WASHINGTON -- On Oct. 4, Fantom Comics got 30 days notice that the store would be losing the lease on the prime Union Station space it's had for the past four years. The next day, Fantom's owner, former think tanker Matt Klokel, had posted a notice on the store's website about the Great Fantom Comics Location Treasure Hunt!, offering a $1,000 Fantom Comics gift certificate or $500 cash to the person who suggests the store's new location.
What is Klokel looking for in the new rental space? Convenience -- the store should be close to at least one Metro station. He'd like more space, as well -- the current store has about 300 square feet; he'd like the new location to be double or triple that space. Location-wise, he's looking for a spot downtown, or casting a wider net, somewhere between Barracks Row, Union Station, Foggy Bottom and Cleveland Park.
Meanwhile, Fantom will still keep a space in Union Station, one floor up from the current main-level location, until at least the new year.
Klokel told The Huffington Post he wants to be clear that as a person with free-market leanings, he does not begrudge the owner of Union Station for not renewing Fantom Comics' lease. "A lot of people told me I should play the victim card, but I never felt comfortable with that," he said. "Union Station has their plans, and it's their right to do so."
Flickr photo by Josh Kramer/Flickr.