After 76 Years, Hudson Valley’s Favorite Family Store Will Close
A Hudson Valley store that opened two years after the end of World War II announced that it will close its doors forever in May.
On Monday, the news sent shockwaves throughout the Hudson Valley. Another longtime family business will be ending as the Hudson Valley continues to "evolve". An influx of new residents with sophisticated taste and big-city sensibilities is transforming many quaint small towns into havens for hipsters and the uber-rich. While this may be great for the local economy, it also spells doom for many family-run businesses.
It feels like every week we share another story about a longtime local restaurant or shop that is closing down. Just a few days ago we learned that the Futon King will be stepping down from his throne after 40 years. We've also learned about the retirement of the legendary bar owner, Jim Loughran, from his eponymous pub in Salisbury Mills and the imminent sale of Newburgh's 50-year-old pizza shop.
While news of these family businesses either closing or changing hands has been hard to hear, this latest closure is a huge hit to the gut.
In 1947 A. L. Stickle Variety Store opened its doors on East Market Street in Rhinebeck. Since then the five-and-dime store has been visited by generations of Hudson Valley residents. What's truly amazing is that the store has barely changed since opening. While the rest of Rhinebeck has transformed around it, A.L. Stickle continued to operate pretty much the same way it had since opening at the end of the Franklin D. Roosevelt administration. Whether you needed a button to repair a shirt, an ice cube tray, a child's toy, a table cloth or an old-fashioned candy treat, A.L. Stickle has been always been the place to find it all.
I lived in northern Hyde Park in the 1990s and considered the Village of Rhinebeck my hometown. Over the years I bemoaned the changes that were happening to the friendly village I loved. One by one, my favorite restaurants and shops began closing to make way for trendy bistros and high-end clothing shops. But there was always A.L. Stickle. Refusing to change like that stubborn great grandfather that preferred the daily newspaper over the Internet.
The good news is that customers will have a few weeks to plan their last trip to A.L. Stickle before it becomes a vegan ice pop store or another place to purchase $400 jeans. According to a posting from the store, the business will officially close its doors on Saturday, May 20.