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BEST retail spots now gone forever: Dallas & Co + Skins N’ Tins

From our BEST 2020 feature:

BEST retail spots now gone forever: Dallas & Co + Skins N’ Tins 

That both of these legendary spots in Downtown and Midtown Champaign survived as long as they did is a testament to how well supported our local businesses are if they are doing unique and important business that appeals to a big enough demographic. 

In the case of Skins N’ Tins, Liz and Terry Hawkins hung it up after a career of helping literally thousands of drummers find the pocket, and along the way, the collected adoration and kudos from so many famous players that it was sometimes dizzying looking at all the autographed skins in the joint when you were just trying to pick up a couple pairs of 5Bs for your shows that weekend. 

Dallas & Co. and its weird rooms of costumes and deception was the sort of place you took your friends from out of town to watch them go “how is this real?” The namesake proprietor, Andy Dallas, was a legend in his own rite as well, spending time as the President of the Magician’s Guild, and publishing more than a few tricks of his own to be revered by peers the world over. 

Our community, like many, is losing its character in favor of a “new America” where we place value of property over value of business. The cheaper the product, the better it sells. Main Street can’t sustain a green grocer when a supermarket can sell produce at a loss to earn coin on a pair of jeans or kitty litter in the same shop. This isn’t new; the economy has changed so dramatically in the past fifty years and it’s not a discussion for this particular entry. 

But these were some of the BEST spots in Champaign that have closed over the past year, and their legacy will remain intact, even if their doors won’t open ever again. (Seth Fein)

Top image from Enjoy Illinois’ website.

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