I guess you could say it's a sign of the times or as the old saying goes, "life changes." 2018 was definitely a year of change for many long time local businesses that suddenly closed their doors during the last year.

January

It all started in the beginning of the year when we learned that Toys 'R' Us was shutting down many of their locations including the Danbury store on Backus Avenue. The month also saw the closing of Vitamin World in the Danbury Fair Mall, The Hearth Restaurant in Brookfield, several Sam's Club locations in both Connecticut and New York and Five Guys, which closed on Federal Road in Brookfield and reopened a new location a few month later next to Kohl's also in Brookfield. Finally, the Book Nook in New Milford closed, but did actually re-open again just a few months later under new ownership. We even stopped by Five Guys when they closed without notice:

April

It was a tough month for some long-time local businesses like On-Track Karting, which closed its Brookfield location, but did announce it was opening a new location at Foxwood's Casino. A long-time New Milford Restaurant, Thompson's Fine American Comfort Food, shut down for good, as did LJ Edwards Furniture in Brookfield. Aside form that, Klaff's in Danbury and The Ridley Lowell School in Danbury closed with no notice that month too. Subway, with its headquarters in Milford, CT, announced the closing of more than 500 of their restaurants, including select local Connecticut and New York locations.

May

We saw the closing of Monster Mini Golf in Danbury, but the popular fun spot did wind up re-opening at a larger location on Stony Hill Road in Bethel.

June

We were shocked when two long time businesses, Rita's Italian Ice in Bethel and Mohawk Tire and Auto Center in the Berkshire Shopping Center in Danbury closed suddenly.

July

During the middle of summer, we learned that Elan's Gentleman's Club in Danbury would be closing after 25 years. TJ Maxx closed its Brookfield location and re-opened on Route 6 in Danbury, the Tigers Den in Ridgefield used Facebook to tell their customers they were shutting down immediately, and Walmart decided to close their under-performing location in the lower Hudson Valley.

August

We saw a long-time renowned Waterbury business, Delianne Bridal, shut down.

October

The month started with the sudden closing of the Paul Mitchel Salon and the closing of Mattress Firm on Federal Road in Brookfield. Before the month was done, we also learned of the bankruptcy of Sears and the closing of their Mahopac location.

November

As the year started to come to an end, we were saddened to learn that the popular restaurant Margaritaville at Mohegan Sun would be closing by year's end.

So there you have it. 23 stores that were open last January when we started the year are now closed, as we get ready to ring in 2019. So can we expect more of the same during the next 12 months? No one really knows what's going to happen in the future yet, because it hasn't been written. So let's hope it's a good year.