ELK GROVE (CBS 13) — Neighbors in Elk Grove were surprised to hear that a long time store is shutting down.
The Old Town General Store on Elk Grove Boulevard closed its doors on July 7 and locals say they’re concerned about the future of the area.
“It’s kinda sad because it’s been here for a while and I grew up here,” said Sukhi Dhuncy, whose family used to run the General Store. “I know the people that come in and everyone is like a little family.”
Dhuncy looks back at the Old Town General Store with fond memories. But as the doors close, he takes old mementos not knowing what’s next for the space.
“I think they’re starting to stay away,” Dhuncy said, referring to the Old Town crowds. “I think people are drifting towards downtown.”
He says a big issue is the lack of parking and even though it’s a busy street no one really stops. But new business owner Jason Kline says visitors just need the right destination.
“We’re ready for business and so is Elk Grove, especially Old Town,” Kline said.
Kline is getting ready to open his School of Rock, a music performance school for kids.
“I mean we love the history here, the culture is cool,” Kline said. “It’s a cool vibe.”
But after 28 years of living in Elk Grove, Steven Clauson says investing in Old Town improvements is not worth the city’s time or money.
“There’s many places they can spend the money,” Clauson said. “They are spending on things that are really gonna not make a huge impact.”
We dug deeper and found out just how much the city has invested in Old Town improvements.
Since 2005, the city has spent nearly $11 million on streetscaping efforts to expand sidewalks and connect neighborhoods east of Waterman to Old Town.
And since acquiring the Old Town Plaza in 2012 for close to $1 million, the city has hosted farmers markets and other events to draw residents out to play.
Christy Kenkel says she appreciates the city’s efforts but thinks the area it’s too much of a night scene.
“It’s a great little hub, but during the day, all we have is antique stores,” Kenkel said. “There’s not a lot of like really good stores to hang out. We need to keep Old Town, Old Town. Just revive it a little bit.”
CBS13 spoke with the General Store’s owner off-camera. He wouldn’t say why the store closed down, but says he does have plans to make some repairs to the building in the future.