Friday, August 15, 2008

Kim's Is Coming

Recently I reported a rumor on the street that the old Kurowycky butcher shop on First Ave in the East Village would become a video store--possibly a XXX video store. It's not XXX, but the rumor has been confirmed: Kim's is coming east again, four years after closing their "mean" location on Avenue A, where the original Kim's was born in 1987.

From a source close to the source, we hear that after the Community Board roadblocked Penmanship, the upscale eatery that may have preserved some of the vintage butcher shop elements, the building and former butcher shop's owner decided not to further pursue the restaurant route.

Already, Kurowycky is being gutted. The sign recently came down--the letters were too brittle to save, crumbling in the demolition men's hands--revealing an older sign, spelled out in the ghosts of lost tiles: STASIUK BROS, the meat market bought out by Jaroslaw Kurowycky in 1974, long before these days when, as the shop's head butcher once told Drawger, "everybody want Whole Food stores: a lot of lights, decorations, show off, that’s what they want."

Thankfully, some folks from the neighboring International Bar have been working with Kim to salvage some of the marble and the porcelain subway tiles from Kurowycky. And while I'm sad to say most of it is going, I am not sad to know that we're getting a Kim's instead of another crowded, noisy restaurant. Especially when the big Kim's on 8th Street will be closing.


Anonymous said...

I believe the head butcher is now at Schaller & Weber; at least, I spoke to a former Kurowycky butcher now there, but not sure if he was the head one.

Anonymous said...

I heard the Kim's up by Columbia is closing its doors soon. But I guess this new one downtown will be a welcome consolation.

Jeremiah Moss said...

i gotta say, this is kind of like hearing that an old restaurant supply shop eyed by keith mcnally for another pastis is instead going to be a used bookshop.

it seems kind of incredible.

Anonymous said...

Maybe, just maybe, the tables have started to turn...please, oh please.

Anonymous said...

tables turning? sure, it's turning 360 degrees.

JakeGould said...

Well, FWIW who rents videos anymore? Let alone from Kim's? Thank goodness for file sharing and the iTunes store. Now I can get what I want without really having to deal with the surly asshats at places like Kim's.

Anonymous said...

"Thank goodness for file sharing and the iTunes store. Now I can get what I want without really having to deal with the surly asshats at places like Kim's."

Good point, dillweed. Because no one has film selection quite like iTunes. Huh?

And honestly, is it me, or has the surliness of Kim's clerks been a bit exaggerated, especially online? Yeah, they're young and pissy, but Jesus, from all the harping online, you'd think they're serially butt-raping customers.

Kim's has a great, thoughtful selection. In a lot of ways, still better than Netflix. That's what you want in a video

Oh, I forgot, this is the New New York...surliness must be squashed at all costs! Bring on the sunny smiles of Pinkberry!

JakeGould said...

John M, this dillweed here grew up in NYC and has scoped out bootlegs and rare videos since back in the day when "It's Only Rock and Roll" was still in business on West 8th Street.

And you know what? The guys behind the counter there were nowhere near the asshat level you get at Kims. Ditto with their record department.

There's a difference between being blunt and being an asshole. Being a New Yorker doesn't mean being an asshat. That's a yunnie fallacy if there ever was one.

Anonymous said...

I agree that the surly rep of Kim's clerks has been greatly exaggerated - I've been a frequent customer at the Mondo Kim's location for over ten years and have had far more pleasant experiences than bad ones (although I've had those, too). And that's a minor side point - their selection of rare and imported video for rent and sale is incomparable. (NetFlix? iTunes? You've gotta be kidding me.) And I don't see how the tiny location in those pictures can compare. This is not a "welcome consolidation" at all.

I just heard ten or fifteen minutes ago that Mondo Kim's is closing and I'm in shock. You should have an entry on that, too, Jeremiah (maybe you do - I haven't looked around your blog yet). I don't know what to make of a NYC that can't support a place like that - in the middle of the frackin' East Village/NYU area. This city truly is going extinct.