Metro-East News

Harter’s Hobby House in Belleville to close after 70 years in business

Harter’s Hobby Shop at 10th and Main Street in Belleville, is scheduled to close its doors on Dec. 31. Owner Ron Bayer plans on retiring and selling the location. Harter’s has existed since 1946.
Harter’s Hobby Shop at 10th and Main Street in Belleville, is scheduled to close its doors on Dec. 31. Owner Ron Bayer plans on retiring and selling the location. Harter’s has existed since 1946. jbustos@bnd.com

Harter’s Hobby House, a business that has operated since 1946 in Belleville, plans to close its doors at the end of the year.

Owner, and sole employee, Ron Bayer, 79, of Swansea, has worked at the hobby shop since 1950, and owned it since 1959.

He is planning to retire.

“I’m closing it out,” Bayer said of his location at the 10th and Main streets. “I’ll do some work to the building and sell it.”

The shop sells model railroads, trains, electric slips, plastic models, diecast cars, model paint, among other things. Whatever remains after Dec. 31, he plans to take to a model railroad show in St. Charles to sell there.

Whatever is left after that will be donated to charity, Bayer said.

As for his retirement life, he’ll take care of some items at home.

“There’s plenty of work at the house,” Bayer said. “Inside and out, and landscaping next summer. I’ll keep busy for the next couple of years.”

Hello Ruby Tuesday

The Ruby Tuesday at 6565 N. Illinois St. in Fairview Heights reopened on Dec. 19, after being closed for nearly two months because of a fire, said General Manger Jeremy Groves.

The restaurant was heavily damaged as a result of an attic fire on Oct. 14.

Construction continues on the front end of the restaurant, which was damaged in the fire. Large sheets of plywood are in place near the reopened entrance doors, while work continues on a new roof structure above the front of the building.

A New Aeropostale?

Aeropostale at St. Clair Square in Fairview Heights is slated to stay in business after there was a possibility of the store closing after the company filed for bankruptcy.

The apparel and accessories company in September was purchased by a consortium of the Authentic Brands Group, General Growth Properties and the Simon Property Group. The consortium later said more than 500 of Aeropostale’s 720 North American stores would remain open, according to published reports.

Signs at the shop in Fairview Heights say an “all new Aeropostale” will open in January 2017.

Employees at the store referred questions to corporate offices, which did not return an email seeking comment.

Legacy Place construction

Construction is underway on Legacy Place, a new assisted living and memory care facility north of Moorland Circle Drive and Prairie View Estates in Mascoutah.

The facility is slated to have 41 assisted living units that will be mostly one and two bedrooms. Sixteen memory care units are also planned, said Mascoutah City Manager Cody Hawkins.

The 52,000 square-foot building will be situated on an eight-acre lot, Hawkins said.

About 30 jobs are expected to be created by the estimated $8.6 million facility, Hawkins said. Legacy Place also is receiving $860,000 in tax increment financing district funding.

Hawkins said the workers are hoping to have the facility open by the spring.

Joseph Bustos: 618-239-2451, @JoeBReporter

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