Downtown Windsor store to close after nearly 50 years
Published Monday, April 17, 2017 11:14PM EDT Last Updated Tuesday, April 18, 2017 7:40AM EDT
The World Cottage in downtown Windsor as a little bit of everything, but not for much longer.
The downtown mainstay for nearly 50 years is closing its doors.
"Now I'm old, and I like to enjoy my days, mostly my grandson,” says store owner, Riaz Bhatti. “I love my grandson, and I will keep my going all my life… he keep me young."
Bhatti came to Canada from his home country of Pakistan with $20 in his pocket -- and a keen eye for collectors’ items.
In 1981 -- after years of renting -- Bhatti purchased the building at the 500 block of Ouellette Avenue and made it a treasure trove of knick-knacks like t-shirts, lighters, antiques and posters.
"He carries stuff from the 80s, and it's nostalgic,” says Riaz’s son, Sunny. “So many people come here, they say you're still here?"
Bhatti tells CTV Windsor his store is experiencing a rough patch, as very few Americans are coming over to buy his merchandise.
“I don't even have one quarter Americans. Before used to be a lot of Americans," he says.
Because of that, Bhatti is retiring, and is hoping to sell off as much inventory as humanly possible.
He also plans on giving his building to his daughter and son, who are a lawyer and a paralegal. They plan on converting the space into a law office.
“It’s time to give everything to the children. I'll be very happy because it’s going to be in my family," Bhatti says.
But until then, World Cottage is open on a limited basis, weekdays from two to five.