Kitchener tea room owner hopeful despite closure

A pair of downtown Kitchener businesses believe in the future of the city, though one is closing and the other is taking a chance.
Silver Spoon closes its doors 1:30

A pair of Kitchener businesses say they believe in the future of the city's downtown, even though one is closing and the other is opening up.  

For The Silver Spoon tea room, rent was too high for its space and is now going out of business, while Bistro Nash is anticipating downtown growth. 

"It's bitter sweet," Judy Horn, co-owner of The Silver Spoon, told CBC News. "The bitter part is just leaving the community, closing up. We've been here for 20 years and have really enjoyed being part of the community. The sweet part is the financial pressures in running the cafe were just overwhelming, so it'll be nice to have that burden lifted."

Horn opened her Kitchener shop three years ago after 17 years in Waterloo. A chocolatier, Horn found that the size of the shop they had opened up was much too large for just making chocolate.

"And then when we found out we couldn't sustain that much space just on chocolate we had to expand into other areas and we really weren't prepared for what that meant financially," she said.

Bistro Nash owner Merv Schwartz moved his restaurant over a year ago from St. Jacobs, where he said it was hard to attract people from Kitchener-Waterloo. He first looked at Waterloo as an option, but rents were too high, so Kitchener became home.

"We knew we were certainly ahead of the curve in terms of coming downtown" Schwartz said. "But we knew if we waited too long we couldn't afford the rents."

Both believe in the future of downtown Kitchener, but feel the need to change people's perception about it being a dangerous place.

"I love the diversity of the downtown," Horn said. "I mean you'll get business people. You'll get high tech people. You'll get university students. You get street people wandering in and it's all good because of that mix. Because it keeps it interesting."