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Mustard Seed announces July closing; TGI Fridays permanently shuts down

A man who declined to be identified loads items into a trailer Tuesday at TGI Friday's in Quincy. (H-W Photo/Steve Bohnstedt)
Posted: May. 27, 2014 6:14 pm Updated: Jun. 17, 2014 6:19 pm

By MATT HOPF
Herald-Whig Staff Writer

Three Quincy businesses have shut down or will be closing their doors for good this summer.

Christian bookstore Mustard Seed, 3734 Broadway, will close in mid-July after 30 years in Quincy. Casual sit-down restaurant TGI Fridays, 3311 Broadway, closed on Tuesday, and Poppe's Religious Store in the State and Eighth Plaza also has closed.

Mustard Seed owners Jay Lawler and Jan Keller say the decision to close was not an easy one.

"We are among the stores that are victimized by the change of how people get their goods," Lawler said. "Books and music are two of our primary categories. We're obviously in the age of digital downloads for books and music."

He said the Internet has taken its toll on Christian bookstores, with many shutting down nationwide.

"I'm afraid there are going to be more," Lawler said.

The store's lease also was up for renewal in the Quincy Commons. The store moved to the shopping center in 2011 after moving from the Quincy Mall, where it had been since 1984.

"Our lease came due, and we didn't want to risk what we've seen happen to so many stores," Keller said.

Mustard Seed currently employees seven workers, mostly part-time.

"It was not an easy decision," Keller said. "Our parents started the business in 1975 in Springfield. It's a piece of us."

The Springfield Mustard Seed closed in 2010.

The store had a steady stream of customers on Tuesday as all merchandise was 20 percent off.

"I can't hardly walk 2 feet without hearing people saying they're so thankful for us," Lawler said. "We just want to thank the people of Quincy and the area. We love them, and we're glad to serve them."

The Quincy TGI Fridays franchisee, Fifth Day Quincy, LLC, announced in a press release Tuesday that it has closed the restaurant. It was open for business on Memorial Day, but the doors to the restaurant were locked Tuesday morning. A notice informed customers that the restaurant had permanently closed.

"The decision to close the business came after much deliberation and is due to economic conditions," Kathryn Arnett with Fifth Day Quincy said in the release.

The restaurant opened Dec. 4, 2006.

The release stated that representatives of the company will be contacting employees to discuss final payment arrangements.

Poppe's Religious Store announced on its website last week that it would be shutting down, with everything in the store selling at 40 percent off. On Tuesday, the entrance to the store had a sign that said it would be "closed until further notice."

The store moved to its current location last year after 20 years at 1886 Maine.

Friday marks the last day of operation for the two Quincy Bank of America branches. The bank announced in January that it would be shutting down the two branches and ATMs.

-- mhopf@whig.com/221-3391