Clifton Comics & Games, a part of its community for almost seven
years, has changed names and locations. Owner Steve Struharik now mans
the counter of his new store, Arcadian Comics
, on Monmouth Street in Newport, Kentucky.
His current place of business neighbors The Galaxie Skateshop
and Mammoth Coffee
and is maintaining a good portion of the customers who frequented the
Clifton store. The move itself, however, was a complete surprise.
Struharik recalls his first unofficial notice.
came in, they were looking around, and one guy was taking pictures of
some of the stuff. I asked them what was going on."
One of them mentioned a demolition.
"Are you talking, like, fall?" the then-shocked storeowner recalls asking. "No," the man replied. "Next month. You didn't know?"
Struharik had the circumstances confirmed in writing, it was clear that
he had less than the six-month notice he expected in such an event when
he first began his lease the space through a previous management group.
had a total of about 50 days from when I heard any mention of it before
I had to get out...the biggest (financial) impact is having no income
for 30 days...I had no forewarning," he says. "With this kind of thing,
if I only had two grand in the bank, I'm done."
Uptown Rental Properties LLC manages the property.
Comics was on a month-to-month lease, so either party could give 30
days notice to vacate," says Johnna Mullikin, an Uptown Rental
Properties representative. "To my understanding, that's what was done."
Struharik and Mullikin believe that the current ownership group wants
to use the prime Jefferson Avenue space for student housing.
new shop should feel reasonably familiar to former clientele of Clifton
Comics, and includes specified sections for regular series, graphic
novels and indie books. The upstairs space is devoted to gaming, like
the Magic: The Gathering tournaments Arcadian currently hosts.
the drama, Struharik, who links his love of comics back to an old TV ad
for G.I. Joe #11 he saw as a kid, manages to find some humor in the
"I'm really hoping to win an Eisner Spirit of
Retailing Award for Clifton Comics," he says with a grin, alluding to
the comprehensive application that was accepted shortly before he
learned he'd have to leave. "It would be really fun to win, 'the Spirit
of Retailing Award' (and then say) 'that store's closed.' "
By Adrian Beiting
Photos by Leland Schuler