Designer Monica Botkier is teasing us. Last December she opened a pop-up store in Soho, a month-long dry run to determine if she could open a standalone retail location in 2009. We crossed our fingers hoping this was the real deal, but a full-time store is a no-go — for now. "The Soho store exceeded our expectations. I'm 100 percent confident that we could do a store in New York and it would be successful," Botkier says. "But it's not a great time to open right now. People just aren't in the mood." Thanks, economy. You punked us again! But the designer is still shopping around. She's set on a store somewhere downtown, like the Meatpacking District, Soho, or Nolita — in a space smaller than her temporary 2,000-square-foot Soho one, which cost $300 to $500 per square foot and was too large for her needs. So a Botkier store will open, it's just a matter of when. "I'm waiting for something to speak to me and say 'yes, this is it.' " Aw, if only all the lonely, empty storefronts could talk.