Tuesday, July 22, 2014

Roxy Luncheonette


In 2012, I checked in with the Roxy Luncheonette, a little swivel stool and counter place down on John Street that had survived since 1944.

Now, in its 70th year, the Roxy has shuttered.

Roxy egg cream, 2009

Reader Frank writes in with the sad news and recent photos:

"At some point in the last 18 months or so, the owner sold it to new operators. They modified the name, calling it Roxy's East West Diner. It was basically the same--still a diner--but not quite as good."

"Worse," Frank adds, "the ongoing, hellish construction on John Street kept the Roxy (and its neighbors) hidden under a sidewalk bridge. Tragically and ironically, workers carted off the sidewalk bridge last week--just in time for the Roxy to close."

Roxy today

In 2012, a reporter asked the Roxy's long-time owner how long he thought he'd be able to stay open with all the construction outside. "Couple more months," said the owner. "Maybe a few more months."

The little Roxy lasted two more years, and yet succumbed--another victim of hyper-gentrification. The construction that killed it is due to: A new Pace University dorm with a TD Bank and an Urban Outfitters, a new hotel, and the Fulton Center, "with an increased focus on retail."

An auction was held at the luncheonette yesterday.

An egg cream at the Roxy
Roxy suffers under John Street construction


Anonymous said...

Oh, where is Jessica Lapin and the staff from the Downtown Alliance who say they are helping small biz in the area. Ain't so. Lapin is over paid. With their assistance she & the alliance work with the developers to destroy the Seaport, the new amsterdam market and all small biz.

Anonymous said...

The bigger story is the rampant corruption. How much does the city pay for these never ending projects? As far as the Downtown Alliance is concerned they only care about these big dollar projects not small biz. Bet that sidewalk bridge will be back at some point. The focus on retail is a focus on long term big money leases. Lets say 10 years at 300k per year minimum. The days of folks pooling resources to open a place are over in Manhattan.

Anonymous said...

There are a number of high-rise buildings (luxury housing, hotel, Pace dorm)going up around the narrow streets of John, Fulton, Nassau, Beekman.

This has meant big increase in traffic (delivery trucks, cabs), pedestrians and garbage. It is a disaster waiting to happen. (Narrow platform on 2,3 at Fulton is similarly overcrowded)

It is unbelievable that the Bloomberg Administration permitted high-rise development in an area with narrow streets and sidewalks.

2:01 p.m. said...

Agree. Downtown Alliance and Lapin are more for the trendy and luxe "small businesses" for the the moneyed trendsetters, tourists, transients, and Bloomberg's godsend billionaires, not the old-school mom-n-pop shops serving the whole community and neighborhood.

Joey Blau said...

and poor It's A Pizza! closed last year.. they had the best special.. $1 a slice from 4-6pm. real pizza not cheap slices..

had the clams and oysters at les Halles last night. . tasty! They have survived and are doing restaurant week.

Anonymous said...

I lived across the Roxy in the apartments at 17 John from late '07 through late '09. I remember The Roxy remodeling in 2009; I frequented the place both before and after the remodel. I came back to visit the area in 2012 and noticed the Roxy space had been split in half, to allow for that pizza place on the other side. Very sad to hear all of this is gone, but that construction was going on the entire time I lived there, so I'm not surprised it's killing everything in its wake. That Duane Reade didn't even open up until 2009.