Love where you live!
LA MESA – Even before completion of the Village streetscape project, a renaissance at the eastern end of La Mesa Boulevard is continuing.
In a significant coup for La Mesa Village, Pierre’s Jewelers, a popular business with deep La Mesa roots, is relocating from Grossmont Shopping Center to the former candy store located next door to Time & Treasures clock store. Pierre’s arrival adds yet another high-end artisan jewelry store to the Village and adds another retail location to counter what had become a spate of office establishments locating to the boulevard in recent years.
Pierre Farhat, owner and operator of Pierre’s Jewelers for more than 25 years, said the uncertainty of obtaining long-term leases at Grossmont Center made him look at the Village and he decided to buy the location (in photo below) at 8324 La Mesa Boulevard and remodel it. The plans for moving his stylish business to the Village have been approved by the city’s Design Review Board and are only lacking the City Council’s final approval in January. Renovation work is underway at the new location and Farhart is hoping the work can be completed in time for him to open as his lease runs out in Grossmont in January.
Nearby merchants are happy that an establishment with Pierre’s history and style will be adding a bit of luster to the neighborhood. With Bo-Beau Kitchen + Garden, Time & Treasures, Blumenthal Jewelers, Mostly Mission, O’Dunn Fine Art and Amethyst Moon all clustered at the avenue’s eastern end, stylish retail may be reaching a tipping point even before the streetscape improvement comes.
“I’ve always kept an eye on the Village,’’ Farhat said as he handled holiday customers this week. “It takes a lot to move a store, but we believe it will be good for our business.’’
Farhat noted the presence of other jewelers in the Village, but said he thinks that’s good for business.
“Competition is good for the shoppers,’’ he said. “It builds traffic for an area too.’’
Farhat came to America from his native Lebanon as a young man. He had been educated in finance and intended to work in the hotel world, but joined the jewelry business instead. After working for a chain, he opened his own business at Grossmont and has been here since (except for a brief stint when he and his family spent two years in Germany caring for a member of his wife, Beatrix’s, family.) The Farhat’s have raised three sons in La Mesa. Beatrix, pictured right, works with Farhat in the family business.
Farhat has developed a reputation for both his honesty and his aesthetic abilities as a jewelry designer. His displays showcase his own work and, after decades in town, he has served multiple generations of some families. Many local weddings, anniversaries and engagements have had Pierre’s touch, allowing him to succeed even in a time when large, corporate jewelry operations have marketed heavily in recent years.