After setting off a panic when it opened in 2012, and "Effectively Stabbing Village in Heart," it appears that the IHOP on Carmine Street has one foot in the grave. Still open for business, a FOR LEASE sign recently appeared on its front.
Originally, IHOP signed a 49-year lease for this corner of Carmine and Varick, paying $300,000 per year. The real estate agent who brokered the deal told the Wall Street Journal that Carmine, "was a dumpy street. Now it's top-notch." IHOP is "a big brand, and it'll help me convince other big brands to follow. People don't even know where Carmine Street is--yet. We'll fix that."
Not so fast.
As a bonus, this news comes just after a self-professed "New Yorker from Elsewhere" waxed nostalgic in Downtown
for this very IHOP, recalling a recent snowy night on Carmine when "tourists
and locals alike gathered at clean, florescent-lit, flavored-syrup laden
tables" for a taste of Ye Olde Suburbia. She explained why Manhattan's
glut of chains appeals so much to the newest newcomers to the city: "We
go to IHOP or Denny’s or Applebee’s because when you walk into a place
like that, a place that speaks of other-state suburbia with every wheeze
of the vinyl padded booths, every crack of the egg-yolk spattered
menus, it reminds you that you are from Somewhere Else, and for a half
hour you can settle back into your accent and some mediocre but utterly
It is utterly depressing to think of young people coming to New York and dragging their suburban worlds with them, like separation-anxious teenagers carrying their old teddy bears off to college. Manhattan is not Waukesha, or Toledo, or Walla Walla. Nor should it be.
While it's likely that a bank or another chain will take IHOP's place, I'd like to enjoy this For Lease sign as a hopeful sign that the revanchist onslaught of suburbanization is failing. The controversial 7-Eleven on St. Mark's Place closed last month, now this--what's next? Will we go through a process of de-suburbanization?
Chain Stores in the City