Mitzi & Romano, the longstanding women's clothing and accessories boutique located in the heart of Virginia-Highland at the corner of North Highland & Virginia Avenues, closed this past Friday night. With seemingly no notice or "liquidation sale," the boutique was emptied out Friday evening and by Saturday afternoon, the store was barren. No message or explanation was posted outside the store itself, nor on their Facebook page. The store's phone number is disconnected, while their Facebook remains live and suggests the store is open normal business hours.
Neighborhood sources say that the 25+ year old boutique was not offered a renewal of their lease, and was forced to close. A real estate contact suggests that the business may have been in trouble, possibly behind on rent, and as such was not offered a lease renewal.
Mitzi & Romano had been a Virginia-Highland neighborhood favorite since opening in the late 80s. The store has moved , expanded, and shrunk a few times over the years, but managed to remain in business, weathering the advent of the internet and economic slowdowns.
Strangely, in mid July, fellow Virginia-Highland small business Bella Cucina Artful Food also abruptly closed, leaving many in the neighborhood distressed. Word later surfaced that the company had filed bankruptcy earlier in the year and public records show the company owed a tremendous amount of money to a number of creditors and allegedly had been unable to pay rent for a number of months.
Will you miss Mitzi & Romano? What is your favorite Virginia-Highland business? What would you most like to see open in place of Mitzi & Romano? Please share your thoughts below.