Changes are coming to Reed Street

Posted May 2, 2019 at 5:00 am

By Julie Ann Madden

As 2019 enters its fourth month, one Reed Street business is up for sale and another is closing its doors.

Throttles & Bottles Bar & Grill at 201 Reed St. is up for sale. Owner David Boettcher, who is known for flipping properties, has remodeled the interior and is now working on the exterior. The bar is open for business with a realtor’s sign next to the front door.

At 5 p.m., this Friday, May 3, Click N Pick at 140 Reed St. is closing its doors.

Just three years ago, Randy and Charlene “Char” Frerichs, of Akron, opened a new type of photography studio — one where people came to their high-tech photography studio and took their own photographs using Click N Pick’s cameras, computer digital images and techniques to design their final photos. The photos were saved on flash drives. The customers owned the images and could choose to use Click N Pick’s photo kiosk and get prints or order customized photographs such as canvas prints.

“We were hoping the new digital wave of ‘green screen’ photography studio would just take effect,” said Char as she helped customers Friday afternoon. “We hoped people would love it, enjoy it and want to use it.”

“We started off with ‘do-it-yourself photograph because of that digital experience — the technology,” she explained. “It was easy and simple. We thought it would be fun and easy.”

“And it was,” she said. “They enjoyed it for awhile.”

“I just think we were ahead of the times for the Akron area,” said Char. “Maybe.”

Technology advances even in just the last three years have been incredible, she explained. Both cameras and cell phone cameras have improved greatly and continue to develop at such a fast pace, anyone can snap a good photo.

“The competition for us has become a little bit harder,” she said, noting many are now using their photography skills as a side job.

“That’s just one of the reasons why we can’t compete,” said Char. “That’s the reality and that’s okay.”

Facing that reality and watching Click N Pick’s financial statements, the Frerichs came to the conclusion their business concept would probably continue to decline because of that reality.

“It was a hard, heart-wrenching decision for us to conclude,” said Char. “This is not the wave of the future for us to be here. We tried it. We did what we could. We worked hard.”

“Did we make mistakes?” she said. “Sure, we did but I don’t know of any business owner who hasn’t made mistakes.”

“With the mistakes I feel I’ve grown in my knowledge but it’s not enough,” said Char. “We’re ready to open a new chapter — have a new adventure.”

“We’d like to thank John and Mary Lucken for giving us the opportunity here at 140 Reed St.,” said Char. “They were not just my landlords but my encouragers, customers and advocates. We truly are grateful for them.”

Char is looking forward to rejoining the workforce without the responsibility of business ownership but that doesn’t mean she’s ending her pursuit of digital “technological” entrepreneurship success.

One of Char’s past successes, a cookbook called “Simple Creative Cooking: Dishing Up Delicious,” has been available for a few years.

“I love to cook,” said Char. “I love to teach and show people the ‘how-to.’”

She plans on using YouTube videos to do just that — teach people how to make delicious foods using her recipes and food tips.

“I’m not limited to just that but I want to be able to use my cooking skills,” said Char. “It’s a perfect opportunity in this day and age to use YouTube. I don’t know when yet but I’m working on it.”

“I’m not ready to sit in my rocking chair yet,” she laughed, noting she is also trying another avenue for her digital photography skills — a photo booth at the upcoming Ladies Night Out event May 14 at the Britton business complex in Akron.

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