Kevin Smith has announced his west coast comic shop will be closing its doors October 1st. The reason? It isn’t the big money earner in Smith’s empire, and there was a firm offer from an Internet Cafe that wants to take over the space.
And while Stash West was always a nice little earner, it’s never been anything close to the earner that the Red Bank Stash is. The east coast Stash sits in the cradle of the View Askewniverse – Monmouth County, New Jersey – so it’s always been the more popular of the two stores. You can visit it en route to see the Quick Stop, or Jack’s Music Shop (from “Chasing Amy”), or any of the other locations we’ve shot the flicks at back home. Westwood Stash never had that going for it. Sure, it had a shitload of props from the flicks on display (like Stash East); but at the Jersey store, you can really immerse yourself in View Askew by taking a five minute ride and buying Gatorade in the actual Quick Stop. If the store was earning twice what the Red Bank store earned, I’d start manning the counter myself. But while Stash West turns a nice profit (albeit a small one: the Westwood rent is double the Red Bank rent), it’s just not worth the effort if one of the key figures in our operation’s not gonna run it anymore.
The good news? If you get to the store on the 1st, you’ll still be able to get Smith to autograph a copy of My Boring-Ass Life, plus you’ll be able to get a bunch of stuff 50% off.
As big a fan as Smith is of comics, it is a shame that the store has to close. It was the one place I was hoping to visit the next time I get back to Hell-A, so now there is one less thing on my list of musts that I don’t have to worry about. And if Kevin Smith can’t keep a store open, is this a foreshadow for all the other mom and pop stores trying to push the product to the young-uns and the middle aged?