I actually heard that Herby’s was closed just after I posted my last blog and thought it could wait until next weekend. I find I have time tonight and the issue has become more interesting to me after visiting their web site (http://herbyssodafountain.com/.) Even if you’ve been an infrequent visitor to the square, you might be familiar with the fact that Herby’s closed once before. In fact, I figured more people would be surprised that it had re-opened than with the news that it had closed again. Herby’s was down by the (now empty) Remember This Antique Mall and across the street from the Magic Shop and Hamm’s Custom Meat Market. It was the closest stab at an old-fashioned soda shop that we’ve seen on the square and the only one that I know of. If you haven’t visited their web site yet (shame on you!), they say that they closed on January 2nd but are looking to possibly reopen in another location. I’ll be leaving the link on the blog as long as there seems a chance that there might be more news.
Hopefully, they’ll find another spot downtown that will provide a better experience for them. We certainly could use a real old-fashioned. Down by New Braunfels, there is just the cutest little city named Gruene (pronounced Green). It has a very short Main Street that ends at the Grist Mill River Restaurant. People come to Gruene to play in the river, eat at the restaurant, dance in the Gruene Dance Hall and shop this little Main Street. Smaller than ours. Very rustic. Very romantic. It’s been a long time since I’ve made a trip down there. Reminds me also of another quaint little town out in California named Julian, but that is for another time. The reason I bring it up is that the only store I can actually remember down there (enough to find on the Internet) is the Gruene General Store. Something like this is what I’d love to see come into our downtown. On a hot day, there simply would not be an excuse for not stopping in and getting a malted (okay, maybe because you’ve just had a piece of pie at The Pantry or Spoons … that MIGHT be a valid excuse). Plus, there is precious little in the way of true McKinney souvenirs on the square. That’s what the Gruene General Store provides to their Main Street – fantastic old malteds and a plethora of cheap, colorful souvenirs.
Of course, rumor is that there is an ice cream store coming in where Reigning Cats & Dogs used to be. Maybe. Fingers crossed.
It is worth mentioning that I talked with Diane Craig at 120 about all the openings and closings going on recently and she said that January and February are always volatile months, even during boom times. A lot of leases expire, she says, and people re-evaluate their situations – sometimes moving bigger or smaller. I know this year has seen a lot of health-related closings. So, don’t let it get you down. I will keep my eyes open for the coming new arrivals and post it here as soon as I hear.