a barrier for many retailers and eateries.

The overhead for doing business Downtown is extremely high: costly triple net leases where the retailer or restaurant owner pays for repairs.  Then there is the onerous weight of the Municipal Services District Tax, said to be the highest in North Carolina, which supports the Empire Hotel. This aging bat habitat has not been open since its flophouse days in 1963.  Last year a developer signed a non-binding contract to “consider” taking on the Empire’s abatement and its $20,000,000 renovation. They were supposed to close the deal last August, but so far nothing has happened other than updates.

Back on December 23rd, 2017 Downtown Doughnuts of Salisbury posted their closing notice on social media:

Today is Downtown Doughnuts last day in Salisbury. We wish them the best of luck in moving to a more prosperous community and in choosing a building where its neighbors love the smell of doughnuts and pastry. (Our Editor’s second favorite smell behind freshly brewed light Roast Kenyan Coffee)

Downtown Doughnuts will not be the last shop or eatery to close after a short run in Downtown. Between now and April more will give up the ghost. It’s been happening every year for almost a decade.

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