Monday, November 17, 2014

What to Worry About

This weekend, Tim Donnelly at the New York Post published an interview with me about what's left to worry about in our vanishing New York. You can read that article here.

After we first did the interview, it prompted me to ask readers on my Facebook page: "What are some places in danger of vanishing, or that you just worry about?" Here's that list, somewhat organized. Not all of these places are in danger--most just give off that feeling, that sense of foreboding, of days numbered. They make us worry. I may not agree with everything on the list--some of the places I've never heard of--but it's a collective effort, and a work in progress.

We put the list together just this summer and already the places are being picked off. Both Yaffa Cafe and Smith's Bar & Grill have vanished. Cafe Edison has been given notice.

It happens fast. If we don't get the city to take action soon, all that's left could be wiped out.

*UPDATE: I will try to keep this list updated as things change:

Little Poland
Neptune (vanished)

La Bonbonniere
Cup and Saucer Luncheonette (vanished)
Café Edison (vanished)
Neil’s Coffee Shop
Lexington Candy Shop
Cafe Riviera (vanished)
Cafe Orlin (vanished)

Peter Pan Donuts
Donut Pub

Ray’s Candy
Raul Candy Store (vanished)

Castillo de Jaguar
La Taza de Oro (vanished)
El Parador on 34th

El Quijote (vanished)

Le Veau D’or
Tout Va Bien
Chez Napoleon
Marchi’s (vanished)

Russo's Pasta
DiRobertis’ Pasticceria (vanished)
Di Palo
Ottomanelli’s Butcher Shop
Isle of Capri (vanished)
Ferdinando's Foccacceria

Yonah Schimmel
Moishe’s Bake Shop (vanished)
Barney Greengrass
Streit's Matzo factory (vanished)

Glaser’s Bakery (vanished)
Killmeyer's Old Bavaria Inn

Wo Hop

Pete McManus
Nancy Whiskey Pub
Old Town Bar
Jimmy’s Corner
Smith's Bar & Grill (saved)
Rudy’s Bar
Holland Bar
Hank’s Saloon
Grassroots Tavern (vanished)
Ear Inn

Julius’ Bar
Ty’s bar

Village Vanguard
Arthur’s Tavern
Showmans Jazz
Paris Blues

First Flight Music (vanished)
Music Inn
Other Music (vanished)
Rebel Rebel (vanished)
Academy Records

Donohue’s restaurant
Sam’s Pizza
Knickerbocker Grill
Yaffa Café (vanished)
Noho Star (vanished)
Café Pick Me Up (vanished)

Gem Spa
Jim’s Shoe Repair (saved)
Trash and Vaudeville (forced to move)
Desco Vacuum Cleaners (vanished)
Moe’s Meat Market art gallery (vanished)

Cherry Lane Theater
Shore Theater

The Strand
East Village Books

Marietta Fashion
Moulded Shoes
Hyman Hendler & Sons
Orchard St. Corset

The Sensuous Bean
Porto Rico coffee

Royal Hair barber shop

East Village Meat Market


Anonymous said...

I've actually heard rumor that Hank's is on the way out too.

Anonymous said...

What about Niagara?

EV Grieve said...

The Stage and Odessa...

esquared™ said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
onemorefoldedsunset said...

I believe Hank's lease is only good until 2015. I hope they can extend it, but it will be tough going - pretty sure the owners will want to develop that corner. Now there's a bar with stories ...

Anonymous said...

Donut Pub -- OH NO!

Julius, Ty's, Cubbyhole -- West Village morphing into Scarsdale!

Glad I'm outta NYC!

Anonymous said...

Marie's Crisis?

Anonymous said...

I have another you can add:




Anonymous said...

When will they come after St.Pat's? Great location, y'know.

What has replaced The Primeburger?

Anonymous said...

Angelica Kitchen

Two for the Pot

Stephen Rourke said...

Not to mention the Union Square Theater.

Anonymous said...

this list is dumb.

places that will survive: ones that own their own building, like Katz's.

places that will not: anyone who can't make enough to cover the new & improved EV market rates.

cybelep said...

If anyone knowsa business is "safe" , i.e. perhaps the owner owns the building or has a long lease left, please. let's put a note about that. I believe the Porto Rico Coffee on Bleecker building in owned by the family. If they want to close it will be by choice.

Anonymous said...

Dublin House

Eric said...

Doesn't the Strand own its building?

Sistahgirl said...

As far as I know, the Strand owns their building and thank God for that, cause it's been my favorite bookstore for the last 22 years!

Anonymous said...

Never assume that even Katz's will be around forever. If an offer for the property was high enough , don't you think they would take it?

Moira said...

Here are my votes for the potentially endangered:

Ricos Tacos in Sunset Park. How long can this super cheap, low-fi, authentic hole in the wall taco joint last? I saw a bearded hipster sitting with his chick last time I was there. Not a good sign. Unfortunately, the whole area is ripe for gentrification. In another few years it'll be the new Park Slope-- with no more Ricos Tacos.

Casa de las Velas on 116th St-- NYC's oldest botanica, established 1921. Go there and buy something.

Capri Bakery-- also on 116th. A Latin bakery worth the trip just for the window full of absurd, fantastical and oh-so-colorful cakes.

Or how 'bout good ol' Save-a-Thon-- the fabric, crafts and housewares store on 3rd Ave in Spanish Harlem? I've been going there for many years and it looks to me like they've been hurt by the Michael's Crafts that opened on the UWS.

Matter of fact-- take a walk around the whole Spanish Harlem area if you want to catch some old-school flavor before it's all gone. The changes have been slower over there than on the west side of Harlem, but it's only a matter of time.

Speaking of which-- if you think it's bad downtown, you should see what's happened in West Harlem. I moved up here 15 years ago so I could enjoy an old-school, low-key, neighborly 'hood-- and the place is unrecognizable now. It looks like a giant bulldozer came through and left a trail of chain stores and yuppie high-rises in its wake. You could fill a phonebook with all the mom 'n pop businesses that have fallen by the wayside. Every single week I notice another row of empty storefronts or another beautiful old building that's slated to come down to make room for a big box store or a bland office tower. And now... the ubiquitous 7-Eleven is arriving up the street from me.

The problem is-- there's nowhere to run any more. Not even in the outer reaches of the outer boroughs. What can you do when so many people seem to be clamoring for the shrill, the vapid, the mundane and the disposable? Of course, it's not just NY. This sort of rampant wholesale destruction and homogenization is happening in cities all over the world. I do realize I'm preaching to the choir, but... man... it really hurts.

Mod Betty / said...

Thank you for putting this list together - and for everyone's additions. I wish there was time to canvas and ask the business owners how things are going, to confirm if our gut feeling of dread is based in reality. Then we could know whether they've been approached by monied condo developers or are simply looking to retire, or in happier news, have someone in the family who is eager to take the business over and continue the legacy .... a girl can dream!

9:39 am said...

Frank's Bakery in Astoria, and Polish Deli in East Village did not survive Both owner owns the building and. List ain't dumb. Nothing and no one is safe. Money talks. Welcome to Taylor Swift's New York! It's been made expensive for you!

Anonymous said...

Murray's Sturgeon Shop on Broadway and 89th St

Unknown said...

Isle of Capri owns the building they are in since 1946, and is no danger of closing. As most can be said here, if its on the internet, its got to be true, right?

Anonymous said...

De Robertis Pasticceria owns the building and not only in danger of closing but will be closing as the building has been put up in the market. Keep drinking the gentrificaton Kool-Aid, in the internet or otherwise.

Anonymous said...

Owning a building means zilch these days. For decades, the beloved and profitable Gardenia restaurant on Madison Ave and 67 was the mainstay for residents, after school, doctors and window shoppers, celebs who were never disturbed, etc. Great food, great service, great tradition.
And the story goes, the relatives who lived in Greece and owned a chunk of the building read about all the great profits selling Madison Ave buildings to name designers and
....well, there you go.

Anonymous said...

What's the story with the Silver Star ... a really great diner...but also a great corner!!!.. 67th and Second... uh,'s been there 50 years....even if they own the building .(?) desn't seem to Gardenia.
Curious....if a building sells their air rights, can it still be developed to a larger building???
The thought of losing the Silver Star is too sad....everyones neighborhood kitchen...better than their own!!

Anonymous said...

To anonymous from a couple mornings ago, Frank's Bakery retired. I lived on that corner, they retired after 50 years and it was replaced with another local business, a Greek restaurant.

As for places like The Strand at Katz's, I believe that if it caters to tourists, it's safe. Those both count.

Anonymous said...

This Tuesday March 31st at Community Board 5 in Manhattan landmarking
changes will be discussed that may increase the FlatIorn district to
include amongst other preservation
areas the buildings 43-55 west 28 th street. Also known as Tin Pan Alley.

Histories have been written about the pop songs that was published
in these groups of un protected lofts
historic lofts 45 west 28 was where the original
Wizard of Oz was published in 1904.

Please try to attend this meeting
go to CB # 5 website for more info.
(Written on 3/28/15)

Rongee said...

Please add to your list of "What's Left To Save"; Block Drugs, 101 2nd. Ave. & Albanese Meat & Poultry, 238 Elizabeth St. FYI, Allied Builders (59 2nd. Ave.), a local mom&pop hardware store serving the needs of the Lower East Side for the past 33 years is closing up shop. The building was recently purchased and the new landlords thought it would be a good idea to triple the retail store rent to $26k a month. The madness continues.

Unknown said...

Hyman Hendler is gone. Another ribbon shop in Manhattan bought some of their stock but I don't have their name. M&J Trimmings also bought some and are selling it off in a section of their store on 6th Ave near 38th St. Another large portion of Hendler's
stock went to a fabric and trimming store in New Orleans. It breaks my heart!!

biscuits&gravy said...

Nom Wah

And it's doing better than ever...They changed their 'procedure'...there's a check-off menu now whareas before, they brought you whatever chef was cooking. Always har gao and Shu Mai though, the dim sum staples.
The Veselka is still hopping. And there's always The KGB bar 5 blocks down!

And I believe Russ and Daughters is still i good shape...