OCEANSIDE, Calif. (KGTV) - A growing threat to small businesses already squeezed by rising costs -- major chains moving next door.
Now, the owner of a cherished local doughnut shop in Oceanside is preparing to shut down to make way for a Dunkin' Donuts.
But he may not be alone.
Right now, the coffee is still dripping and the doughnuts are still fresh at Chow's Donuts in Oceanside. But time is running out for Bernard Simieng's 25-year-old shop, as his last day will be July 16.
It's not his choice, even though his loyal customers would follow him to a new location.
"A lot of them, they encouraged me to open a new one," Simieng said. "But I told them, 'Thank you very much … I did my part.'"
Simieng's landlord isn't renewing his lease so a Dunkin' Donuts can move in. It's the landlord's way of trying to bring customers back to his largely deserted mall on Oceanside Boulevard.
"We are looking forward to the future opening of the new Dunkin' Donuts restaurant in Oceanside, which will be owned and operated by local San Diego small business owner Mike Stout," Dunkin' Donuts officials said in a statement. "… When selecting this specific location, it was our franchisee's understanding from the landlord that the local donut shop would be exiting the shopping center prior to us entering."
Meanwhile, other major chains are instead eyeing locations where the customers already are -- walkable neighborhoods getting more popular. Target, for instance, is considering the property of the Newport Avenue Antique Center in the heart of Ocean Beach.
In Oceanside, Simieng said he isn't sure what is next and he feels sad to close. Despite the shop closing, he is also looking forward to the next chapter, like learning a new skill.
The owner of the strip mall didn't immediately return 10News' call seeking comment. In January, he told 10News the mall was financially strapped and needed a Dunkin' Donuts to help revitalize the property on Oceanside Boulevard.