This Retail For Lease sign appeared on the front of Acme Rubber Stamp a couple of weeks ago. Not too much of a surprise. Given one word to describe the place I’d have said anachronism. The business itself seemed a little out of time, not to mention out of place. Most of the buildings with vintage signs and names now house bars or restaurants or boutiques.
The lease sign says retail, but I’m thinking restaurant or bar or ideally both, with the new tenant keeping the old façade and window displays as an exemplar of retro hipster fashion. They’d fit right in. Checking the listing online seems I almost had it right:
Rare retail vacancy in the heart of Ballard`s historic district. Charming brick building at the south entrance of the Sunday Farmer`s (sic) market on Ballard Ave NW. Prime corner space, easy to vent hood for kitchen. Building upgrades to include brand new wood storefront, new windows, exterior paint, seismic upgrades and change of use to restaurant/food/beverage.
Yep. It’s a perfect spot for a restaurant. But I say forget the new wood storefront and windows.
Here are a couple of photos taken in better times (2008), at least as far as Acme Rubber Stamp is concerned. The text below is from the photographer’s (mvjantzen’s) flickr page. I get the impression they’ll be crushed or at least a bit sad, if they don’t already know about the store’s demise.
I can’t believe there’s still a shop out there that makes rubber stamps. This is very exciting.
This is like a sign museum. All the iconic classics are here: no smoking, rest room, men, women, push, pull, keep out (one of my favorites), private, fire exit (red background!), and information.