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.

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Tags: Blockbuster video, Business, Jitters


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Comment by Suzanne Neisler on April 9, 2011 at 10:23pm
I agree with Janet, Any one ever notice that most Starbucks open shop next door or across the street from our local family owned coffee shops? Im a Barista and have seen it too many times.
Comment by Janet Mercer-Grey on April 2, 2011 at 10:27am
Our elected officials should pass an ordinance outlawing those morally evil corporate coffee purveyors who get their beans from plantation growers not properly cross pollinating the plants and who are taking advantage of underpaid workers in 3rd world areas (Like Missouri). Viva la free range coffee beans!
Comment by David Smyle on March 31, 2011 at 11:05pm
Hey Coffee Lovers.  Visit La Mesa Chamber member Marcella Junes Coffee Lounge (8513 La Mesa Blvd) for that non-corporate coffee experience.
Comment by chris shea on March 31, 2011 at 11:46am
It is always a sad thing when a business closes.  Particularly one like Jitters.  Owning a small business is wonderful and scary at the same time.  My heart goes out to Ronny and all concerned.  I hope brighter days lie ahead.
Comment by John C Schmitz on March 31, 2011 at 9:41am
I'm sure these closures are really the fault of those terrible city officials. ;-)

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