The proximity to Gem Spa.
EV Grieve reader x said this Wednesday: "Woe to the Gem Spa! Will Slurpees and Big Gulps ever replace the egg cream?!?"
Something to think about as the city continues to change, and not always for the better... Earlier this year, we saw the hysteria that accompanied the false report that the Gem Spa had closed.
How much (or little) do you think 7-Eleven might hurt Gem Spa's business? I imagine 7-Eleven will pick off some tourists who want water or sodas... and see the familiar sign. And from people who might have grown up with a 7-Eleven and find the food comforting or kitschy ...
The Daily News checks in today with a piece on the 7-Eleven opening here. Per the article:
"This is not part of what our local community storefronts are," said Gary Steinkohl, who has lived on E. Ninth St. for 25 years and was adamant the chain store would "absolutely not" fit in.
St. Marks has gone from "some alternative lifestyle, anything goes, place to a more mainstream, citified street that's almost like any other," he added.
A 7-Eleven spokesperson told the paper that: "We would not open a store we didn't think would be of convenience to the neighborhood. We typically franchise a store to someone who lives close by, and we want franchisees to become a contributing part of their store’s community."
Meanwhile, I was reading an article in The Oregonian from last Thursday about 7-Eleven's march through the Portland metro area — 15 new locations are in the works. (The article points out that 7-Elevens are opening up practically on top of each other there.)
And how are the locals taking it?
"Since December, Portland residents with concerns about increased alcohol sales and corporations draining profits from mom-and-pop stores have been demonstrating and hand wringing about 7-Eleven."
And elsewhere. In Los Angeles, 7-Eleven plans to open 600 new stores across the region.
Knowing next to nothing about 7-Eleven's history... I checked out the chain's history page on the 7-Eleven website ... the store's beginnings are traced to 1927 in Texas... and, in 1946, they adopted the 7-Eleven name.
Per the website: "As convenience stores grew in the 1950s, the retail outlets then served as the 'mom-and-pop' neighborhood grocery store, the 'ice-house,' the dairy store, the supermarket and the delicatessen all in one location."
And there you have it...
Previously on EV Grieve:
7-Eleven continues to feast on the East Village; next up, St. Mark's Place
A quick East Village 7-Eleven inventory
And have you seen the hand-painted signs that V.H. McKenzie created for Tompkins Square Bagels...? They've been up in the shop now the past six or so weeks... Read more about them here.