ACME Rubber Stamp & Engraving Co. leaving Ballard

After 35 years, the ACME Rubber Stamp & Engraving Co. is packing up their Ballard store this weekend.  They will reopen at 1620 NE 179th Street in Shoreline.

Owner Chris Browne says he received notice his building had sold in January.  He’s been with the company since Steve Lally opened it in 1976.  Browne even lived at the back of the building for a short time in the 1980s.  Much of the equipment has been there for decades; Browne still uses a 60 year-old Ludlow Typograph for making stamps.  He says he’ll have to take it apart to get it out the door.

Of moving to the new location, Browne says, “It’s a wait-and-see thing.”  He hopes his loyal customer base will follow him after he leaves the neighborhood. (Thanks Aaron for the tip!)

13 thoughts to “ACME Rubber Stamp & Engraving Co. leaving Ballard”

  1. Saw the space up on Craigslist today with “Restaurant” poorly photoshopped in front of it. They want $6100 for it. Jaysus.

  2. For the first time ever on MyBallard, I’m going to side with the crotchety, change-is-bad position.

    In a MyBallard forum thread a while back, I wrote that the biggest shame to come from Seattle’s limited supply of charming, brick, human-scaled streets like Ballard Ave is that the one’s we DO have start to be treated as “special use” destinations, which usually means relegating them to eating and entertainment. When in fact the greatest thing about the small buildings with deep storefronts is how well they work for varied uses.

    It’s great that a business like ACME can share a block with Old Town Alehouse and Olympic Athletic. What’s even better is that you might not even have NOTICED it… until you needed a rubber stamp or a simple placard made and discovered that it was right there all along! Such beautiful equilibrium between liminal and subliminal neighborhood offerings can never happen in a suburban stripmall, or even on Market where every building is a sore thumb.

    It sounds like ACME was doing just fine here and is just another casualty of a $-in-the-eyes landlord whose rent demands might not be met anyway. And the concept of “multi-use” dies a slow death. Truly sad.

  3. I miss the cassette tape too. Why is it that the owner of this building/land take it in the shorts? I haven’t seen the lease agreement. No doubt he will be able to agree to a lower amount in Shoreline though. Hello yuppies. Goodbye regular Joes. But maybe Patty and Maria will “do something” about this too. Chuckle heads………..

  4. I note from Craiglist that they are offering that space (5239) for rent at $6,093/mo including nnn for what they call 1722 sq ft. I might not be doing this right but that appears to be $42.50/sq ft based on a 12 month lease (3.54/ft/month). The Craiglist ad says the space will be available summer ’11. They advertise “Prime corner location in the heart of Ballard’s Historic District; on Ballard Ave NW. Neighboring tenants include Olympic Athletic club, Hattie’s Hat, Bastille, Rudy’s and the Sunday Farmer’s Market” and somewhat sadly have photoshopped over the face showing Acme’s sign, replacing it with a sign that says “restaurant” with silhouettes of people sitting and standing inside. The imagining of the new use looks remarkably like the front of the Bastille space …

  5. I meant to add that Craigslist also shows the ground floor of 5210 Ballard Ave for lease (the Elephant’s Gerald screenprinting shop). They list $5500/month for 2200 sq feet or $30 sq ft plus NNN of $462 a month. Elephant’s Gerald was started in 1972 …

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