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Downtown coffee shop closes after 5 years

December 28, 1999|By DAN KULIN /Staff Writer

Round the Square, a coffee and sandwich shop on Hagerstown's Public Square, closed last week after more than five years downtown.

With the closing, there are now two empty spaces in the city-owned Elizabeth Hager Center.

Footlights Dance and Theatre Boutique moved out of its 6 N. Potomac St. quarters in October after more than five years in the center, city Public Information Manager Karen Giffin said.

Mayor Robert E. Bruchey II said Tuesday that both spaces will be filled soon.

"Businesses come and go all the time," Bruchey said. "It doesn't speak bad of downtown. It speaks good for downtown that we have two new businesses moving in so fast."

Bruchey said the city is finalizing deals that probably will fill both spaces in February.

The mayor wouldn't say who the new tenants may be. He said they had to finalize the written contracts before making an announcement, which he said will probably come in mid-January.

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Round the Square owner Harry Grandinett said Tuesday the business closed because, "Just like every other small business, I wasn't able to generate enough revenue to stay in business."

Last Wednesday was the last day his shop at 12 Public Square was open. Grandinett said he doesn't have any plans to open another shop in the future.

Grandinett declined to discuss the matter further.

According to court records, Grandinett owes the City of Hagerstown $23,394 for a loan, which Giffin said was for construction at the coffee shop.

Giffin did not know if Grandinett was current with rent payments.

She said the Footlight's owners are still paying rent on their space in the Elizabeth Hager Center until a new tenant moves in.

The closing of Round the Square left many in downtown without one of their favorite lunch and coffee shops.

"We'll miss them," said Lucy Harne, a salesperson at nearby R. Bruce Carson Jewelers who frequented Round the Square.

"I'll miss very much going down for coffee," said Bruchey, who works upstairs at Frontier Internet Commerce.

"It was my favorite perk of working downtown," Bruchey said.

Grandinett also operated the former Harry's House of Blues, which was renamed House of Brues after the national House of Blues chain threatened legal action. The House of Brues shared a kitchen with Round the Square until the blues bar closed in July.

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