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Racked Recap 2008: The Seven Saddest Closures

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With only a few hours left in 2008, it's time to look back at a year of dizzying highs and crushing lows, of one major economic collapse and many minor shopping frenzies. Folks, it's the annual (two years running!) Racked Recap. This week, we'll be reliving our biggest and brightest (and saddest and darkest) moments. Take a deep breath of the sweet, sweet nostalgia.

We lost a lot of good stores this year. And since this economy business doesn't seem to be getting any better, we're sure that the next few months will bring even more deaths. In no particular order, the saddest closures of 2008.

7) A. Fontana Shoe Repair: A neighborhood presence for 45 years, Angelo Fontana was forced to shut the doors to his shoe repair shop in February due to a rent hike. The space now houses a futuristic yogurt parlor or something similarly unnecessary. RIP Fontana.

6) Chelsea Barnes & Noble: B&N is a chain, but one that holds a special place in the heart of many Racked readers. And even though they're a big corporation, they're not immune to the deadly rent hikes that kill many a retailer. That's what did this location in in March.

5) Lisa Levine Jewelry: Lisa Levine's pretty jewelry was lauded, but the praise did nothing to save her Williamsburg boutique. As we said in August, her delicate, feather- and coin-spangled designs fit the neighborhood's aesthetic but not necessarily its budget.

4) Love Saves the Day: With the death of founder Leslie Herson, East Village stalwart Love Saves the Day passed on as well. Their kitschy stock is currently on sale; the gate will be pulled down for good in January.

3) Hollywould: Not sad as much as shocking, the demise of Holly Dunlap's flirty shoe, bag and dress line Hollywould was swift. One day, it was business as usual at the Nolita store; the next, they're having a frantic liquidation sale.

2) Kim's and Mondo Kim's: Video nerds were distraught to learn that both the uptown branch of Kim's and the East Village outpost were dunzo. A weird coda to the whole thing: Mondo Kim's video library is moving to sunnier shores in Italy.

1) Té Casan: The economy really killed this one. But at least West Broadway shoe store Té Casan died young, and left a beautiful corpse. Question is, who else is worthy of that space?