The Silver Snail is the latest casualty of the Queen West squeeze. They’ll be closing their doors sometime in 2012 and (hopefully) opening in a new location in a different part of the city. Owner Ron Van Leeuwen is retiring and selling the business after 35 years.
I’m not the kind of person who pines for the old days, but I have mixed feelings about the news. I think it has less to do with the fact that the Snail itself is relocating (I had a stronger reaction when I heard Bakka Books was moving and shed a tear when I discovered Pages had closed its doors) so much as this was one of the last signposts of the old Queen Street West, which has completely lost its soul since chains like Shoppers Drug Mart and American Apparel have moved in. (Will Steve Music Store be far behind?)
“I think what’s going on on Bloor St. is very special right now,” says Mark Askwith. “Queen St. for whatever reason has become a place where fashion rules rather than counterculture.”- read the story
I just hope the new owners can find a home better suited to where its clientele can be found shopping these days. But moving off the busy Queen West strip (and away from the MuchMusic studio) means a lot of the celebrity drop-in moments might not happen anymore.
Where will the Snail go?
“If we can find a big enough space it would be cool to have a café inside,” says George Zotti [current manager and new owner]. He cast his eye to the northwest and sees the bookish neighbourhood of the Annex, already home to book shops Book City and BMV and the city’s other renowned comic destination, The Beguiling. That would be a “good fit.”
Those plans sound pretty sweet. And while I will miss the old girl, I’ll date the new one so long as she’s not too fancy.
A word of advice, if I can be so humble, try to keep the cool store fronts.
Update: Check out details on the new location