Contributed by Ariel Cheung
LAKEVIEW — Turns out, retirement may not be all it's cracked up to be.
At least that's the case for Mark Thomas, former owner of punk mecca The Alley, which shuttered after 39 years in business.
So Friday, he's announcing plans to reopen in Lakeview in 2017.
"I hear from customers almost on a daily basis, asking if we'll reopen," Thomas said. "It's killing me. I'm bored, I miss my customers, and I can't wait to be with them again."
Thomas said he "had a ball" during his year off, taking trips with his wife to small business hotspots like Portland and Seattle to see what the latest trends are. He also had several surgeries, with a few more planned to close out 2016.
After that, Thomas said he'll head to Thailand and Indonesia to pick up interesting trinkets to restock The Alley. He's aiming to open in May or June.
There will be some changes: Thomas said The Alley will reopen as a showroom for leather apparel and shoes, although T-shirts, jewelry and accessories will be sold, just as before.
Thomas said he expects to offer piercings, but no tattoos. The showroom will allow for a wider selection, as the store won't have to keep a large stockpile — similar to a Warby Parker-esque supply-on-demand approach, where customers can order goods and have them ready for pickup later, Thomas said.