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Bloom's General Store Closing After Fifteen Years in the Arts District

By Ed Fuentes
Published: Friday, February 27, 2009, at 11:08AM
Blooms General Store Ed Fuentes

Bloom's General Store has operated on the corner of Traction and Hewitt since 1994.

Word that Bloom's General Store will close tomorrow is spreading quickly, via street reports and a Breaking News story from the Downtown News. Considered the first mark of civilization in the warehouse area that later became the Arts District, Bloom’s General Store was opened in 1994 by Joel Bloom, who operated it until his passing in 2007.

Arts District denizen and Bloom's staffer Terry Elsworth confirms that the general store's last day is tomorrow, Saturday, February 28. "It's left for me to handle it."

Current owner Randy Bloom, son of Joel, told Downtown News that a 50% rent increase in September and the economy forces the general store to close despite a fundraising effort last July.

"Given all the options, the best one is just to be done and let someone else with the passion and the drive to step up and do whatever is best for the community.” says Randy Bloom in the Downtown News article.

Rumors of troubles have been circulating for a few months, and in January management came to the Los Angeles River Artists and Business Association board meeting to ask for money to cover part of the store's rent.

Elsworth, who attempted to add cache to Bloom's by curating shows in the small space, says all merchandise will be marked up to 70% off on Saturday.

The day may also become another wake for the space. The day Joel passed away, the neighborhood gathered in front of the store to honor the Arts District activist. Now they may gather in the area marked Joel Bloom Square to pay homage to the demise of his store.

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