Strollers along the corner of South Pine and Spring streets in Nevada City were greeted Sunday with an unusual sight: two broken halves of Nevada City Marketplace’s business sign leaned against one another with R.I.P. painted on them.
This caused some confusion. Was the store closed? Was this vandalism?
“That was my husband’s art project. A protest with the city for not getting the sign approved,” said Caroline Szekely, who operated Nevada City Marketplace until Friday.
Szekely and her husband, Rick, opened just before the 2011 Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival. They closed their doors at Nevada City Marketplace for the last time Friday, not intending to open them again, she said.
“The only thing I am really going to miss are the people,” Szekely said. “I have had some great moments in that store. Met some great people and now my family gets me back.”
Nevada City Marketplace was the primary business at the location, selling a variety of healthful beverages, fine wines, gourmet cheeses, soups, sandwiches, sweet treats, vegan items and fruit, honey, local pottery and artisan soaps. Tanglewood and Gourmet Goods also operate out of the building.
Nevada City’s planning commission had not only been working with the marketplace since September on bringing their sign into compliance
with the 24-square-foot requiremen, but city officials say commissioners themselves had been assigned to work as liaisons with business.
“Last I knew, we were hoping to set up a meeting with liaison to meet with them. We were surprised to see they had moved,” said City Planner Cindy Siegfried.
“Every other business has met the requirement,” she said. “There has never been a variance.”
While the sign demonstration was a result of the Szekelys’ vexation with the city over their signage, the shuttering stemmed from a decision early on to go with an architectural design during remodeling of the building that prohibited indoor dining, Szekely said.
“I feel bad for the owners who spent tons of money remodeling their business,” Szekely said.
Building owners Carl and Nancy Novak declined to comment on this story.
To contact Staff Writer Christopher Rosacker, email firstname.lastname@example.org or call (530) 477-4236.