A&W All American Food restaurant and Bakers shoe store at Boise Towne Square mall closed for good Monday afternoon. Aldo plans to open a shoe store in the former Bakers space in 2013.
For the A&W restaurant, a steady loss of business in the past few years came to a head over the 2012 holiday shopping season. The store's owners decided it was time to close the restaurant they'd opened 19 years ago.
"It's a sad day," said Lynn Banks, who owns the A&W restaurant with her husband Dale Banks.
"We moved to Idaho, and the mall hadn't been opened that long," she said. "There were cows in what is now a parking lot."
The couple also owns a TacoTime restaurant in the mall food court, which will remain open. Employees of the A&W restaurant were told they can apply for jobs at TacoTime, Banks said.
Banks said the A&W restaurant was a "fun, very successful restaurant" for years. It simply couldn't withstand the down economy, a slower stream of customers and the rising cost of ingredients and payroll taxes, she said.
The new Aldo store is slated to open in early 2013 in the space that has been occupied by Bakers. Aldo currently has no stores in Idaho, according to its website.
Renovations on the Aldo store could start as soon as Tuesday, according to a mall spokeswoman.
Bakers Footwear Group is undergoing a Chapter 11 bankruptcy reorganization. Aldo recently cut a deal to take over 47 stores from Bakers Footwear, including the Boise store, according to a November report from a commercial real estate company, CoStar Group.
"On a daily basis we took innovative fashion risks while continually challenging ourselves to think creatively," the Bakers group's CEO Peter Edison said in a statement on the company's website. "However, a number of factors have caused us to lose money in recent years."
The company now lists no stores in Idaho or surrounding states, except for Nevada.