SEATTLE — Visitors to Pike Place Market will no longer be able to enjoy a Seattle icon in 2020 – the First and Pike newsstand closed down permanently on New Year's Eve.
The shop has been there for 40 years. Owner Lee Lauckhart still remembers the first day he opened the business, his own little corner of the market to share the news of the day.
“We worked the complete 80s, 90s, aughts and the teens,” said Lauckhart.
“…It’s about time to take a break when you’re 79,” he laughed.
Between his age, and falling print sales,Lauckhart decided the new year was be the right time to close the business. That news brought people flocking to the shop for a few words of goodbye.
"You know, people coming by, telling their stories about how they used to come here as a kid, a lot of born and bred Seattleites coming by, and I guess paying their respects," said Rebecca Eider, who has worked at the newsstand for more than a decade.
Mahesh Karandikar remembered regularly stopping by with his wife. And though he can now get his news elsewhere, other aspects of the experience are more difficult to replicate.
“No matter how far and advanced we get, that’s the one thing that doesn’t change, you know,” he said. “It’s like the human connection is still going to be important.”
That’s what Lauckhart will miss – the relationships with longtime customers.
“Oh yeah,” he said. “But I’m not going to miss the fact that you’ve got to keep watching the bank account, to see if you’re going to overdraw writing the next check.”