Death of "The Den" county musings

It’s been a year since I made the 3 mile trek to do shopping at Woodlands Square in Oldsmar — home of the AMC Woodlands Square 20, Bealls and Sans Pizza. I have always been greatly impressed with the transformation of that shopping plaza since the the construction of Woodlands Square 20. It used to be a deadland shopping center with a K-Mart, a Kash and Karry and a load of empty storefront space. Since the completition of AMC Woodlands Square, there have been several additions and subtractions to the shopping complex that have made it a more interesting place to shop.

I was more than happy to see K-Mart leave with thanks to the K’s re-organization. The store had always given me a negative vibe every time I got near it. Bealls converted the store and things have been a lot more pleasant with thanks to this.

But the one addition that I liked most — The Den, a coffee house and bar — was notably missing when I ventured to Woodlands Square on Memorial Day weekend. The Den had been inside Woodlands Square for a few years and served a great espresso. Alas, they gave way to music and live bands (I was there for coffee and conversation — which was hurt by this) and it would seem that the Den went the way of the Dodo. The store was empty when I looked.

Of course, The Den isn’t the only store missing that shocked me. Sans Pizza was also gone. Sans — which is right next door to the movie theater — was busy all the time and popular without having to find a side attraction. My guess is that they were a victim of rent prices skyrocketing. Why? Oh, because Office Depot moved in a few doors down — making their location even hotter than it already was.