Telco Store On Rockaway Parkway To Close Next Month
By Charles Rogers
For nearly 20 years, Telco had been a vital part of the shopping strip, which spans the area from Flatlands Avenue to Farragut Road, across from the BMT subway terminal.
Adding another vacancy to the shopping section, the once-popular Bella Bakery at 1439 Rockaway Parkway sold its final Italian pastry and closed its doors last Sunday. It had been an integral part of our diverse community for more than 20 years.
These closures come on the heels last year of the closing of another long-time Parkway staple, Abe's Radio, which relocated and now serves its customers from a nearby warehouse.
Rumors had also circulated that the nearby Rite Aid Pharmacy would be among those businesses closing "soon." That turned out to be "just another rumor," according to the store manager, who added, "Absolutely not."
During the morning and evening rush hours, the section is virtually buz-zing with vehicular and, especially, pedestrian traffic. Merchants in the area know this and, as with Telco, they realize it is a good location for retail businesses.
Telco officials told the Courier that it is not the economy that's forcing them to close, but rather a matter of the landlord not renewing their lease.
"While business hasn't been all that good," said Jerry Weinstein, a spokes-man at Telco headquarters, "we're clos-ing strictly because the landlord did not renew our lease. As a matter of fact, we're doing pretty well, despite the economy."
A call to the landlord's phone number in Bensonhurst, however, turned out to have been changed and was electronically referred to the phone number at Telco headquarters. Weinstein said, "The Telco that owns the building, however, is a different entity" than the occupants and, therefore, has nothing to do with the store.
"The good news is that, one of the reasons our lease was not renewed is because the landlord said he has another store - different than Telco - already set to come in."
Ed Gottlieb, who is president of the Rockaway Parkway Merchants Associa-tion, said he and the other store owners in the section knew about Telco closing, but had no particular comment, except that it is hoped the store will soon be occupied.
"I know there were rumors all over the place regarding what might be com-ing in," he said, "but I would hesitate to even state at this time what those rumors might be."
Meanwhile, business at the Bella Bakery "had not been so good," ac-cording to a worker, who would not give her name. "The cost of supplies has gone up and we had been struggling."
She said the owners decided this would simply be a good time to retire. They then thanked their loyal customers through the years.