Saturday, February 23, 2008

The Last of Bungalow News

If I hadn't been driving today with the radio tuned to (what else?) KPCC, our local NPR station, I wouldn't have heard the story of Bungalow News. It's closing tomorrow after nearly 50 years of business in Pasadena. Mentioned as reasons were rent increases, an impossible parking situation and competition from the internet.

Chuck Alessi says working at Bungalow News is the only job he's ever had. He's been there 14 years, since he was 18 years old. Chuck is about to have some adventures, I'll bet. But he seemed sad to see the place close. So were the customers buying the last few things on the racks.

Bungalow News used to have every kind of magazine you could think of, from all over the world. There's not much left, but you can still pay your respects Sunday—if you can find an affordable place to park.


Pont Girl said...

Sad news - it sounds like places are closing all over. And we're not in a recession, huh? I wish I had time to go tomorrow.

Let's definitely have coffee soon. I'll send you an e-mail when I'll next be in Pasadena.

Jim said...

Sucks that businesses close because of outside forces. Probably will be replaced by a Walgreens or CVS (not that there's anything wrong with them)

Strangetastes said...

Now that's interesting. We've got something like that, World News, that's hung in by changing itself into half newsagent, half convenience store. I haven't been there in years, though. I don't have time to read magazines after work, photography, books, exercise, chores, music, etc., etc.

I'm surprised that parking is part of the problem. I've been to the LA area several times but I can't say I know it well. Some times it seems like one great strip center. You can't do life's daily business without a car. If there is no parking for a business, it's dead.

Petrea said...

pont girl: Yay! Just let me know.

Jim: Hm. I hope it's replaced by something with a little more charm.

strangetastes: I found street parking today. In the radio story, the guy said their customers who don't find street parking have to park in a city lot 2 and a half blocks away and pay $3, which basically doubles the price of their magazine (unless they're buying an exotic one). I should add: Pasadena is close to LA, but emphatically *not* LA.

lynn said...

How sad to see such a great-sounding store closed. Chuck i wish you well wherever you go.

Anonymous said...

Terrible news. Another loss.

marley said...

What a shame this great sounding place is closing. All that history...

Anonymous said...

The internet is driving newstands out of business?
I think he took the money and ran.

Not selling enough 50 cents newspapers is the reason?

People are still buying magazines right?

From de Cafe said...

I used 2 b a regular customer of the Bungalow 4 a couple of yrs.
Then, the next thing I knew - it was gone.

So, was Highland Cafe 2 doors down the yr before. Now, its replacement cafe looks like it's on it's last breaths. I felt this was gonna be the outcome 4 the new owners also. That block has had a higher than normal turnover.

I guess that's progress. Supposedly, these things die off so sumthing better can be birthed.

Change, progess - something hard to believe in. Sad.