Pet vet, burgers and brews: New businesses arrive but Pier 1 closing

Clinic assistant Kim Brubaker and veterinarian Dr. Perry Chumley examine a cat at Vet IQ. Delaware State News/Marc Clery

DOVER — A couple of new businesses are sprouting up in Kent County while a long-time home furnishing retailer in Dover is preparing to close its doors.

While the Pier 1 Imports store that has been a cornerstone of the Dover Commons shopping center adjacent to the Dover Mall for many years will soon be closing, VetIQ Petcare Wellness Center will host its grand opening this Saturday at 10 a.m. at the Camden Walmart, while Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews in the Capital Station shopping complex gets closer to adding another eating option to the city.

Dover’s Pier 1 location, at 1231 N. Dupont Highway, was among up to 450 of the retailers’ nearly 1,000 locations, including all its stores in Canada, that will be closing (at an unspecified date), according to Pier 1 officials as the organization filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy protection on Feb. 17 in hopes of finding a new owner.

Three other Pier 1 locations in Delaware survived the cut, including the store on Del. 1 in Rehoboth Beach, Centre Boulevard near the Christiana Mall and Concord Pike in Talleyville.

Stores in Ocean City and Salisbury, Maryland — like the Dover location — will also be shuttered.

Pier 1 Imports is a chain retailer that provides an assortment of unique imported furniture, home-decor items and tableware.

“In recent months, we have taken significant steps forward in our business transformation and cost-reduction initiatives,” said Robert Riesbeck, Pier 1’s CEO and CFO. “We have worked to establish an appropriately sized and profitable store footprint, operating structure and merchandise assortment that will enable Pier 1 to better serve our customers across store and online channels.

“(The) actions are intended to provide Pier 1 with additional time and financial flexibility as we now work to unlock additional value for our stakeholders through a sale of the company. We are moving ahead in this process with the support of our lenders and are pleased with the initial interest as we engage in discussions with potential buyers.”

So far, Pier 1 Imports has closed or initiated going-out-business sales at more than 400 locations. The company is also in the process of closing two distribution centers to reflect its revised store footprint.

Mr. Riesbeck said Pier 1’s stores and online platform are open and operating.

“We will continue to serve our customers regardless of how and where they shop with the style, value and selection of merchandise they want as we move through this process, and we are committed to working seamlessly with our vendors and partners,” he said. “We appreciate the ongoing dedication of our associates, whose efforts in providing our loyal customers with the experience they expect from our brand are critical to our success and the future of Pier 1.”

Pet Wellness Center coming to Camden Walmart

High-quality, convenient and affordable preventive veterinary services will be available for residents in the Camden/Dover area as a VetIQ Petcare Wellness Center will host its grand opening this Saturday at the Camden Walmart at 263 Walmart Drive.

To commemorate the grand opening, the VetIQ Petcare Wellness Center will celebrate with meet and greets with the staff, freebies for pet parents and their pets, a treat bar with goodies for dogs and cats and multiple raffles to win free services from the Wellness Center.

In addition, the VIP Petcare Wellness Center is offering pet parents 50 percent off services rendered for their first visit.

Vet IQ manager Kerstin Kirby looks at a dog.

“We are committed to providing smarter pet health through affordable services that are easily accessible to all pet parents,” said Susan Sholtis, president of PetIQ, the parent company of VetIQ. “Our partnership with Walmart puts licensed veterinary care right where pet parents regularly shop for themselves and their pets.”

The Camden Petcare Wellness Center will offer pet preventive veterinary and wellness services that fit their pet parent’s budget and lifestyle. VetIQ Petcare offers transparent pricing for its services without any hidden fees or office visit charges that can prevent people from providing routine and preventive care to their pets.

Dr. Perry Chumley, DVM, will serve as the licensed veterinarian for this VetIQ Petcare Wellness Center. He received his Doctor of Veterinary Medicine from The Ohio State University. He is a decorated Army veteran and served as the Director for the U.S. Army Veterinary Command in Fort Knox for a period of his career.

VetIQ Petcare offers a range of preventive care and wellness services and will provide pet parents with prescriptions for their pets that can be filled in-store at Walmart’s pharmacy.

Red Robin burgers just around the corner

It has been a lengthy process, but it appears as if the Red Robin Gourmet Burgers and Brews — a casual dining restaurant chain — is on the verge of opening at the Capital Station shopping complex.

A sign near U.S. 13 reads, “Red Robin — Coming soon.” The exact date remains unknown.

There were concerns as construction of the Red Robin was halted about midway through its process.

Dover City Planner Dave Hugg said he is happy to see businesses such as Red Robin and others bringing a variety of business options to the capital city.

“It’s obviously exciting to see Capital Station get some momentum,” Mr. Hugg said. “There are a lot of positive things taking place out there right now.”

Mr. Hugg said he was relieved to hear that Red Robin resumed construction, especially after work on the building came to a stop.
“That was worrisome,” he said. “That’s probably the worst thing you can have there is a half-done building that doesn’t get finished.”

Charles Rodriguez, of R&R Commercial Realty, the leasing broker for Capital Station, maintained confidence in Red Robin opening all along.

“A lot of it’s just timing,” he said. “Everything’s still a go with Red Robin. It’s definitely moving forward. We just had one little hiccup.”

Dover growth slows slightly

In his December 2019 report to Dover City Council, Mr. Hugg noted that construction activity in Dover continues to be slower than prior months, but previously approved projects throughout the city are continuing. December commercial construction permit values were $1,690,960 compared to November at $1,870,325, bringing the year-to-date total to just under $8,143,000.

A total of 103 permits for all types of work were issued in December 2019, including renovation projects at Bayhealth Medical Center, Dover Downs/Michelle’s Steakhouse, a medical office on Old Rudnick Lane, an office on North State Street and a tenant fit out at Capital Station.

Certificates of Occupancy were issued for 12 residential units and for five commercial projects throughout the city. Temporary Certificates of Occupancy were issued for a single-family residence and a mini-storage facility as well.

Central Delaware Chamber ribbon cuttings

The Central Delaware Chamber of Commerce (CDCC) has been busy hosting ribbon-cutting ceremonies so far in 2020, including:

• Growing Bones Pediatrics & Neuromuscular Orthopaedic Institute on Jan. 3 at 1057 S. Bradford St. in Dover. It provides comprehensive pediatric orthopaedic specialty services, aiming to provide convenient access to sub-specialized orthopaedic care for pediatric and adult patients with neuromuscular disorders.

• Creative Vision on Jan. 24 at their new location at 146 S. Governor’s Ave. in Dover. With a passion for decorating and planning, owner Evetta Blont-Jackson is eager to share her gift of creativity with her customers for events such as birthday parties, anniversaries, weddings, luncheons, and holiday events, just to name a few. Rentals for events are also available including decorative items, table necessities and costumes.

• American Kidney Care of Dover on Jan. 27 at 107 Mont Blanc Blvd., Suite 100. Its mission is to provide in-center dialysis options.

• Pike Creek Mortgage Service on Jan. 28 at their new branch at 951 N. State St. in Dover. For 25 years, Pike Creek has been the largest independently owned and operated local mortgage lender in Delaware. This move will also enable them to be more accessible to the homebuyers in the area.

• PointOne on Feb. 6 at 117 W. Reed St. in Dover. PointOne is a sales and marketing development agency. They assist businesses and entrepreneurs by delivering effective sales skills training and by helping them automate sales and marketing efforts. PointOne helps salespeople in different industries master the art of closing the deal.