A Masterclass in Circular ThinKing

Ext. Mast Shoes at Westgate. (C)A2RS

This week sees the triumphant reopen of Mast Shoes in Westgate:

Mast is a longtime Westgate occupant (that also had a downtown location, on Liberty Street, long ago). The new Mast store is right next door to the old one, in a space where a succession of women’s clothing stores used to be. There is an impressive array of shelves and stacks there now to better show off their inventory.

“Top men, Dr. Jones… TOP. MEN.” (C)A2RS

On Stadium, the Circle K is shining up. The curbside sign displays a “Now Hiring” banner. I hope they’re getting some of the pre-rebuilding employees back too, they were nice folks.

Ext. Circle K build at Stadium/Packard. (C)A2RS

I visited another Circle K and it looks like, while this one was closed, the chain’s fountain tap selection has changed. The other location has some weird Mountain Dew variants, including Voltage (Raspberry), Ice (basically caffeinated Sprite), and some kind of Strawberry Goji blend that somehow doesn’t have an aggro name. These could be had for 79c for the 20 or 32oz. cup, which makes their new “Epic” cup (44oz./99c) all the more of a bargain. (Though this facebook post from a former Circle K fan implies it is actually a two-pounder.)

Anyway, I was thinking some more recently about this still-empty building by the State-Ellsworth roundabout and why it has had trouble filling up.

Ext. of empty plaza near State & Ellsworth. (C)A2RS

And then I realized why when I tried to visit it: the only way in is through the Jimmy John’s driveway next door.

Same place as above photo but looking left. (C)A2RS

At certain times of day, you can hardly even get into the Jimmy John’s drive-thru, much less get past it to drop off your dry cleaning, or get your bowling ball polished, or whatever they hope to put in there. The lot that Tim Hortons and Belle Tire share has plenty of room, but is not only not connected to the new plaza, but there’s actually, like, a drainage ditch there, so they can’t even connect them now.

Some planner was SALTY when this was idea was conceived and so — I am an amateur retail analyst at best, but — it doesn’t look great for this center. I mean, maybe a pizza delivery place could come in here and hope to get some business during non-lunch hours. There is the Staybridge Suites hotel nearby. Or maybe I’m overreacting — this building is still so new it’s not on Google, Bing, or Apple Maps. (Google embedded above because at least they had the empty lot.)

But you know what place has plenty of room to expand around it and a lot of easy in-out lanes? Bronner’s. I visited recently on the way back from a weekend at Mackinac:

All lost in the supermarket (C)A2RS