This past summer, we noted the construction of yet another 7-Eleven, plopped right next to Kyung's Korean grocery on 25th and 8th. I wrote, "It looks like Kyung has been given just two choices: Convert or die."
Now New York Neon chronicler Thomas Rinaldi writes in with a photo and the inevitable news:
"7-11 seems to have put another bodega down, and this time it's MINE. Kyung's at 25th and 8th shuttered at the end of March. Not sure how long they'd been there. A neighbor who has been in Chelsea probably 50 years told me there had been a bodega there as long as he could remember. They closed up almost overnight. The interior is already gutted. When I asked them what happened, they were somewhat elusive about the whole thing--mentioned something about a rent hike, said it was getting harder to do business in Chelsea, that they might open up a shop somewhere in Jersey. Though they did not specifically blame 7-11, I cannot imagine this was a coincidence. I wish I'd asked more, but they really seemed not to want to talk about it, and I didn't blame them. Anyhow, since I'm boycotting that 7-11, I now have to go annoyingly farther afield for my late-night ice cream sandwiches, my Sunday morning BLTs, my most-mornings coffee. I wait apprehensively to see what comes here next."
As do we all.