|Silver Spring's Quiznos, Always Displaying an Abundance of Signage|
Chain retailers and restaurants, oft-maligned by commenters on this blog and elsewhere, do serve a purpose. They employ proven business models and generally have the financial wherewithal to survive the losses associated with an initial start-up period, of particular import when opening a location in a "developing" area such as downtown Silver Spring circa 2003. One downside of chains is that that their fate is inexorably linked the corporate parent's fortunes, regardless of how successful an an individual store might prove to be. From what I understand, Silver Spring's Borders was a top performer among stores in the now-defunct chain.
In recent years Silver Spring has lost its Borders, Storehouse Furniture, Bombay Company, Hollywood Video, Ritz Camera and Steve & Barry’s when those companies filed for bankruptcy or significantly downsized. Now comes word that Quiznos, which has operated an outlet on Fenton Street for some time, is in serious financial trouble.
Denver-based Quiznos told lenders July 8 that it would soon violate loan terms, which would put the chain in default and could trigger demands for immediate repayment of its debt.Perhaps known more for their bizarre commercials than their food, Quiznos doesn't really stand out among sandwich options in Silver Spring or elsewhere. There was a brief period preceding the opening of most of the current restaurants in DTSS where Quiznos was one of the few sandwich alternatives to Panera. As a result, I ended up there perhaps once or twice a week for lunch. Now, with all the options that have become available since that time, it has exited my consideration set.
I probably wouldn't miss the food if Quiznos folded, but I'd feel bad for the franchisee, and no one wants to see yet another empty retail space. The adjacent Ritz Camera closed two years ago and somewhat surprisingly a new tenant has yet to move in to its corner space. Another retailer on that block, American Apparel, is in perpetual financial trouble and has an uncertain fate. (Now, that I would miss.)