The retail shop Gallery One on Central Avenue is closing, adding yet another set of darkened windows to the busy commercial street.
“We’re going to close in late February,” said Rick Johnston, whose late mother, Beverly Johnston, ran the Nob Hill store for 31 of its 46 years.
After his mom passed away in December, Johnston, who lives in Petaluma, Calif., made the hard decision to shutter the business for good. None of the current employees wanted to buy the store, which his mom stocked with items she found on buying trips around the globe, such as authentic Masai warrior shields and Oaxacan bird carvings.
A going out of business sale will start this weekend.
“It’s a bummer (to close) because the business was a labor of love,” Johnston said. The store was like a third child for her, he added.
“There were a lot of good years for her business,” he said. “She built relationships all over the world” in her search for unique, one-of-a-kind arts, crafts, jewelry, apparel and more which she purveyed at the Nob Hill Business Center, 3500 Central Avenue SE.
Central Avenue “used to be the cream of the crop for retail in Albuquerque,” said Johnston, an engineer who grew up in Albuquerque. As the years went by, stores like Gallery One have tried to stay competitive with mall retailers, mass merchandisers and the Internet, he added.
Johnston said the Albuquerque Rapid Transit project didn’t help local businesses either.
“There’s a lot of headwind these days for specialty retail operators,” he added.
Also calling it quits at the Nob Hill Business Center is the quirky Beeps store.
A call to the center’s commercial real estate broker, Sedberry & Associates, for comment on the imminent vacancies was not returned.