When the Gray's Papaya on 6th Avenue and 8th Street shuttered in January, thanks to a massive rent hike from the landlord, New Yorkers were devastated, heartbroken, and more devastated.
We soon learned that the spot would be taken over by the growing Liquiteria chain. The place has been covered in plywood since, but I just took a peek inside.
It looks...like a Liquiteria. No more vats of papaya and pineapple juice. No more hot dogs glistening on the grill.
Instead of guys in red bowling shirts slapping coleslaw on your dog, you'll find a team of "cleanse coaches and ambassadors" striving to "personalize your Liquiteria experience" at this "health and wellness oasis."
Instead of two hot dogs and a papaya drink for less than five bucks, you'll get one papaya smoothie with Liver Kidney Lymph Detox mixed in for more than five bucks.
We can say that "things change," that New Yorkers today are more interested in juice cleanses than hot dogs, that Liquiteria and Gray's Papaya are (were) both local chains so what's the difference. Each point is debatable, but all of it ignores the simple fact that Gray's shuttered not due to any lack of love for hot dogs, but to another insane rent hike.
We have one Gray's Papaya left. Like all our small businesses, it is completely unprotected from a similar fate.
It's time to stop the insanity--let's Save New York.