Midtown's J Street continues to evolve as a major shopping destination. But, alas, one of its most fun shops - 23 Lounge - apparently has shut its doors there.
There's a 'Closed' sign at the boutique's location (2316 J, shown left), with instructions for delivering mail to another address. There are still clothes in the window. But as of Friday, the "For Lease" sign that had been up is down, so perhaps another business is preparing to open.
Anyway, the Lounge has a storied retail history. It first opened in August 1998 as Reality Boutique. Owner Lacy Scatton (she's since married) was an instant success. Then, in March 2000, right across the street from Reality, brothers Todd and Jeff Bartell opened a boutique called Vertigo. And in November 2003, the two stores, plus a space next door, merged into the Reality space and became known as 23 Lounge. Two years ago, the boutique added something called "Beauty Lounge" in the back for salon services.
I've interviewed the brothers and Lacy quite a few times and have used their clothing for several stories in The Bee. I haven't been able, however, to reach any of them. I'm sad that they might be gone and I'm sure their loyal fashion friends are, as well.
In the meantime, Swanberg's on J needs a new neighbor.