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Tony's Sports Novelties, Melaka Restaurant Shut Their Doors

The closure of the two businesses continues the trend downtown of vacant storefronts.

Tony's Sports Novelties has had a "Store Closing" sign in its windows for months.

Now that time has actually come.

Tony's recently shut its doors for good after being open in San Bruno since 1997.

Owner Tony Micallef had said before that and that he didn't know how much longer the store could stay open.

The closing of the store continues the trend downtown of vacant storefronts.

Nearby, Melaka Restaurant also recently closed. It's not clear why the Asian buffet went out of business. According to the restaurant's Yelp page, it has been closed since at least June.

The building is now up for lease.

What do you think should replace these businesses?

linda D September 13, 2012 at 03:18 PM
Martin: I heard that the San Bruno City is enforcing that all landlords update their building since they are all so old or tear them down on El Camino. I know of one person wasn't going to rent because he found out that the city was enforcing this order on landlords and tried to give this guy a short lease and he thought why should I get a short lease and start all over aging trying to find a spot. When is the city going to enforce this on the landlords and what time period are they giving them they apparently keep putting this off for years but the landlords are doing nothing to update. If you look in back of Tony's there are 4 businesses that moved out it looks like a ghost down.... Annemarie D
phdog September 13, 2012 at 03:34 PM
Move the post office back!
Susan Wing September 13, 2012 at 05:07 PM
San Bruno needs a big change. I live in San Bruno and won't go down town. It's not like it use to be many years ago. It use to be fun to walk down town and go shopping. Now what would a person buy unless you are a different nationality. Look at Millbrae, Burlingame and San Mateo and get a clue!
Victor Montoya Jr. September 13, 2012 at 06:35 PM
What's wrong with a little culture? Put some spice in that bland dinner you're used to making. Buy something to wear from another country that you won't find in our southern neighbors downtown. Maybe San Bruno's down town buildings just need a face lift. No need to get rid of the stores just upgrade their buildings.
Karin Cunningham September 13, 2012 at 06:55 PM
I think it would be fun to have some "downtown" events like a "Wine Walk" or small cultural festival...I know it takes some work but small venues a few times a year could be an added attraction!
Kirsten P September 13, 2012 at 07:13 PM
Karin, the Chamber would love to have you as an ambassador to help coordinate something fun like a "Wine Walk". We'll chat.
Victor Montoya Jr. September 13, 2012 at 07:19 PM
When I was younger I seem to remember a lot more events going on downtown. These days not so much.
Karin Cunningham September 13, 2012 at 07:33 PM
Sounds GOOD, Kirst! :) :) :)
Carol September 13, 2012 at 08:05 PM
We used to have an art and wine festival in lower San Bruno. Sadly, people got too drunk and then fights always broke out. The vendors didn't like how things got and they stopped coming to our town. The art and wine festival became more like a drunken flea market.
Salina Welsh September 13, 2012 at 08:40 PM
San Bruno is a home to one of the busiest airport. Why can't we do something to attract tourism to boost our local economy. We should look at airport city around the world to see how they develop ideas to trap travelers and businesses around tourism. Apply the Aerotropolis concept to our vision of San Bruno. Rezoning along the transit corridor, to have more boutique hotels or bed and breakfast within the walking distance of BART and bring life and money to our city. BTW $7.00 for just one stop to the airport on the BART is a bit much.
Mary an Stanley September 13, 2012 at 09:52 PM
I agree with everyone! Downtown NEEDS a Major uplift before it becomes a ghost town... More than it is. Talking to several people on The Chamber has led to nothing but promises. 10 years ago I saw with my own eyes , plans that were to take place on San Mateo Ave. The plans were beautiful ! Sadly NOTHING happened. It's a shame , San Mateo Ave was once "talk of the town". Now it is ignored . Tell me, what do we do to help San Bruno Live? I have tons of ideas , anybody else?
Barbara Abitsch September 13, 2012 at 10:51 PM
Most people in San Bruno go to Bayhill and Tanforan - buildings uptown are shabby - too much ethnicity uptown - bigger coffee shop - joe's is too small - ups store - large dollar store - street fairs - farmers market (more than one block) market like lunardi's - post office - better beauty shops - donut shop - bakery - large drug store - Barbara
John Hanson September 15, 2012 at 06:24 PM
How about trying a place that sells American Food.
John Hanson September 15, 2012 at 06:48 PM
A Steak House or Prime Rib place to replace Melaka and Chick - Fil - A or 7/11 to replace Tony's sports. Also a Wing Stop to replace Sign store.
John Hanson September 16, 2012 at 12:26 AM
How about Sprinkles Cup Cakes at the old Hair Salon and an Apple computer store at the old Furniture Store.
Constantino Anezinos September 16, 2012 at 06:05 AM
I am unsure why everyone is suggesting business, as if the city has control of who enters the vacant buildings... Its pretty simple if you want businesses to move it; make it attractive for them That being said why doesn't the city invest in making san mateo avenue nicer by beautification-- it will serve them in the long run as businesses will generate sales tax revenue and unsecured property tax revenues.
Susan September 17, 2012 at 03:12 AM
I grew up on the avenue in the late 50's. Todd's Toys, Ross, Lou Amrofells, Hallmark Shop, Candy Fair, Maule's Drug and fountain., El Camino Theater. Downtown San Bruno has gone too far down to ever return. Tear it all down with all the other construction and start over.
Salina Welsh September 22, 2012 at 05:33 PM
How about San Bruno Cable Provide free WiFi on San Mateo Ave Downtown to bring more foot traffic to the businesses and that will attract new investor as well as helping the existing business owners. The city should give grant to the bussiness owner to fix up their store front from looking shabby.
watchfultaxpayer October 07, 2012 at 07:46 PM
Hasn't a lot of that been tried over the years??? I can't recall how many 'beautifications' have been done. In fact one of them diminished parking places by putting in those sidewalk 'islands' with trees. Had we had good government leadership with vision, downtown SB might have been retained as a kind of 'Old Town'' but alas..... It is a shame that America is so willing to level old and build new. It is no wonder Europe thinks we are 'less than.' We rarely preserve our own history. That having been said, downtown San Bruno is dirty and mostly appears to be dangerous not to mention the way its denizens urinate at will on the streets and walls of buildings. One has to be looking for a particuar kind of ethnic ingredient or food to even venture into the northern part. Can't build a succesful business when your customers are few and far between. I certainly don't have a suggestion for making it a destination spot. Building more hotels for tourist within walking distance of BART would require taking peoples homes and that is a terrible idea. And don't forget our high transient tax. As for Makala, I wouldn't mind seeing a restaurant reappear there on the lines of the old Lyon's.The structure and coffee shop design are still there. I'd bet it would be successful. I'd bet there are many who yearn for plain old 'diner' food. If I had the resources I'd take that leap of faith. As it is I'm being maxed out by utility billl increases and Bond and Parcel Taxes.
linda D November 15, 2012 at 05:21 PM
Oh and don't forget TGI Friday's that is vacant too!! What about putting trader Joes?? Or Stacks like in Burlingame, we need more good variety to be brought into San Bruno so we can bring in good merchants... who is doing this at the chamber or city level are their putting out information to various company to say hey we have a good town to bring your company too???? Or maybe the leases are too high for someone to start a new business...You know how the landlords are now $$$$ give a guy 3 months free rent landlords can afford it. If they don't get a tenant in they get a tax break, when they get a tenant then they start to pay taxes on the rent ( Quote from my tax friend)see what I mean ...This is to all you landlords...come on loosen up a bit..You get a deal out of it. Don't forget vacant space Landlords don't have to pay taxes, Renting then they pay $$ which would you choose if you're a landlord?? That's the problem it should be the other way around but it's not.

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