SACRAMENTO (CBS13) – Broadway comics and Cards have been open next to tower cafe for nearly 3 decades. But rising rents and a shift to more online sales has forced the owner to make a tough decision.
Wedged in between Tower Café and Joe Marty’s Bar and Grille, is Broadway Comics and Cards.
“I’ve been here since February 19, 1988,” said owner Wilson Lew.
Lew has thousands of comics stacked in boxes, kept in plastic. And some are from decades ago.
“Oh my gosh, this smells so good,” said Lew thumbing through a 1972 Mister Miracle book.
Like a true fan, he can tell quality, with a whiff.
“It’s a different experience to have a comic book in your hands and have that experience,” Lew continued.
When Broadway Comics and Cards opened for business 30 years ago, comics were a hot commodity and business was good.
“There would be people coming in, lining up buying two, three, four, five copies,” said Lew, “one to read and two to save.”
But since then, times have changed.
“Everybody is buying online or digitally downloading,” said Lew.
Walk-up sales have fallen off and the cost to stay open continues to rise.
“They raised my rent twice in the last 12 months,” he continued.
Lew tried to supplement the books with popular trends over the years.
“Pokemon was big; it was huge,” said Lew.
“There would be like five monster zones,” said Matthew Henderson, a regular to Lew’s shop.
Yu Gi Oh, another card game like Pokémon also caught on.
“I spent some good money here,” said Henderson Laughing.
Henderson has being coming to Wilson’s store for 10 years.
“It is kind of sad,” he said.
Like many others, he would play card games and just hang out.
Wilson says it’s the people he sees on a regular basis that he’ll miss the most
“I’m scared. After 30 years, I won’t have a store,” said Lew.
Lew plans to run a “store closing” sale until January 10th. Then he’ll close the doors for good and move all his business online.