Thursday, June 11, 2015

University Place Deli

The deli/market on University Place and 13th Street is no more. On Twitter, Deb Schwartz posted a photo of the shuttered spot and noted that the place has been here for 47 years:



Chris Bandini sends in a shot of the market's heartfelt goodbye sign. Lee, its author, begins: "Thank you for letting us serve you for last 30 years," and remembers watching children grow into adults, get married, and pass on.

This is why we grieve the loss of mom and pops as they're evicted and replaced by national chains, luxury condos, and banks -- because they are family. They know us and we know them. This was a good market--an alternative (one of the last) to the glut of ever-spreading chains in the area.



I don't know why the University Place deli has closed, but this entire area is being wiped out. The deli's building is right next to what had been the Bowlmor Lanes building, gutted and soon demolished for luxury condos. What will be the fate of this little tenement?

University Diner was kicked out a couple years ago and it's been gangbusters since. Right around the corner, Bennie Louie Chinese Laundry is getting kicked out after two or three generations. A block away, Jack Bistro was kicked out to become a TD Bank. Realtors and developers are hyping the area around 12th and University as the new "Gold Coast."

And I have heard some unsettling chatter about the future of Cinema Village, which is right in the middle of this endangered zone.

Somebody, do something. #SaveNYC.



12 comments:

Anonymous said...

All these Mom and Pops disappearing after 50, 60, 90 years. The fabric continues to unravel. I wish places like this could have some kind of preservation status just as buildings do. They are just as crucial to a sense of place and community. I visit NYC frequently. It makes no sense to me that certain restaurants for example, full of hustle and bustle, are boarded up when I come back 6 months later.The ghost of Rod Serling needs to write a story about this…blah monolithic luxury condos metastasizing, wiping out everything in their path. NYC as ghost town except for very rich owners landing in some kind of drone on their penthouse roofs to do a quick check of their property before returning back overseas.

Tal Hartsfeld said...

National chains, luxury condos and banks...
Where are the stores, supermarkets, laundromats, hardware stores, and all other manners of practical, essential businesses catering to the necessary functionalities of normal everyday life?
And what about affordable restaurants?

Why can't American society accommodate EVERYBODY unconditionally anymore?
There's always been "social rank" and the prejudices associated with it, but somehow in times past it seemed to, sort of, "know it's place". These days it's become so overly collectively invasive.

Anonymous said...

That building and the ones right around the corner from it on 13th were seedy and deteriorating. I'm not surprised someone else bought it.

Anonymous said...

Have the buildings around the corner on 13th been sold as well? They are seedy and haven't been kept up.

Anonymous said...

Walked by and saw the note on the door, today. Sad and stunned.

I worry about the Whitney Chemist down the street—a small crowded place with lots of personality. Has a great old doctor's scale by the door. I'm pretty sure this neighborhood staple has been here for at least sixty years

Anonymous said...

My mother, who was born in Iowa and graduated from Northwestern University in 1945, came to NY City that year. She worked for a small magazine, a copy of Reader's Digest titled Coronet. The magazine itself was once a piece of NY City until it disappeared around 1970, however it was briefly returned to life when it was mentioned in one of the last episodes of Mad Men. I'm sure few viewers caught the cultural reference. But there it was.

During her employment at the magazine she published a few stories, one of which was titled "Uncle Sam the Umbrella Man," about a Times Square merchant of umbrellas with a shop serving all the characters you'd expect in that area in search of protection from the rain.

Anonymous said...

Just last week I was walking down 5th Ave to Washington Square Park, it had been a while since I was in the NYU area. I lived around there from '94-97. Wow has it changed. That monstrosity that is the New School on 5th Ave & 14th St is so out of place. The only thing worse is the Cooper Union Bldg on 7th St & 3rd Ave- you talk about being totally out of place?! It just ruins the neighborhood. I thought the Village had zoning laws? I remember University Diner, Bowlmor, & The Palladium on 14th Street. The Variety Theatre on 3rd Ave & 14 (Now it's an Old Navy I think) Now it's all NYU. St. Mark's, Bleecker Street, 6th Ave, no more Gray's Papaya, the entire neighborhood is different. Thank God some old places like Cosi's Soup N Burger Diner, Webster Hall, & of course McSorley's survive but everything is under construction. Still a lot of great places to walk/see/experience but New York has really changed in the 20 years. I'm not even going to bring up visiting as a kid in the '80s what Gotham was like- talk about a different place!

Anonymous said...

I heard the new owner closed all the businesses, including whatever was on 12th St. I work right by here, and this was my go to deli. I'll miss the counter guys, the checkout women, and the panhandlers out front. They were all as nice as could be.

Allanya Reape said...

Like I said in another post I'm very worried for Cinema Village. One of my favorite theaters in the city. Everything in NYC is becoming a "Million Dollar Listing" just like the Bravo tv show. It's very sad. I've eaten at University Place Deli before and the staff was very nice. Sad to see it go.

Anonymous said...

Awwwwwwww. Ok. So Uni Place is now toast. That is SICK! The deli is the last remaining icon of the time past when yes I said it us old school Greenwich Village folks actually roamed the village as soulful kids,as we grew into our futures. Where is the Soul now? It has been bought and payed for by the corporate greed !. Cold crass money machines who only see $$$$$$ as their personal piggy banks for future enrichment . As they systematically corrupt and destroy every last NYC icon of originality creative love and identity they only turn this city into a cold ugly shell of boring, sterile, vacuous, real estate meaning nothing more than a bargaining chip, with the most inflated price payed for each square foot, the goal!
This city is DONE! It's gradually being crushed by these shallow money hungry shills , and the only ones who really know it are the Old Timers who were actually here in the moment to witness the before, and the heartbreaking present! The Newbies are clueless. They say Uni Place is the new Gold Coast???!!!! REALLY????? Only because it has been Destroyed , torn up, demolished by the wrecking ball, pushing the Real People OUT, while replacing them with the Techie Zombies of the Future Souless, Sterile, and Senseless!!!!!!

no_slappz said...

In 1947 my mother lived at 107 University Place, which is across the street from the Bowlmor site and the building is essentially unchanged from the days when she lived in it. In 1951 she married, and in 1955 my sister was born. It was then that my small family decamped from Manhattan for life in the suburbs.

The story of my family is an old one. However, I've been in NY City for decades and have no plans to leave. My kids? Will they stay or go? Hard to say. They've grown up in the city and who knows what they'll decide in the next few years?

Anonymous said...

All new building permits for corner banks and coffee shops should have a public restroom mandated. We can't stop this growth so let them contribute something necessary to the neighborhood. It would help to eliminate public urinating.