Bethesda Institution, Bruce Variety closed its doors yesterday. It’s been located in the Bradley Boulevard Shopping Center on Arlington Road for as long as most people can remember. It is difficult to imagine any single store that could fill the place of Bruce Variety in the community. Bruce offered a little bit of everything you can imagine.
It had a children’s room with books and games, a household section, bolts of fabric that you could buy by the yard, sewing and knitting supplies, wigs, socks and underwear, school and party supplies, beads and buttons, rakes, jewelry, nail supplies, picture frames, cleaners, cards, gift wrap, holiday decorations…the list goes on and on.
Last year, there was a shuffling of stores in the Bradley Boulevard Shopping Center. A book store was added and a gift store was cut in half. Rental prices play a huge part in this shake up. Sadly, the $22,000 monthly rental means the Shopping Center will lose this neighborhood institution. Luckily, Bethesda will not be losing Bruce Variety altogether. Posted on their store front is their moving sign announcing their new location with March 2013 as their re-opening date.
I can’t wait to see if the new Bruce Variety will offer the odd and wonderfully diverse selection of products that the Arlington Road store has offered for so many years. Or, will their new inventory be different? And will they fill the same niche that Bruce Variety has filled for so many years. I guess I will have to wait until March to find out.