There’s some sad news in Upper Falls this week. Tom O’Shaugnessy and his wife Carrington announced that they’ll be closing the Upper Falls Variety store at the end of this month. The little shop has been an institution and a gathering place for the last 17 years in Upper Falls.
Tom says that the foot traffic has been steadily dwindling in recent years and they’ve just been scraping by for a while. The nearest big employer in the neighborhood is Clark Shoes and they’re planning to move the headquarters in the coming years so it’s likely to get worse before it gets better.
We’re all going to miss the store and the O’Shaugnessy’s. They’ve been the best kind of local business owners, always been ready to help out with anything in the neighborhood – everything from waiting tables at the Feast of the Falls, to serving free Slush to the kids at Village Day, to selling “Makers of the Mold” as a fund raiser for Hemlock Gorge.
Personally, I’ll miss them terribly since my day has started with a coffee at the Variety Store nearly every morning since I moved to Upper Falls. Between the cast of morning regulars, the neighborhood news, Tom’s TV jingles and Carrington’s ever-sunny face, there’s a lot I’ll be missing.
We all wish the O’Shaugnessy’s the best in whatever comes next and I want to thank them for brightening all my mornings for the last five years.