Tackle shop caught in demolition net

North Side Bait and Tackle’s store closing sign is up. The business’ building will be demolished as part of the city of Fort Wayne’s improvements at Five Points, which includes creating a roundabout.

By Lisa Esquivel Long

FORT WAYNE — The price of progress includes the loss of a fishing supply business.

North Side Bait and Tackle, 2624 Sherman Blvd., has begun a sale as owner Mike Reuille prepares to vacate by mid-December before his building is demolished.

North Side will be one of the casualties of a roundabout going into Five Points, the area where Lillian Avenue feeds into the intersection of Goshen Avenue and Sherman Boulevard on the city’s northwest side.

According to renderings previously released by the city of Fort Wayne, the area where North Side Bait and Tackle sits, along with a building next to it, will become greenspace. In addition to the roundabout, Goshen will get a new left-turn lane between Sherman and Cambridge boulevards, with other work that will include the repair of existing sidewalks and curb ramps, the addition of sidewalks and Americans with Disabilities Act curb cuts, landscaping, improved drainage and street lights.

“It’s a very complex project,” said Frank Suarez, spokesperson for Fort Wayne’s Public Works and City Utilities.

This artist’s rendering shows what the Five Points area at Sherman Boulevard and Goshen Road will look like when a roundabout and other improvements are made. Courtesy of city of Fort Wayne.

The project, expected to go out for bid and to begin next year, will likely have four phases of lane restrictions, he said.

Once the improvements are completed in fall 2020, the area should see better flow of traffic, which can face backups when the Fort Wayne Children’s Zoo is open, Franke Park Elementary is in session and the Foellinger Theatre has events, Suarez said. Goshen Avenue, which becomes Goshen Road west of Harris Road, also sees a lot of truck traffic to businesses.

The most recent traffic count from May 2016 recorded 18,500 vehicles a day passing through the five-spoked intersection.

Future work will involve Goshen west to Coliseum Boulevard. The project, expected to go out for bid and to begin next year, will likely have four phases of lane restrictions, Suarez said.

For Reuille, it’s not only a loss of his business, but of a piece of history.

“I got three and four generations of people who come here,” he said.

Reuille, who grew up and still lives in the neighborhood, recalls visiting the business as a child.

“I used to come here every Sunday,” he said.

He bought the business 13 years ago from previous owner Gladys “Hazel” Mishler, who had owned it for 22 years.

Reuille started a 20 percent off sale Nov. 25.

“I got everything,” Reuille said of his products.

He plans to hold his sale for two weeks and then auction what products remain.

Reuille wouldn’t say what he’s being paid for his building, only that it’s “not enough” to move the business.

As for him, he’s received offers to work at other sporting goods stores.

This story originally appeared in our sister publication, Greater Fort Wayne Business Weekly.