It looks like the economy is still taking its toll on small businesses. This time, Cellar Rat, a fantastic boutique wine shop in Bucktown, will shut its doors on Nov. 15 after more than five years. Owner Dean Schlabowske sent out an email on Tuesday announcing the closure saying, "I've been struggling for some time. With a poor economy and ever increasing competition for a slice of a smaller pie, it's time to move on. While the store has been quite a drain on me financially and physically, there is still much of the experience for which I'm so grateful."
While thanking his loyal customer, Schlabowske invited people in to help him clear out his stock to offset the "huge deficit" he'll face upon closing. He also reminds people who have ordered wine to come pick it up because after Nov. 15 the store will be empty. While it's bittersweet, Schlabowske isn't having a pity party. "It's sad to see a dream not work out but this has been far from a loss. I'll go forward in life much better off and I owe you all a debt of gratitude for the part you played. Thank you from the bottom of my heart!"
[Photo: Chicago Reader]