New business needed

‘Tis the holiday season.
Hanukkah is here and Christmas is just a few days away. So, we set aside the
sharpened pen, look back at 2011 and forward to wishes for 2012.

Chadds Ford Township lost three
businesses in 2011. One, Toys and Tales in Olde Ridge, had been a mainstay for
years in two different incarnations at the Ridge Road shopping center.

The other two were in the heart
of the township, the village itself, and their demise reflected a weakening of
the pulse in Chadds Ford.

Gone are the Old Wooden Market
and Barn House Coffee.

Old Wooden was the market and
deli located at Route 1 and Station Way Road, in the strip mall with the bank
and Post Office. It, too, had several incarnations, being the Cattie Shack at
one point but better known when it was the Wawa.

The location suffered when Wawa
pulled out in 2008 and never fully recovered, though successive owners did try
to make a go of it. Bill Bondarchuk was the last of those owners. He was forced
to yield in May of this year. Not enough traffic.

While there wasn’t enough
traffic to keep the market and deli going, it was still a good place to catch
up with friends and neighbors while grabbing a morning newspaper and a cup of

Fordians not in a rush to grab
a cup and go to work also lost a hangout. Barn House Coffee and Tea pulled out
of the Barn Shops at the end of August. Here, too, was a place for friends to
gather, actually sit down — inside and out — over a cup and just talk in a
friendly and relaxed atmosphere established by proprietor Bill Githens.

We miss both places and their
proprietors. Let’s face it, people make the place.

Now there is another coffee
shop farther down Route 1. It’s Mushrooms in Pennsbury Township. It’s a fine
place, but it’s not in the village of Chadds Ford and that’s where the
gathering spot should be.

There is some small hope on the
horizon. Casey Lafferty, one of the new owners of the strip mall where Old
Wooden used to be, said recently that he and his partner are actively looking
to get either a market or coffee shop to move in.

We’d like to see that happen in
2012. Make it a place where people can sit down and chat, even gossip, and just
generally socialize.

Happy Holidays from the staff

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