Monday, November 24, 2008

Chelsea Liquors

In March, I reported that the block of 9th Ave between 17th and 18th is going to be shut down, store by store, by the new landlord. The closings have begun.

After 30 years, Chelsea Liquors has shuttered. Owner Brian Rhee, who spoke out against the landlord's plan at last May's protest, is emptying the store today. The lights are out on that old neon sign.


Anonymous said...

That was a great store, I am sad to see it go. It's a shame that good family businesses have to be shuttered so that Chelsea can have yet another wine bar or something else stupid!

Anonymous said...

We'll miss you Brian!!!

Anonymous said...

I stocked my bar for the holidays at his final sales. Hope it helped him a little bit.

Anonymous said...

I'll play devil's advocate here. Why shouldn't a property owner be able to exercise his 'right' to do what he pleases with the property that he owns?

Should the government force me to change my religion? Or stop me from saying something that's on my mind? Well property rights are right up there with the other rights that we, as Americans, enjoy.

Thank you,
Fritz Mondale

Anonymous said...

@Mondale. Manhattan should always remain a blended socio-economic community. Bloomberg has been doing his best to let Manhattan become a playground for the super wealthy despite the fact they are losing their jobs as we speak. Mom & Pop shops have always been the bread and butters of this city. They're the ones that have helped NYC get by during tougher times. Not your fancy quick money scheming real estate deals. There is not question they are important. According to Bloomberg, we are all taxed consumers. Fine. How many of aspiring middle-upper class people are out there NOW spending our money to buy $12 glasses of wine and $100 steaks? That's what Bloomberg was betting on and now we've all got to tighten our belts and skip the expensive meals. This corporate model for handing such an important city is about to blow up in Bloomberg's face. Have fun staring at the empty shops. Keep in mind, that landlord, that wanted these stores out so badly, has been groveling for existing store owners to sign short term leases so they can ride out the bad times to come. Oh, the irony! Good riddance.

Anonymous said...

Ok. I'm going to overpay for property and stick a Gucci, Prada, and let's just throw a coffee shop in there (never mind.. there is one and it's always EMPTY)... All in the middle of lower middle class neighborhood. And I have every right to do this. Is it smart? Does it help the city's economy? No, but it's hell of a funny thing to laugh out loud at. And whoever had the amazing idea of doing that should start thinking about switching careers because everyone involved with the new landlord is absolutely incompetent for even thinking this even makes any sense.

JakeGould said...

At the anonymous devil's advocate, as someone who grew up in NYC I've never been deeply saddened by stores closing. It's a fact of life. But in NYC nowadays, what is creepy is these places that have truly served the community for years close down and what takes it's place? As someone else said, a Gucci, Prada or some coffee shop. And not a normal coffee shop, but an over-priced one.

What's happening is a whole class of store and business is disappearing and will most likely not come back. That's what I am mourning.

And it's almost impossible to explain to friends what it was like to visit Greenwich Village in the 1970s and 1980s. A real mix of shops that appealed to punks, aging hippies and even tourists back then.

Now, I literally have a primal urge to visit old areas in NYC on the weekend. But often stop because why would I go there? To have coffee at a different Starbucks? Or pass by another overpriced jean/t-shirt shop.

When Bloomberg runs for a 3rd term we need to vote him out. It's enough already.

Anonymous said...

This block of shops is/was truly pathetic. Some really dingy flea-bitten places here primarily selling junk food, liquor, fried foods and unhealthy stuff. Are you well-to-do nostalgic blog readers bemoaning the loss of mom-and-pop stores you never shopped in unable to admit that stores that pump junk to folks who live across the street in the projects aren't in the public's best interest?

Jeremiah Moss said...

well, i do shop there. is a turkey sandwich on whole wheat junk? i also get beverages and magazines in those stores. i've had tailoring done there. i've gotten my hair cut there.

the incoming shops will be so expensive that the people living nearby will not be able to afford their turkey sandwiches on foccaccia bread, etc.

so how is total lack of accessibility "in the public interest"?

furthermore, the people running those shops are neighborhood fixtures who provide a greater service than just selling kids chick-o-stix. they provide a fabric of safety, community, and continuity.

you have completely missed the point.

Jeremiah Moss said...

p.s. i fuckin love chick-o-stix

VICTOR said...