CARBONDALE, Ill. (KFVS) - If you live, work or shop in Carbondale you’ll notice some big changes to businesses throughout the community.
Some businesses are packing up to leave and some are getting ready to open.
On Monday, Jan. 6, Macy’s announced it will close its Carbondale location which resulted in hundreds of comments on social media.
Pinch Penny Pub and Copper Dragon is a family-owned staple in the Carbondale community for 47 years. According to its owner Jimmy Karayiannis, it’s now closed.
“Some of it’s about just going a different direction with life, some of it’s about the market situation in Carbondale, some of it’s about just looking for a new opportunity,” Karayiannis said.
He explained you can’t be two places at once and be successful at either one.
“My father started this business with his family back in the 1970s and he’s nearing 80 years old. I have young children. My brother, who’s my partner, has a child,” he said.
Up the road on East Main Street sits a business coming into town. Buckwater Breworks & Whiskey House, formerly in the Street Bar location, will open soon.
Their owner Dan Terry is still hopeful for the town and his investment, despite businesses closing.
“I think it [the brewery] will be successful or I wouldn’t be trying to do it," Terry said. “Breweries are a big thing now all over the country and I felt Carbondale was a prime candidate for a brewery.”
Terry said he’s thankful for assistance and support from the City of Carbondale.
"The city has been extremely helpful on this project and that goes a long way right there,” he said.
The City of Carbondale’s Economic Development Director Steven Mitchell said the change everyone is noticing with businesses is not uncommon.
“What we are seeing is just a natural business cycle," he said.
Mitchell compares the current times in Carbondale, to the 1980s and ’90s when he was a student at Southern Illinois University.
“Half the businesses that I frequented have been replaced with new businesses,” Mitchell said.
He also explained every situation with each business is different.
“It’s not that Carbondale is doing a bad job working with businesses, or that enrollment is so bad it’s pushing them out, it’s these folks are getting ready to retire and there is no one to come in behind them and fill their roles,” Mitchell said.
It’s estimated at least a half dozen new businesses will be coming to Carbondale in the early part of 2020, according to Mitchell.
“What we can do is, we can make Carbondale as business friendly as possible, and as attractive as possible to do business in," he suggested.
Since 1976, Quatros Pizza has been in business. Owner Steve Payne credits his business stability to consistency and continuity.
“We’ve become that anchor of places to visit when you come back, whether you’ve been in school 40 years ago, 20 years ago or 10 years ago,” Payne said. “We think that we’ve left a mark on somebody’s life one way or another, directly or indirectly.”
Adapting to clientele is one of the recommendations Payne gives to other business owners.
Over the last year, the city of Carbondale has more than $15 million in new development and six new restaurants, along with a handful of other businesses closing or selling.
“The uncertainty of tomorrow is scary for some people, but for some people, it’s exciting,”Karayiannis concluded.