Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Flea Market Calls It Quits; 'He Tried to Hold On,' but Owner Has to Tell Vendors to Find New Locales within a Month

Newspaper article The Florida Times Union

Flea Market Calls It Quits; 'He Tried to Hold On,' but Owner Has to Tell Vendors to Find New Locales within a Month

Article excerpt

Byline: Roger Bull

Tim Walton opened Trader Tim's only three months ago, selling mostly jewelry. He's not sure what he's going to do.

Neither is Joey Smith, but he's thinking he wants to find a storefront for his Quality Electronics store. He's had enough of flea markets.

But Dollar & Up, which sells everything from tools to lingerie, already has a new home planned. So does Stoney's Barber Shop.

Johnson's Family Flea Market is closing. This is the last weekend for the 55 or so vendors in the former Home Depot on Ramona Boulevard, just off Lane Avenue. They got word of the closing Dec. 13 and were given a month to pack up and leave.

But Sunday is the last day of business.

Brian Wardingo, the manager, said the entire building is leased by Jerry Dukes, the owner of Home Renovations next door. But he said Dukes has been losing money on the flea market.

"He tried to hold on," Wardingo said, "but the electrical bill kills him. He's been taking money out of his own pocket, and he just can't keep doing that."

So Dukes is giving up his lease and will find another location for his home supply store, he said. Home Renovations is closed for the holidays and Dukes couldn't be reached for comment.

Vendors have been dwindling the past few years, other vendors said, and Friday afternoon, most booths were closed and appeared empty.

Now the remaining vendors are their own - Trader Tim's, the Asian-American Market, Uria's Caribbean Spot, the beauty salons and the stalls stacked high with used electronics.

About nine of them, include Dollar & Up and Stoney's, are moving to a former Jim Tatum's menswear shop at 5308 Normandy Blvd.

THEY STILL LIKE A DEAL

Dallas Brown Jr. opened Stoney's Barber Shop (he took the name from a Richard Pryor routine) about three years ago. Business has been good, he said, and overhead has been low: He's been paying $188 a month for a small space with one chair, a counter and a sink. …

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