Sunday, May 17, 2020

Gem Spa Sign

It's happening. Right now. The Gem Spa sign has been removed from the building. The yellow awning is going with it.

Thanks to Michael Quinn for sending in these sad shots of the wreckage:

The word "iconic" gets thrown around quite a bit when it comes to New York's classic small businesses, but with Gem Spa, it fits.

Earlier this month we learned that Gem would be closing for good, felled by greed and coronavirus crisis, after decades of standing sentinel on St. Mark's Place, and after a long battle in which many of us tried like hell to keep it alive.

As long as the sign stood, it felt like Gem was still there, just waiting for the shutdown to lift, and maybe there was still a chance.

This is truly the end.

And into a U-Haul:

Update: Parul tells me, "We will be auctioning the signs, the gates, the egg cream fountain, and old milkshake machine. We are also trying to get the egg cream counter out and will auction that too if we can get it out. We are sad to be taking them down, but I did not want to leave it for the landlord to throw in the garbage or use it in the next business that comes there if they rent it to someone. It is going to storage for now and quite a few people have already asked to buy it."


east village tours said...

miss you gem spa. another ev landmark washed away. u will be remembered.

Frank Lynch said...

Decades ago there was a lighting store in Prospect Heights called City Lighting Fixtures. It lived in a wedge-shaped storefront on Flatbush, at Prospect Place, and had a winding layout. The owners eventually retired, and their children didn't want to take it over, nor was there a buyer. Eventually a restaurant took over the space, and in honor of the prior business kept the name City lighting Fixtures, with fun lighting in the interior. It was a nice tribute.

(Burrito Bar is currently in the space.)

raplhy said...

That was the last spot that was on St Marks from the 80’s ... really a true sad site to see . I was also blown away with the disappearance of St marks and 3rd ave corner which stood munchies and the continental ( yes that been gone for a few years already ) . Nothing is kept on that block which originally which felt like home . I’m glad I moved to Chelsea 20yrs ago..
Hopefully the Chelsea Hotel stays .

John K said...

Goodbye, Gem Spa. I do hope that the Patel family can open a new Gem Spa if they can find a space and financial support, but wew return again and again to the fundamental issue, the lack of support for and protection of small mom-and-pop businesses in New York City, and the exorbitant rents. We're entering a potential second Great Depression so maybe be local and state politicians can be pushed by regular people to do the right thing instead of funneling ever more money to huge corporations. If there ever were a moment to check the mall-ification and suburbanization of NYC, this would one of them.