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Borders' Cafe to Close Today

After 40 years in business, Borders to shutter; Canton fans feel shock and sadness.

Today the cafe at the  will serve its last latte. The Ann Arbor-based bookstore chain is closing after 40 years in business, starting with the cafe and phasing out stores starting as early as Friday.

Noreen Green, a social worker for Starfish Family Services, had no idea when she slipped into a chair at Borders upstairs cafe that it would be one of her last visits. "A friend of mine today me today that the store was closing," she said. "And I told him, 'Well, they're not closed yet.'"

Green, a Canton resident, said she's been using Borders' cafe at least once or twice a week for the last two years to do work. She said news of the closing was sad.

"The people here are very welcoming and the store is culturally diverse," she said, casting a glance from her place on the second-floor balcony to the first-floor book store. "It very culturally diverse — you see all kinds of people: younger, older, students, professionals."

Employees said they would not speak on the record but expressed sadness about the changes. The Canton store had escaped a shutdown in February when the company shuttered some retail outlets in a bid to stay afloat and attract a buyer.

On Wednesday afternoon, Canton Border barristas continued to move briskly, at times getting sympathetic comments from customers over the impending closure. The cafe stopped selling smoothies but will continue to sell coffee and remaining soft drinks today.

Lawyers representing Borders will be in court today to work out details of the store's liquidation, which could begin as quickly as Friday, according to a statement issued by the company.

The Canton Borders is one of 13 Michigan stores and 399 nationwide, which employ about 10,700 people. It is unclear what the closing date for the Canton store will be.

Jason Sczynski July 21, 2011 at 02:09 PM
Just downright awful! here borders spent all that money to build that nice store and now it will be vacant! I hope barnes and noble takes it's place! Just downright sad! good luck canton borders employees!

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