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|Gay-owned Poster Hut closes today after 44 years|
|by Dyana Bagby|
|December 15, 2011 13:48|
Mike Abbott, owner of Poster Hut on Cheshire Bridge Road, confirmed today the store is closing after being open for 44 years.
"I'm pretty much devastated but I'm trying to do the best that I can," Abbott, who is gay, said this afternoon.
An employee said yesterday the store was closing, but wasn't sure when.
Abbott, 61, bought the iconic Atlanta store four years ago from Gary Goldberg. Goldberg still owns the building the store is located in, Abbott explained, and Goldberg is evicting Abbott for being behind on rent.
"I passed too long on the rent. I was told to get out by tonight, basically, that I had to be out by Dec. 16," Abbott said. "I was given a week's notice."
A significant downturn in the economy over the past few years made it difficult for the store to get customers through the doors, Abbott said.
"I bought it when the economy really started getting bad. I've been struggling the whole time. But I thought I could make it enough to turn it around," he said.
He added he was going to try to do a web-based business with the same merchandise located in the store now. Three employees are impacted by the closure, Abbott added.
The store is an adult novelty store, sold men's underwear, and also sold gifts, greeting cards and clothing. Poster Hut opened in 1967.
Abbott posted to the store's Facebook page this message:
Poster Hut would like to thank everyone for over 44 years. I wish there could be another 44, but this economy and other factors have done us in unfortunately. I wish there could have been more time but we were only given a week, so it was almost as much of a shock to us as to you. There have been a couple ideas discussed, so just maybe, you can look for a resurrection of the Hut at some point in the future in one form or another. I know I will miss hearing the giggle and laughter of customers walking through the store, and especially miss some of the wonderful friends I have made through the years.
Another gay-owned business, Outwrite Bookstore & Coffeehouse, announced in November it was planning to relocate from its landmark Midtown location at 10th Street and Piedmont Avenue because rent was too high. A "Save Outwrite Books" fund has been established to help with moving expenses. Outwrite has been open 18 years.
Lesbian-owned Charis Books & More is also struggling as an independent bookstore and business. Its nonprofit arm, Charis Circle, is planning a new Charis Feminist Center. Charis Books & More, which opened 37 years ago, is one of the few remaining feminist bookstores in the country.
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