Archived Story

Brownsdale’s Past & Present to close

Published 10:58am Friday, August 17, 2012

A cog in the Brownsdale business wheel will soon be gone; however, the wheel has not stopped turning.

Don and Carol Larick of Brownsdale will close their store on Mill Street, Past & Present, this Saturday.

“It’s a mixed bag like everything else in life,” Carol said. “We just found it economically not wise to continue.”

Though the Laricks are closing their store, they won’t disappear from the antique trade. The couple said they do very well at flea markets and other one-time events, where people realize they have one chance to purchase something if they like it.

Diane Cosme, who opened Alamo Annie’s in Brownsdale several months ago, is realizing that may be the way business should operate in a town like Brownsdale.

Her shop — which also has antiques, furniture and other timepieces — opens every other couple of weekends. In the meantime, she works full time at the Langtry Cafe. She may close Alamo Annie’s during the winter when she suspects business will dip and reopen in the spring.

Langtry Cafe owner Cheryl Nagel, who runs the cafe with her husband, Steve, said the restaurant is still doing well. She still sees traffic coming through Brownsdale along with people from all over southern Minnesota. She wants to see the menagerie of small shops that opened in the past months succeed.

“There is a core of us that really want to hang in there,” Cheryl said.

Fall and winter may bring a business lull in Brownsdale, as some close their shops or reduce their hours. Tina Quandt, who opened the consignment shop Thrifty U, will stick it out through the winter. Yet she will reduce her hours, as well.

The tight knit group of owners is hoping to reload for next summer with the possibility of a government grant that would tidy up their store frontages. Furthermore, the group put up a billboard about a month ago on Interstate 90, featuring “The Shops of Brownsdale.”

Though Past and Present will close this weekend, others, like Cosme, are offering their full support. Cosme joked that the Laricks could bring some of their wares to her shop. And the Laricks, among others in Brownsdale, aren’t giving up on their hobby or the little town deemed as a destination.

“We’re going to miss it,” Carol said about her shop. “But one door closes and another one opens.”

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