NORWALK, Conn. – Jack Chiaramonte is closing up shop at SoNo Silver, lamenting the lack of business due to the economy.
Good news for you – Chiaramonte is liquidating everything in the store between now and Christmas, so there will be good deals for anyone looking for reasonably priced jewelery, evening bags, sunglasses, garden ornaments and salt lamps.
SoNo Silver is located at 58 North Main St., in a plaza owned by Chiaramonte’s parents.
“It’s just not worth being there,” said Chiaramonte, a Board of Education member. “I mean, we have people coming in all the time, they look but they can’t afford to buy now. It’s just a sign of the times. I hate to do it, I don’t want to do it, but I’m better off renting the store and getting the rent on it, and doing something else.”
Chiaramonte spent last summer on Martha’s Vineyard, trying to make ends meet with a booth on the street, he said. He was disappointed. Even there, with people on vacation in an upscale area, he didn’t do that well, he said. People just don’t have the discretionary income these days, he said.
Times are tough in SoNo, said Chairamonte, who came to Norwalk in 1991 because he heard people spend money here. He and his brother had restaurants, but when his brother died seven years ago at 41, Chiaramonte got out of restaurants and into jewelry, he said.
“I was set up to be more of a reasonable store but still they have cut down on it,” he said. “So there is nothing you can do, it just is what it is. I think people are worrying about what the cost of their health care is going to be and then they’re worried about their jobs.”
Jeff’s Cuisine closed in Sono last January. Blue Moon closed, Chiaramonte said. Some businesses that were going to come in didn’t do it, he said.
Then there was the closing of Sassafras in July, after 29 years on Washington Street. Owner John Deorio is a good businessman, but started feeling a pinch two or three years ago, Chiaramonte said.
“(I kept telling him) it’s going to get better, it’s going to get better, and it got worse and worse and worse,” Chiaramonte said. “It’s just reality setting in for me. I said I’ve had enough.”