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Another Rug Store on Silver Spring? Proprietor Says It's a Good Thing

A Cedarburg retailer obtained village approval to fill the space occupied by Gallery 505, which is relocating a couple doors down. The owner says he believes Silver Spring could become a destination for rug shoppers.

People in Whitefish Bay often joke about the disproportionate number of rug stores within a couple blocks of each other on Silver Spring Drive, but a Cedarburg rug store owner sees that as a good thing.

Rustam Gallery of Fine Rugs received its conditional use permit from the village's Plan Commission Tuesday night, with plans to open in the space occupied by . That business along with to , which is going out of business.

After nearly 12 years in business in Cedarburg, Rustam Zulfakar said he and his wife often travel to Whitefish Bay for rug repairs, so he decided it would be a good choice for a second location.

Although the street already has two other rug stores — and — the street's incoming rug store owner said he sees more opportunity than competition on Silver Spring Drive.

"I think it is a good thing," he said. "If you go to Chicago Avenue in Chicago, there are about 15 or 16 oriental rug stores on one street. If customers want a rug, they will know Silver Spring in Whitefish Bay like they know Chicago Avenue."

Another reason he is not scared off by the competition is because he sells unique, high-quality rugs, not production rugs.

"I'm not afraid of competition," he said. "I know my business. I know my fair prices."

In addition to selling rugs, Rustam Gallery of Fine Rugs will also repair, buy, trade, appraise and hand wash rugs. The business plans to be open Monday through Friday from 10 a.m. to 6 p.m.; Saturday from 10 a.m. to 5 p.m.; and Sunday from noon to 4 p.m.

Bob McBride April 19, 2012 at 10:29 PM
Same here, Margaret. If it wasn't for Sendik's and Winkies, I don't think we'd spend anytime whatsoever on Silver Spring. That's pretty much the way it has been for years. I have no idea what the "plan" is in WFB. Hard to believe there is one at all.
Leslie Brown April 22, 2012 at 01:39 PM
I agree with Jill, I lived in Bay for ten years and I have worked on Silver Spring for 27 years, There are some great shops but it could be so much better and it should be. What is happening on Oakland and Kensington in Shorewood is what should have happened in Bay a long time ago. I have always said the day Silver Spring really beefs up will be the day I retire to North Carolina! I am an employee of Schwanke Kasten, one of the nicest stores on Sliver Spring. I am proud to be part of it and I have watched the Street not really change for years...It's time! And the Village needs to back down on the parking tickets, it makes people not want to bother!
AudiFan April 22, 2012 at 01:59 PM
You want Silver Spring to improve, vote out Trustee Richard (retired Journal Sentinel editorial board member) Foster. Trustee Foster is a human road block for change in Whitefish Bay.
Absolutelyfabulous April 22, 2012 at 05:50 PM
I'm a little confused..You just got a City Market, a yogurt shop and a donut shop . In addition, you have Starbucks, Bay Bakery,Breadsmith, Brueggers and Penzies. The majority of the spaces that line the best part of Silver Spring are as big as a shoe box. Not very conducive for a restaurant and all the equipment that is necessary. BTW, how many eateries have cycled through the now vacant space next to Fox Bay Theater? You even had Lixx and since Dan K owned the building, he wasn't being gouged by rents. That went away and it was pretty decent. There have been numerous eateries that have cycled through storefronts and they have disappeared. The newest developments and where all the "action" is in Shorewood had a couple of things going for them. 1st-the spaces are big enough and many have received huge subsidies either directly or the developer. Les Moise is available and is a great spot for a restaurant/bar. A person needs tons of $$ to come into a space and retro-fit it for a full service restaurant and there aren't many individuals that are willing to make that committment or are able to secure the monies in todays economy. The 2 best spaces are Fitzgerald's & Ruhamas, but they aren't going anywhere soon. So, feel free to make an offer to whoever owns the buildings you want all these new businesses and take a shot at filling the spaces and see what you have to concede to get them in there. A rug store costs nothing to retro fit..just paint and hang the rugs.
Marvin Mason April 27, 2012 at 05:54 PM
Certainly a "wait and see what we get" is one way to go about developing a downtown business district--which is apparently what WFB does. Another approach is to have a strategy and plan to "make it happen." In other words, come up with a vision and a plan that developers and potential business owners could get excited about...something to be a part of. Bayshore didn't just happen chance getting businesses to occupy the spaces. They had a plan and marketed it. And what you see in Shorewood is momentum because other potential business owners see the potential. WFB has no momentum...no plan. Much was spent and time wasted developing a "redesign" for the downtown stretch. In the end, what really changed? All I see is the island outside the Fox Bay Theater and some repaving. Not very inspiring.

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