Every year, at the end of the year, we take a look back at what's been lost over the past 12 months. Some of the losses were big ones, some smaller. In chronological order (more or less), the ones covered here:
The Holiday Cocktail Lounge
After an illustrious history that included literary legends like Allen Ginsberg and W.H. Auden, after a few recent years of struggle, the great Holiday succumbed. It's been gutted and will be turned into a fish n' chips gastropub kind of thing. The Holiday had been here since 1965.
This half-century old shop shuttered and left Manhattan for the Bronx, which is not exactly vanishing, but still--it was booted from a prime spot to the periphery.
In its never-ending vanishing act, the Meatpacking District demolished this Depression-era building. A glass tower is coming.
After 119 years in business, Manganaro's Grosseria closed their doors and sold their building. After a painful gutting, a restaurant called Tavola moved in. This one hurts like hell.
A Clean Well-Lighted Place
One of the last places on the Rodeo Drive section of Bleecker Street that was not a luxury shopping mall store, this little gallery quietly closed and its space became...a luxury shopping mall store. The gallery had been here since 1976.
World of Video
After 29 years in Greenwich Village, this popular and beloved video store lost its lease.
Chelsea Gallery Diner
The city is losing its diners. Another one fell when the Chelsea Gallery was forced to close after 30 years on 7th Avenue. A sad loss for many in the area.
Bill's Gay 90s
Another especially painful blow, the loss of Bill's Gay 90s was one that should never have been allowed. After 88 years in business, Bill's lost its lease, which was handed over to trendy restaurateur John DeLucie. The place was gutted and upscaled.
Atlas Barber School
With a hiked rent, thanks no doubt to the hideous tower going up at Astor Place, this long-lasting barber school shuttered. It had been in business in Manhattan, and mostly right here, since 1948.
Arleen Bowman Boutique
When A Clean, Well-Lighted Place closed on Bleecker, it left one old-school shop standing. But not for long. After 25 years here, Arleen Bowman was forced to close by rising rent.
More agony with this one. The wondrous Prime Burger closed after 47 years in business--and its gorgeous decor went with it. The building was sold and the new owner would not give them a manageable deal. An awful loss.
Without much of a peep, the beautiful Lascoff closed on the Upper East Side. Established in 1899, its interior was stunningly cathedralesque. Now it's gutted and gone.
More stupidity and pain. After 60 years of "serving Broadway," Colony Records was given an impossible offer by its landlord, Stonehenge Properties, a quintupled rent of $5 million per month. It shuttered.
Movie Star News
Opened by the infamous Irving Klaw, sustained by images of the great Bettie Page, Movie Star News was part of Manhattan since 1939. But then the rent went up, and now its space will become a luxury bathroom fixture store.
Lafayette French Bakery
After more than 30 years in the Village, this little (sometimes controversial) bakery was evicted. A trendy restaurant has taken its place.
Another barbershop fallen, Mei Dick vanished this year, disappointing many photographers who enjoyed its homophonic joke.
Partners & Crime
After 18 years on Greenwich Avenue, this bookshop closed down due to the city's growing lack of interest in books and its passion for pawing at greasy little screens.
And another diner gone. I'll miss this one, too. It shuttered after 60 years in business.
It was 85 years old, surviving on the glammed-up edge of the Meatpacking District, and then it was gone. This one also really sucks. I keep hoping it will reopen.
9th Avenue Between 17th and 18th
All of the small, beloved businesses in the large, nearly block-long building owned by Stonehenge (the same folks who socked Colony Records) were evicted this year.
After nearly two decades of drag, Lucky Cheng's left its dilapidated building in the East Village for Times Square. Again, not exactly a vanishing, but a vanishing--the old Lucky Cheng's and the strange history of its building has come to an end.
Village Chess Shop
They'd been on Thompson Street since 1972. Then they were evicted.
The Stage Deli
Without warning, this 75-year-old landmark closed, leaving many tourists and New Yorkers bereft.
Today will be its last. I went up for a final drink before the place is taken over and faux-stalgia'd by the Nobu team. The landlord had doubled the rent on this classic space, this gem of Harlem, open since 1942.
So many numbers, so many years. Some of these businesses had been in New York City for over 110 years, others a mere 20, but it adds up. In fact, if you add up all the years in business, just for these businesses listed here (there were plenty more), the total comes to approximately 1,255 years.
In 2012, we lost 1,255 years of history. That's more than a millennium--just gone.
Past year-end reviews:
2011: Businesses, Structures, Food, People