Quoth the raven:
Evermore Nevermore, downtown Mesa's alternative art, clothing and collectibles shop, will be closing in December.
The last day the store will be open for business is Dec. 9, coinciding with the downtown community's monthly Second Friday block party, which always has been a keystone for Evermore Nevermore. Until then, everything in the store will be discounted 25 percent. Even fixtures will be sold, and starting Dec. 10 the store will be closed for clean-out, with the supposedly haunted storefront at 127 W. Main St. vacated by Dec. 15.
In a statement on the store's website, owners Bob and Debbie Leeper express their continued desire to support the area's remaining merchants, artists and events, and say they will keep organizing popular events such as Steampunk Street and the Second Friday art walks. They also pledge to keep using social media and blogs to promote the community they are exiting.
"We started Evermore Nevermore with very meager finances and on a wing and a prayer, and we've been up against obstacles that the best conceived businesses in the world would have trouble overcoming, including the recession and poor economy, downtown Mesa corruption and collusion, politics and pettiness, imitators and thieves, halfway-house bums and addicts, and a location that often resembled a ghost town," the statement reads.
"With stubborn determination we've given this venture absolutely everything we have, including our life-savings, thousands of unpaid hours, the happiness and well-being of our family, our health, and we've incurred an enormous amount of debt that will haunt us for many years beyond our closing."
The Leepers add that they are willing to entertain serious offers to purchase the business.
When Evermore Nevermore opened in October 2010, it quickly won the favor of the Valley's many steampunk and counter-culture aficionados by bringing the underground to the surface, shaking up downtown Mesa's sleepy image with goth accessories, zombie hunting paraphernalia and otherworldly art. Its owners took a leading role in promoting the downtown area by organizing signature events tied to Second Friday, as well as smaller do's like craft workshops that appealed to niches that included steampunk jewelry makers and fans of H.P. Lovecraft.
Evermore Nevermore is largely responsible for creating the climate that attracted newer businesses like Gotham City Comics & Coffee, hackerspace HeatSync Labs, The Royale cinema, the Monsterland haunted house and movie museum and Lulubell Toy Bodega. Recently, Bob Leeper began blogging on Nerdvana about pop culture news. I hope he continues, because his finger is on the pulse of so many cool things and he can use it as a platform to support them for the enrichment of all.
On Nerdvana, I have never shied from championing the little curiosity shop -- because Evermore Nevermore never shied from championing downtown Mesa, and indeed supporting Nerdvana itself. I hope I gave equal weight to other local shops, but I'm not sure there is, or ever again will be, another so personally engaged in trying to lift up its surroundings. I only hope I'm wrong.