By Carol McCracken (Post # 2,504)
If you were planning on doing your holiday shopping at FatFace in the Old Port of Portland, you might be better off thinking of Valentine’s Day in February 2016 for that shopping spree.
FatFace an English casual clothing store for men announced earlier this year it was expanding its business into the United States – with the first opening expected to be at the former J. L. Coombs store, 34 Exchange Street – last month and in time for the holiday shopping season. But things haven’t gone as planned and the store now will open in February 2016. An extensive renovation had been underway, but all worked stopped months ago and the front door has been padlocked since.
Last fall the chain, with over 200 stores in England and Ireland suffered, a 7% decline in business because of a slow start to the winter season. That appears to be the reason for this opening delay.
Kilwins, known for its chocolate and ice cream, would like to open a store in Portland, but so far hasn’t found the right place according to a source familiar with the situation. It’s a national chain with many stores in Florida and one in Portsmouth, NH. Franchise owners make their own products on site. They’ve been looking at the former House of Jerky and Mornings in Paris location at 13 Exchange Street. But there are permit issues still to be resolved with the city before this can happen. No cooking is permitted on site currently. That is allegedly one of the reasons that the House of Jerky owners left the property. They wanted to open up their own food venue because one of the business owners is a renowned chef in the northeast. They were also allegedly looking to supplement their jerky business during the off-season.
“Joe loves chocolate. They gave him a lot of samples recently. He thinks this store would be good for the area. He’ll do what he needs to do to get it in here,” said an employee of Joe Soley, the property owner, recently.
(editor’s note: ) Late this afternoon this blogger met an official of Kilwins at 13 Exchange Street. He’s said it’s not a done deal yet, but it is possible his company wlll be moving into the space this spring. Rejoice chocolate lovers!