by Lee DeVito
As was announced last week, Detroit's Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe is closing after just 16 months of business, according to a press release. The store will offer 25 percent off all items until 8 p.m. today.
Opened by brothers Peter and Michael Solaka, Ye Olde Butcher Shoppe was fraught with difficulties from the beginning, facing a flood, a bankrupt landlord and a string of break-ins in its early months. The brothers knew it would be hard to compete with chains like Whole Foods, which was subsidized with at least $4.2 million in city, state and federal tax incentives and grants, as well as Meijer, both of which opened within city limits in the following months.
"There is no doubt that when they opened, our sales dropped by 60% and have remained close to that ever since," they said in a release. "We knew when [Whole Foods] announced their store in Detroit that we would have to evolve quickly once they opened." The Solakas say they were close to acquiring a package liquor license and expanding the Shoppe's craft beer and fine wine selections.
Peter Solaka will continue to run Gourmet Deli in the Renaissance Center, while Michael will continue as a partner in the Northern Lights Lounge. They posted the following message on their Facebook page:
Thank you to the many customers and friends who stopped by over the weekend. It was truly moving and inspiring to hear your words of support and inspiration.
We will continue our 25% off store wide sale today until 8pm. we still have tons of dry goods, spices, pasta, beer, wine & champagne to sell along with a limited supply of lunch meat, cheese, frozen meats and seafood.