Through the generous co-operation of our new landlords, who have kindly agreed to extend our existing lease as an experiment from August 1st through December, we are happy to report that we shall not be closing the store in July after all, and shall be continuing full-steam ahead at least until Christmas.
In a community-spirited effort to keep the store open, the Mayor of Westmount, Peter Trent, has personally intervened to spearhead this welcome reprieve. If the experiment works, our landlords have also agreed in principle to a new, long-term lease thereafter. If it doesn’t, and our customers do not return in full force in the meantime to vindicate our decision, we shall close for good in January.
We are, therefore, throwing down the gauntlet. Since we have been operating the store pro bono for quite some time ourselves, it is now our customers’ call, not ours, as to whether we leave or stay in the new year.
This is not, however, to be confused with a publicity stunt. Had Mr. Trent not intervened personally, we would have closed in July perforce, precisely as we’ve had to do in Ottawa, once our lease expires. As it is, he has been instrumental in fighting to defend his constituency from the loss of what he perceives to be as much a community centre as a bookshop; and we have agreed to maintain the status quo in return.
We hope our customers agree, and that they will join us in celebrating our survival by showing their support. If this unorthodox approach does, indeed, bear fruit, plans are already afoot between ourselves and our landlords to effect significant changes and improvements in January, once our new lease is secured.
In the meantime, our new website is back with a vengeance (www.nicholashoare.com); we’ve resumed our monthly mailer, Notes at Random (available through the website); new videos are being added apace; and we are christening our new blog herewith.
And last but not least, our long-term affection for Vermont Public Television has been reflected in another year’s commitment, including lead local support of “Downton Abbey”, part 3.
In short, we are witnessing a potential turnaround at our Westmount store; and our entire staff joins me, not only in thanking our landlords, but in saluting Mayor Trent for being the catalyst in such a welcome, if unexpected, reaction.