Last week, I reported on the impending demise of Les Desirs Patisserie in Chelsea. Last night, their plight made the news on NY1, which you can watch here, and flyers have turned up all over the neighborhood asking you to stop in and sign the petition, which has so far gathered about 700 signatures.
But it's not just Les Desirs that's in danger in vanishing. It appears that the entire strip of businesses on this block is being flipped.
On the corner of 25th, the Marathon Bank branch closed in late September. Next to the bank, a Jackson Hewitt tax prep office has closed.
Next in line, there's a bodega called Lotto Center. Inside, it's the usual lottery tickets, bags of plantain chips, and dishwashing liquid. In the back, there's a makeshift cafe table where a small group of older men gather. They sit talking. Maybe this is their Les Desirs?
Last week, a woman in the bakery told me that the store's neighbor, upscale tapas restaurant Txikito, will be expanding and taking over the bodega.
Txikito, like the rumored incoming Sullivan Street Bakery, represents the new tone of this business strip. It's known for its big prices on small plates, from the quail eggs to the octopus carpaccio. Reviewers on Menupages note: "Our bill ended up being over $100 per person" and "the prices were outrageous and it almost seemed as if the management was trying to test how HIGH they could take their prices up."
The neighbors who frequent this business strip today cannot afford Txikito, just as they can't afford to eat at Co., on the 24th Street corner, just as the panini at Sullivan Street will be beyond their meager means.
At this rate of loss, I won't be surprised when the Cleaners & Tailor next to Les Desirs vanishes, too. Maybe it will be replaced by a wine bar. Or something equally vital to the people who actually live on the block.