Dwayne Costea opened the Bountiful Herb store at 4958 Newport Avenue about seven years ago. He said he sold it to “Jane” recently.
“We were the original owners of the shop until [she] took it over,” Costea told me. “She was buying it from us but stopped paying, she basically didn’t pay anything, ran it into the ground, and did a lot of things that weren’t legal…. She was subletting it and stopped paying us, so we took it back and we’re changing it.”
Costea says he was left with a massive debt and the community now has another transient campsite during the night.
“She owes the landlord $18,000, which we’ll have to pay, plus she owes us $250,000 which we’ll probably never see,” he said. “But we are going to try and prosecute — anything we can to get it back.”
Rumors of a brewery moving in are false.
“It’s going to be a Zombies Smoke Shop,” said Costea. “We have two in Arizona that do really well,” he said. “We’ll have O.B.-themed merchandise as well as the usual smoke-shop goods, plus T-shirts and trinkets and a very friendly staff…. We should be open in about two weeks.”
Costea has plans to combat the influx of “travelers” who have taken up camping in the doorway: “We are also putting a gate in front so they can't sleep in the doorway anymore.”