UPDATE: Another business gone

East Street Hardware in downtown Bloomington will also be closing.


By:  Diane Benjamin

The latest business to announce they are closing is the Mole Hole.  I am waiting for confirmation on another downtown business rumored to also be closing.

I only printed part of the announcement, the rest is for people who received this notice only.



15 thoughts on “UPDATE: Another business gone

  1. I have a feeling parking at Eastland this year before Christmas isn’t going to be a hassle. There should be plenty of parking spaces available. Acres of them.


    1. I remember when they opened and they had the Porter music boxes and quite expensive. The last time I was in there a few years ago the place in my opinion was selling trashy stuff and not like it used to be.

      To be a successful box store retailer anymore you almost have to specialize in what you sell and not available to buy via the internet.

      I think that is one reason why Red Wing shoe stores have stayed in business all though they do have to compete with other shoe makers that sell via the internet.is because they have to have a good quality product to compete with.

      Many of the high end box stores do about the same thing to survive. Saks 5th Ave carry’s exclusive Bond No. 9 perfume, Alexander McQueen line of perfume. Neiman Marcus does the same carrying Daum perfume bottles for example.

      Locally if I walk into Cydney’s Antiques I can find one of a kind thing to buy that I can’t find anywhere else locally.

      Honestly I am surprised that the Mole Hole has stayed open as long as it has. Even if they sold the business and they could find a buyer staying the course they have I don’t think it would survive doing business as usual,


  2. I look for Kohl’s here to be next to go.

    I was in there about a week or so ago looking for seat cushions. I walked thru the area where they had throw pillows and what a disarray of display. Who has time to deal with that?

    A few months ago I wanted some pillow cases. What $45 to $80 for 2 pillow cases? I said forget that. Like a friend said Kohl’s where everything is on sale and you think you’re getting a good deal but rather getting shafted.

    I can beat many of their prices buying via the internet and not have to search for what I am looking for. I blame poor management for much of that. Shelves not stocked, in disarray, can’t find assistance, etc. Don’t waste my time.


  3. The Sewing Studio in Normal is moving to Hudson. They sell high end sewing machines generating a lot of tax revenue. Seems like the only stores surviving or being recruited are discount stores.
    Owner retirement and high rent is behind some of the closings. And, I agree that it is difficult to find items locally, especially with fewer stores, so shopping online becomes the best alternative unless a several hour drive is more to your liking.


  4. Tari is GOING to “reinvent” Eastland mall! He said so himself!! So NOW we have a gym there!! Maybe a mayor dunk tank would be popular?
    As for parking at Eastland. YEP! There is PLENTY! And the mall is NOT the usual busy place it USED to be at Christmas…


  5. Don’t worry, Diane, the pharaoh of finances and emperor of economics, Austin Grammar, will save the day! Here’s what he said in a Pantagraph article in January 2017: “The closure of Macy’s presents many new opportunities for CBL to attract multiple new top-tier national retailers to Eastland Mall that are not currently in Bloomington, retailers that have long wanted to be in Bloomington and retailers which have been requested by area residents for many years.” Hahahaha! You can’t make this up! Was he writing for the Onion or Black Sheep? Regarding East Street Hardware, that is a relatively large space with a parking lot, located directly across from the BCPA. Anyone else thinking Tari and Co. might be tempted to use eminent domain? It will undoubtedly become an eyesore once vacated. I’ll ask again, doesn’t it seem interesting that the more money the city spends on Downtown, the worse it gets?! How’s Trish doing in her new role with an expanded budget by the way? What the h*ll does she do all day?

    Liked by 1 person

  6. East Street, though I never got used to calling it that it was still Clark and Barlow in my brain – was just about the only place you could always get what you wanted the FIRST time – their employees were knowledgeable and would go to extra lengths to make sure you got the proper thing if they had it or could get it quick – the “big” places, will sell you anything that MIGHT work/fit. I’ll miss them.


  7. This is more of the wave of technological change that is sweeping our world. It is not going to stop. Those who don’t alter their business models are doomed. Many are doomed no matter what they do. The Mole Hole is/was a 20th Century business that can not survive in this new economy. We have the added problem here in Bloomington/Normal of a general economic decline. Less money being spent… less money to spend… Eastland mall is dying. Retail is dying. Welcome to 2018!


    1. Spot on Lawrence and to follow it to its full conclusion, Uptown Normal is built around this model and it’s the reason it will go bust. They simply cannot fill the vacant store fronts in he midst of all the other vacated spaces in the twin cities. It’s built on a faulty set of presuppositions.


  8. Ever heard of “Poetic Justice”? If you’re under fifty years old, you never knew that Eastland Mall is why you have a dead “Down Town”. At least for the next ten to twenty years or so, on line is the place to be. Most folks think they are too busy to take the time to “shop” in a store. Today, you can buy most anything on line from groceries to a new car and have it delivered direct to your door. My question is can I online order the mechanic to come to my home and fix my car or must I lower myself to ask the “Local” dealer to do it under warranty? Will I be first in line?


  9. I will ALWAYS patronize a “local shop” IF it has what I’m looking for at a fair price. I’m sure that EVERYONE of us is guilty of searching out a GOOD book store, antique shop, etc. The late Minor Myers used to “hang out” in the book store on Front St in Bloomington, that was owned by Carol Struck. There were MANY conversations about local history that took place on Saturday afternoons there. THAT is what MAKES a business viable! A place where people feel comfortable and at ease. NOT some sterile UPTOWN, uppity named BS place where they destroy history with a vengeance..
    THAT is WHY some of the “OLD SCHOOL” shops survive… Even WITH the internet..
    Downtown COULD be viable AGAIN, but it will take SPECIAL shops, and determined people to make it happen-NOT people who think THEY know the “right fit”


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