At just 102 square feet, David Goline’s new jewelry store and repair shop is the smallest we’ve ever seen.
“Come in, come around the counter,” he said Thursday, eager to show the tools of his trade — a stone-setting workbench, a desk for watch repair, grinder and torch for metallurgy — the classical tools that have been used by jewelers and goldsmiths for hundreds of years.
His prized equipment is wedged into a former storage room at 300 Broadway, Lorain.
The space is tight to navigate but Goline was clearly ecstatic to have it, bounding around and talking about his new lease on a longtime career.
Goline spent 32 years working in Amherst, first with Kolenda Jewelers and then under his own banner as Dave’s Gold and Jewelry, both on Church Street. Until he retired in 2006, he kept shop at the small, ancient building next to Amherst Cinema that once served as town hall, a school, a police station, and firehouse.
At one time, he said, there was a handshake deal with a former owner to let him buy the historical building.
The old store was razed to the ground this spring to make way for outdoor dining at the soon-to-open Brew Kettle. When a demolition crew started to tear the structure apart, Goline got a call from cinema owner Mark Costilow.
“He said I had to get down there if I wanted to see the old shop one last time because they were biting into the back of the building,” Goline said. “I had a tear in my eye because I had so many good memories there… When I saw that building torn down I felt like a part of me was torn down too. It shattered me.”
In his more than three decades in Amherst, the jeweler built a customer base of roughly 14,000, he said. Many of their faces came to mind as he stood by and watched his old shop destroyed.
Now Goline wants those customers to know he is back.
“I missed the people,” he said. “I missed the face-to-face contact. That’s a lost art.”
His new store, at City Center just across the street from Lorain city hall, is tiny (it has a maximum occupancy of three, a third the size of his previous Amherst location) but novel.
It features floor-to-ceiling windows through which customers can watch him work. That’s a rarity. Most jewelers protect the secrets of their trade, barring eyes from their back rooms.
The goldsmith said he’s willing to trade that privacy for ambiance, allowing customers to watch while he works on precious stones and heirlooms.
Jason Hawk can be reached at 440-988-2801 or @EditorHawk on Twitter.
Jason Hawk | Amherst News-Times David Goline works on a ring Thursday at his new, albeit very small, gold and jewelry store in downtown Lorain.