Wednesday, February 25, 2015

Fantasy World & Shack

Fantasy World has vacated its wedge-shaped building at 7th Avenue and West 11th Street. The shop is empty. Signs in the window say they've moved to 333 6th Avenue at West 4th.


In 2013, The Real Deal reported that Fantasy World would not last much longer here. Developer Ike Chehebar "made an application to Landmarks Preservation Commission to add several floors to the one-story building."

“They didn’t really want us here,” Fantasy World salesclerk Aileen Baez told TRD. “It took a lot to get this open because people don’t want a sex shop in their neighborhood. But we’ve never had any problems.”

Chehebar said, “We hope to reposition that asset with a high-end, value-add tenant — something along the lines of Nespresso."

before the closure

I don't know how long Fantasy World was here. In my search for Edward Hopper's Nighthawks diner, I considered their building as a possibility, but it didn't pan out. I did, however, find this 1980s tax photo of the building back when it was a Discount Center. In the 1930s and 40s, it was a liquor store.

From what I can tell, it's never been anything high-end or value-add.

Here's another shot, from a snowy day in the 80s:

photo: Nathan Tweti

For many decades, behind the Fantasy World building there was a little wedge-shaped shack. (I also considered it for Nighthawks.)

The structure was a crooked, ramshackle thing, an odd space that had long ago been the Graziano Market, and more recently the Yavroom jewelry shop.


Well, it has just been utterly fancified--because no little scrap of the city can escape such a fate. Looks like it was completely torn down and replaced with a glassy, glossy version of its old self.

It's 235 square feet and it's going for $5,000 per month. Maybe someone will put in a "specialty" coffee bar and pretend it was once the Nighthawks diner.



JAZ said...

“It took a lot to get this open because people don’t want a sex shop in their neighborhood."

Yeah, cause having no problem with there being a sex shop in their neighborhood would require acknowledging that people have sex, and sometimes even like to add various things to it for fun - oh the horror!


10:24 a.m. said...

No one needs or wants Fantasy World in Tay Tay's NYC since the ones that she welcomes and the Carrie Bradshaw wannabes invading NYC move here to live in a fantasy world of SATC where cupcakes, froyos, and Manolos, fall from the sky.

♪ ♪ ♪ Who can take NYC
Sprinkle it with froyo
Cover it in cupcakes
And a Manolo or two
Carrie Bradshaw can ♫♫♫

Unknown said...

It was a great health food store for many years on the 90's. There is many shades of pornography to me. I mean that coffee shop around the corner on Greenwich that makes a cup of coffee to order and has all these pipes and glass running around the place is much more pornographic & disturbing to me.

Anonymous said...

Personally, "Nighthawks" by Hopper is one of my all time favorite pieces of art & would love to see it recreated in New York. We need more diners!

Anonymous said...

I posted about The Pleasure Chest being there, but I was wrong. Pleasure Chest is one block south of this. Never mind.

Anonymous said...

In fairness, the Real Deal article says the landlord also owns the retail store where this tenant moved: "Jackson purchased the retail condo at the base of 333 Sixth Avenue, a residential building at West 4th Street, for $16.5 million, in an off-market deal that closed on April 10, Ike Chehebar told The Real Deal."

Unknown said...

Just an FYI before the spot on 11th and 7th was a sex shop and a discount drug store it as Heller Liquors. There was a great neon sign on the corner. I can remember my Mother telling the cab driver to turn right at the Heller Liquor sighn in the Sixties.

Potentially noteworthy is that the
Rudin signs that advertised his buildings have diapered. The large metal that suggesting that heaven awaited within his new buildings that replaced the still much need hospital are gone. These were the large metal signs that were on West 12th and West 11th Streets.

Johns Shoes
I don't know if you have reported it or not but John's Shoes at 204 West 14 Street has closed due to a rise in his rent. John's was a family run business and till the time of closing was still run by the Son with his Mon and Dad. It was a real shoe store. KFD

Bonnie Slotnick said...

Awww, Mr. M!!
You can't tell from the photos, but Mr. M Discount had tremendous value for the neighborhood. Although it started as a drugstore, it gradually morphed into a neighborhood general store where you could find anything you needed, from duct tape to flip-flops to band-aids to "health drinks." I don't think I would have filled a prescription there, but there was a real "thrill of the hunt" in trying to find some obscure product on the overflowing shelves (and floor). "You think they don't make that anymore? Try Mr. M!"
There is nothing like it left in the nabe, and even the discount stores on West 14th Street are closing.
re: 333 Sixth Ave., I got the impression that the new owner of the building was phasing out the sex/tattoo/smoke etc. shops that opened there while a sidewalk shed was in place (for years). It was as if the new businesses had bred in the dark, and finally the shed came down and WHOA! When did this happen? So I don't see another sex shop moving in.
Did the Crazy Fantasy peeps really think they could compete with the venerable Pleasure Chest? CHUTZPAH!

Anonymous said...

I think the little shack behind it used to be a piercing shop in the late 70's into the mid 80's

John K said...

Wasn't there for many years a spontaneous 9/11 memorial, covering a chain link fence, once right across 7th Avenue from here, at the southeast corner of 7th and Greenwich? I think the last time I walked past a tower or something is going up there. UGH!

rafael storm said...

I know that the claim for it to have been the model for Nighthawks has been disproven, geez, does it ever look like it!