Shops see less business with summer


By Erin Kolb

From comic book stores to bars, local businesses find themselves seeing change over the summer as a result of students going home during the school break.

One change noticed by Cora Vasseur, co-owner of Babs & Coco’s Tea Emporium, 818 W. Lincoln Highway, is the difference in sales.

“In some ways, sales slow down over summer,” Vasseur said. “We get a lot of business from Northern students, and when they’re not there they’re not shopping here.”

Interim city manager Rudy Espiritu said there is typically a decrease in business in the summer.

“There’s no real way to measure it that I know of,” Espiritu said.

Vasseur said business still comes in from local shoppers.

“We’ll have a different clientele that comes in looking for iced tea since it’s summer,” Vasseur said. “Also, a lot of DeKalb residents know that Northern is not in session, so they’re not scared away by all the college kids.”

Greg Havlik, employee at New Game in Town, 811 W. Lincoln Highway, also sees the impact students have.

“As with most businesses in the DeKalb area, business relies heavily

on the student body to maintain itself,” Havlik said. “However, each business gets by on local clientele.”

Aromas Hookah Bar, next door to New Game in Town, also sees fewer customers as summer continues.

“Business is definitely slower in DeKalb right now, especially here,” said part-manager Nicole Gault. “Some of our business is local but most of it is from students.”

One business that seems to remain the same is Fatty’s Pub and Grille, 1312 W. Lincoln Highway. Manager Brian White said business is good year-round.

“We don’t see much difference in the summer. Our business is constant all the time,” White said. “We don’t see a flux of super busy and super slow. During the end of the semester, there’s a few weeks where a lot of students are coming in.”

White said Fatty’s customer base consists of both NIU students and local DeKalb customers.

Editor’s Note: Ali Combs contributed to this article.