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East End News

Blue Wheeler closing next month

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72 comments

Neighbor2 02/14/2016 at 10:56 AM

Can we close it for good?

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chpn 02/14/2016 at 10:59 AM

@Neighbor2 – The last corner store to show down for “remodeling” has been closed for almost 3 years /2013/04/11/family-super-market-condemned-and-closed-for-remodeling_26985/

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Jeb Wash 02/14/2016 at 11:41 AM

Brian, have a tantrum on some other website.

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Mars 02/14/2016 at 11:50 AM

You had me so excited from the headline. WTW
This mess is an eyesore.

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Jeb Wash 02/14/2016 at 11:53 AM

Landlord wants an increase in rent and also wants renters responsible for upkeep per current employees.

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Kitty T 02/14/2016 at 12:33 PM

John, you’re the best.

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Innocent Smith 02/14/2016 at 12:54 PM

I think most people who care about their personal health and their neighborhood’s economic well-being would take “yuppie bullshit like Union Market” over some falling apart corner bodega.

Blue Wheeler sells nothing of sustenance. 40’s and Virginia Lottery scratchers don’t count.

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mike 02/14/2016 at 12:55 PM

if its really closing. i’m curious if the owner will finally sell the structure.

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JessOfRVA 02/14/2016 at 1:11 PM

Not that I’m not thoroughly entertained by a good comment section dust up, but I think there’s an underlying point here: That end of the neighborhood has now lost–YES, LOST–two businesses that supply food and drink and normalize the area (not by means of gentrification, but have folks walking and shopping in the neighborhood).

We need more neighborhood businesses. I’m sad to see this place close.

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Matt Conrad 02/14/2016 at 1:40 PM

If they are actually closing for a time, you need to look into whether or not it imperils their ABC license. If you can get them to a hearing, you could dramatically restrict the format of their alcohol sales program.

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bozatwork 02/14/2016 at 7:22 PM

Church Hill is such a unique neighborhood. I love that people are debating the pros and cons of this news.

Personally, I lived at Chimborazo and Marshall for five years. Most of all I will miss the overflowing trash in every public can for blocks around the market, especially at the bus stop on Marshall by the school. The 40s bags and chip bags and candy wrappers that I gathered every week were useful time spent on my part. I enjoyed communing with nature like the rats that fed on the trash and the introspection that trash pickup time provided.

It’s too bad the empty lot across the street is being developed because it made such a convenient place for trash dumping without repercussion. The gentlemen that loitered on the sidewalk were so pleasant to passersby. They would only charge my sick/alcoholic neighbor $1 to bring him a 40 and some smokes, since he was too sick/drunk to make the walk regularly himself. Nice grassroots business effort, in some ways trailblazing for Relay Foods.

I recall many neighbors talking of going to buy some scratchers but I don’t seem to remember anyone moving out of the neighborhood and buying a mansion with their winnings. They probably just kept it on the downlow.

It’s a big loss to the neighborhood. If I hadn’t moved, I looked forward to explaining to my children on their walk to school every observation related to the Blue Wheeler. I’m sure the building’s decline would have continued apace and been compelling in its crumbling. Oh the stories we could have told each other.

I’m sure city council has a great explanation as to why these places can sell volumes of alcohol unrestricted but local bars/restaurants are confined by percentage of sales resulting from alcohol. Who really has a great effect?

I’m no puritan and certainly enjoy a good time myself, but after observing this business’ impact on residents and the cycle of alcoholism, unemployment and poverty, I am not sorry to see it go.

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craig 02/15/2016 at 12:04 AM

if u never bought country club malt liquor from blue wheeler, FUCK YOU!!!!!

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Trish 02/15/2016 at 4:07 AM

Supposedly–that’s the operative word–the owners are planning on remodeling the bottom floor and creating apartments on the upper.

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Hill Runner 02/15/2016 at 9:01 AM

@32 Boz, Appreciate the nostalgia, but I think the general assembly has more of a say on alcohol sales than city council.
http://richmondbizsense.com/2016/01/21/bar-owners-take-shot-at-changing-45-percent-rule/

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Lee 02/15/2016 at 4:30 PM

I’ve been in there twice, maybe three time. Once, my foot went *through* the floor while I was shopping. I’m not exactly svelte, but seriously…

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Sharon Pederson 02/16/2016 at 3:57 PM

Interesting comments but surely there is another word that could sub for f**k that is equally descriptive?

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Ginny 02/16/2016 at 9:59 PM

Can’t say I love the selection at Blue Wheeler, but we do feel very at home there. Love seeing the folks from the group home interact with the staff and my kids always love stopping in. Milk is maybe absent, but as the staff pointed out, keeping it in stock and fresh would do nothing but lose money for them with their current clientele. They always keep mini ice cream sandwiches on hand though, and my kids love going for a special summer treat. At 3/$1, it’s far more reasonable of a treat than anywhere nearby. They also carry some “staples”: canned beans, spaghetti, ramen (add some fresh veggies and it’s almost “healthy”), etc. Yes, as I write this, I know most of these things don’t appeal to anyone reading. Ultimately if you want your neighborhood markets to carry what you want, you have to be their customers. I’m sad to see it close. Not everyone can afford to shop at Union Market or Urban Farmhouse, and it’s great to be able to grab bus passes, a six pack, and of course, ice cream at a moment’s notice.

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Ben 02/17/2016 at 11:41 AM

I love blue wheeler! Neighborhood staple. Hope they really do reopen.

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nadine 02/17/2016 at 2:31 PM

I love the blue wheeler and the people that work there are awesome. I personally feel they should win a award for staying open through snowpocalypse.

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Ginny 02/17/2016 at 10:20 PM

Amen, Nadine! I was so impressed with that! They all have a great work ethic.

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Jeb Wash 02/18/2016 at 1:57 PM

Long live the Blue Wheeler!

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Melissa 02/18/2016 at 3:11 PM

Where oh where will we get our cigs, beer and scratch-off tickets? Would like to see it reopen with equal emphasis on grocery staples.

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C.Hiller 02/19/2016 at 4:12 AM

Frankly I would be glad to see them go. After hearing inappropriate comments directed toward my wife from the guy behind the counter several times we stopped going, which sucks because it was quite convenient. They have never been too friendly though, and I find that chimbo has most of what I need, friendly workers and none of the shitty comments. I would be delighted to have a similar bodega with a better owner though.

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Kathleen Sanders 02/19/2016 at 9:44 AM

I agree that we need a corner store in this area but I think/hope the BW’s time has come to an end. Nothing against the guys that currently run it as they’ve always been very nice to me. The place is a pig sty tho and I think their business is down in the last few years. We need a store that sells milk and bread, cigs, beer and wine, and, yes, scratchers. But no more drug paraphelnelia and 40s. We need something like a urban Union Market up here. Also, there’s the empty lot attached to the BW that could be turned into a patio….. Just sayin’.

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Kitty T 02/20/2016 at 8:14 AM

According to the young man working at the Wheeler, they’ve struck a deal with the landlord and won’t be closing. And I am supportive of their remaining open. It’s a perfectly fine place to pick up beer and sodas. The smell in the back area could improve but I’d have picked this place over the overpriced and poor food/wine selections that were available at the Urban Farmhouse.

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chpn 03/18/2016 at 9:46 AM

Front door padlocked this morning

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Kathleen 03/18/2016 at 4:27 PM

They are open now. They aren’t keeping regular hours – closing early and opening late a lot of days.

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chris b 03/18/2016 at 7:19 PM

Guy behind the counter Wednesday night said they would be moving, didn’t really know when or where- though it sounded like not in the neighborhood.

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crd 03/29/2016 at 5:12 PM

Just drove by this afternoon, it’s closed, they were removing the signs and some shelves from inside. Sign says ‘we’ve moved to Clay St. Market’ and the very nice man who was carrying things out came over to me, said they had moved, that this place needed repairs that the landlord would not make, so they moved.

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Blue Wheeler building for sale for $450,000 - Church Hill People's News | Richmond, Virginia 10/06/2016 at 9:04 AM

[…] The Blue Wheeler closed earlier this year. […]

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