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Jitters, Blockbuster Calling It Quits In Downtown
DOWNTOWN LA MESA -- Through more than two decades of change in the coffee business, somehow Jitters, a shop that changed very little in that time, managed to hold on to this little corner of La Mesa Boulevard.
That run ended today as the shop closed -- a victim its owner and current manager said of the weak economy. The same economy and changes in the movie business is also knocking out the Blockbuster Video store just a few hundred feet further down the boulevard.
But it is the loss of Jitters that speaks more to the character of downtown. Regulars -- and if they were few in number they were at least loyal to the end -- gathered for a final cup of coffee and a danish today, making plans to rejoin each other at other local shops.
Some are going to Denny's, some to Cosmos. Virtually all of Jitter's customers unanimously described themselves as not the sorts you'd see at the corporate coffee purveyors.
In fact, part of Jitter's charm was the eclectic nature of its regulars. The young baristas had nicknames for them all:
Country Day Mike, Pineapple Bob. "We had lots of Cowboys,'' said Kira Haley, who has been making coffee for two-and-a-half years while attending San Diego State.
In a note to the public, posted on the store's window, its owner Ronny Muir said: "Most of us have roots here and connections that hopefully will allow us to see you and say hello from time to time. We will miss you all, but will always have a place in our hearts for the memories.''
Just down the street from Jitters, in the Von's plaza, another version of store closing was playing out. Competition from Netflix and on-line movie delivery has eroded Blockbuster's movie rental model.
Signs on the front of the Blockbuster outlet informed customers of the closing date, April 10, and announced the company's bankruptcy filing. Another document informed customers that any outstanding gift cards would only be honored through April 7. Blockbuster's location at 8776 Lake Murray Boulevard will remain open.