In the crowd of shoe stores on 8th Street between 5th and 6th, Stylish Shoe stood out. The 50-year-old business specialized in Western wear, the windows cluttered with cowboys and Indians, rattlesnakes, turquoise belt buckles, and feathered headdresses.
But what's half a century in business these days? Stylish Shoe shuttered in March and has just been gutted.
Most recently owned by Murray Newmark, Stylish Shoe had been struggling for a while, along with the other shoe stores on the street. In 2010, Crain's cited the problematic opening of nearby shoe discounters like DSW and Shoe Mania.
But Stylish Shoe had character no chain could imitate. Wrote a designer in Racked a couple of years ago, "Upon entering my first time, I was greeted with 'Welcome to the wild west' by an elderly gentleman behind the register. Behind him, the wall boasted headshots of models, musicians and drag queens from the 70's, 80's, and 90's, all past customers. Apparently the store has been in business since the 1940's or 50's."
The landlord is asking $125 per square foot for the space. The realtor's listing highlights neighbors NYU and the forthcoming Marlton boutique hotel--that promised neighborhood-changer--along with a long list of national chains: Barnes & Noble, Chipotle, Domino, Le Pain Quotidien, as well as the trendy Stumptown Coffee and Growler Station. Looks like the perfect spot for another 7-11.
And the 8th Street hypergentrification committee gets one step closer to their dream come true.