It’s a blustery day in March and the windows at Lynn Arden’s Children Shoppe are covered in fluorescent pink and green paper you can see a block away. Signs in the first and second-story windows advertise “Huge Sale” and “Fantastic Prizes.” A lone stroller waits below the bay window, and above the door, in the same shocking pink, a large banner announces “Store closing.”
Since January, two businesses – Cape May Gourmet and Valentino’s – announced their decision to leave Washington Commons, the cluster of shops on Ocean Street adjacent to the Acme parking lot. But don’t worry, both stores plan to re-open in new locations.
According to Cape May Gourmet’s Facebook page, “After several store layouts…we have decided to relocate to a larger and more efficient space to better serve you.” Their target date to reopen is this spring. If you’re worried you won’t be able to bear the winter without their gourmet offerings, the ravioli will be available at their sister store, Cape May Olive Oil Company, at 324 Carpenter’s Lane. Cape May Peanut Butter Company also carries a handful of other favorites.
We’d noticed that Valentino’s Coins and Collectibles had cleared out their space a few weeks ago. While they haven’t announced the site of their new location yet, they’re in the process of adding their extensive inventory of coins and collectibles to their website. “This will take time,” they said on Facebook. If you’re looking for something specific they haven’t added yet, you can give them a call at 609-889-1165. Valentino’s also plans to appear at trade shows.
A third business may be on its way out of Washington Commons. The restaurant Asian Legends, which replaced Cape Orient in 2016, is closed by a February 7th state order for nonpayment of taxes. We have no information on whether they will be reopening (and no idea where we’ll get our green tea mochi ice cream fix during the summer).
The Washington Commons Shopping Center would have been affected by a radical redevelopment zone proposal that was defeated in January.
An art store will replace Pearls on the Washington Street Mall.
Like any city, Cape May has its fixtures. And one of them, Cheeks, which stood at 101 Ocean Street across from the Queen Victoria, has closed its doors after 35 years. The clothing store first opened shop in 1983 and evolved into a source for flax clothing.
“It has been our greatest joy to serve each and every one of you,” reads the message on their website.
The inside is undergoing renovations and will become an expanded dining area for another Cape May icon, the Queen Victoria B&B, which owns the building. Says owner Doug McMain, “Once complete, hopefully early this Spring, we’ll be converting the space we currently use for dining in that building to a new guest room. Both revitalized rooms will be stunning and beautiful.”
There are two big changes on the Washington Street Mall that we want to let you know about.
The first is that Coffee Tyme is opening a second location on the 400 block, in the space formerly occupied by Cafe Buongiorno. They will be opening for Presidents Day Weekend in February.
The second change is on the 300 block. That’s Amore is closing its Cape May location. We’ve heard it won’t be replaced by a restaurant and will share the details with you as soon as we have them confirmed!