Maido! Prepares to Leave Narberth

The owners of the Japanese grocery are looking at other Main Line buildings. Their lease expires May 1.

After 10 years in Narberth, the proprietors of the Japanese grocery store Maido! are planning to move out of their Narberth Avenue building at the end of April, co-owner Pat Dailey told Patch Tuesday.

The business's lease with Wolverton & Co. expires at that time, and Dailey and his wife—Maido! founder Seiko Dailey—are looking for a new building elsewhere in the Main Line.

On Monday, Wolverton advertised on Craigslist the availability of 36 N. Narberth Ave.'s first floor, seeking $8,200 a month for its 3,500 square feet.

Patch could not reach company president Will Wolverton on Tuesday for comment on the circumstances of the property becoming available.

The property would be an "Ideal Location for a Farmers Market or Prepared Foods Market" and will be available beginning May 1, according to the Craigslist ad.

The Daileys have visited several prospective new homes for Maido!, Pat Dailey told Patch.

"Our Narberth lease stipulated that we advise our landlord in October 2012 of our intention to remain in Narberth, and since we had not explored all of our options at that point, we could not commit to another five years at the rate stipulated," Dailey said via email. "There may still be the possibility that we stay on in Narberth if it somehow became more affordable."

Small businesses, Dailey said, face an increasingly tougher battle against big stores and online retailers: "Maintaining a one-of-a-kind brick & mortar store has become a real challenge, even in a specialized business like ours."

Besides looking for a lower lease rate, the Daileys also are looking for more room. They've seen several places in Ardmore, Bryn Mawr, Rosemont and elsewhere that might be suitable.

"We couldn’t have dreamed of affording those locations 5 or 10 years ago, but now they are more affordable than our present location," Dailey said.

Dailey said he regrets the prospect of leaving the borough behind: "Our customers there have been very loyal and we are humbled by the amount of concern we have heard locally about our possible move."

Maido! sits next to the Narberth Avenue bridge, which has been closed since August for structural problems but is due to reopen in late January after repairs.

The Craigslist ad gives no indication that Wolverton expects The Little Gym to depart its digs upstairs from Maido!; one of the listed features of the property is "shares the building with well established Little Gym".

What's your reaction to Maido!'s possible departure from Narberth? Tell us in the comments.

Marla Kaine January 09, 2013 at 02:56 PM
It would be tragic for Narberth to lose a unique business like Maido. Maido brings culture, diversity, and flavor to one of the few towns on the Main Line that is currently a melting pot. You have your Cuban ballet instructors on the hill, the Japanese store, a Chinese and Thai Restaurant, Irish pub, Greeks at Real Pizza, South Pacific belly dancers, and French bakers (to name a few). Maido is always on my list when I tell people about the wonderful worldly places the exist in the "small" town of Narberth. What people may not realize is that with the exit of Maido would also be the exit of Pat Dailey. Pat is the unsung hero of the Narberth Business Association. Love the Dickens Festival, Oktoberfest and all the fun Scavenger Hunts? Behind those events is Pat Dailey. Wait, those events ARE Pat Dailey. He devotes countless hours to making Narberth a warm, family environment that people from miles around enjoy. Bringing people to Narberth is vital for all Narberth businesses. I'm sure I don't need to explain the trickle down effect of what having a bustling walking town does for the entire community, including me and my store on Haverford Ave. I sincerely hope that Maido can find a solution, for their sake. For Narberth's sake, I hope that solution means at least 5 more years. Marla Kaine Owner, Swan Dancewear


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