Thursday, July 12, 2018

Coffee Shop

VANISHING

After 28 years on Union Square, Coffee Shop is closing.



From The Post:

Co-owner and President Charles Milite says:

"The times have changed in our industry. The rents are very high and now the minimum wage is going up and we have a huge number of employees.”

Personally, I never went there except once or twice. It was too expensive and full of models. But, you know, the rent. And God save that neon sign.


13 comments:

RMAN said...

I visited the Coffee Shop once, to pick up head shots from a waitress/model working there.
Never cared for the attitude of these kinds of places, but the scenery was nice. Reminded me of a discount Spago's (at least least ago)

It's always sad to see a piece of old NY disappear though, slowly the city erases its past, memories linger but even that fades over time. That's a shame.

Donnie Moder said...

Sad. Never went in there. I never even looked in. I just assumed it was overpriced "weird" "fetishy" "foodie" stuffand it would always be there. The coffee neon sign is amazing.

James said...

When restaurant owners start blaming wages, they've gotten tired. When I moved here there was not to be this place for a good five years. This is simply not what I envision when I think Coffee Shop, anyway. For that, it'd have to be the lost Sunlight chain, Howard Johnson's two places on Times Square, the Palladium on West 53rd, and the Cosmic on Columbus Circle - plus twenty or thirty more forgotten gems. And don't I wish we still had real Chock Full o'Nuts counters where coffee was last forty cents.

bob dylan said...

This post is like an existential crisis for this blog.

Andrew Porter said...

Hundreds of eateries I haven't gone to, since I've become an old geezer with health problems and eating problems. Besides, by shopping for food and eating at home, I can save so much money that I can spend on sex, drugs, and rock'n'roll...

cinemage books said...

back in the 80's it was an ordinary coffee shop same sign I used to have lunch there quite a bit with a friend who worked in the building next door.

Mitch Golden said...

Hard to tell if this place is as popular as it once was. One can assume that when a business fails the owners will always point at outside matters. The minimum wage increase hasn't happened yet, (though we should expect it to have an effect: https://medium.com/american-restaurant-supply/how-will-minimum-wage-increases-actually-affect-the-restaurant-industry-67ff788236a3) and was the lease up right now? - he doesn't say.

I preferred Republic, now vacant for 7 months, across the street.

Manqueman said...

Eh. J, you generally write up places whose loss make the city a little shittier. The Union Square Coffee Shop was one of the first places to make its area worse. It was the beginning of the end for the area.
Or put it this way: The kind of loss you usually write about results in an area or neighborhood becoming worse. In this case, the coffee shop's passing won't have any such effect.

GG said...

Though expensive, Coffee Shop managed to put together a vibrant mix of hipness, good food, and respect for the old diner's design. The Brazilian influence made it kind of loose and comfortable. These days, such a subtle approach would be considered conservative...

dmbream said...

Has to be said because this story will play out again elsewhere: rents are certainly a major culprit, but the $15 minimum wage as well as the mandate to provide health insurance for businesses with over 50 employees means otherwise "successful" businesses like Coffee Shop will be facing the same fate.

Increases in regulation, taxes, it's all part of the story.

Something about good intentions...

traceyjackson@mac.com said...

This was next to my office for 15 years. I didn't go a lot. But I went enough. And for a long, long time. They could be snotty in that reverse hipster way - but it was a neighborhood joint in so many ways. And it was a place for people to meet who wanted to look pretentious, but not. But, it was there and reliable and not super hyped fancy. And you could sit outside and nurse a coffee or a beer and watch the parade. Sad Sad Sad. I'm leaving New York in the next few years, can't take it.

Gregoire Alessandrini said...

One of my favorite places when I moved in NY in 1991. It looked really great with it's cool neon sign outside. Chic but not stuck up, with something very classic but not uptight...A great place to eat, drink and take out/meet pretty girls for dinner ! Also have great memories of the Giant Step parties (with live New Jazz/funk) that used to take place in the basement. I'm very sad.
Grégoire Alessandrini
www.nyc90s.com

Mikema Reape said...

This Coffee Shop is closing on my birthday. RIP Ate their a few times. The food was okay.