Thursday, August 2, 2012

Avenue B is for Change

Let's put together all the recent changes on Avenue B that we've covered in recent months... We'll start on East Houston and head north ...


... where the liquor store remains closed after several years...


... and the hardware store next door is still on the market after closing last fall ...


At 14 Avenue B, another applicant is going before the CB3/SLA committee this month in hopes of opening some kind of bar-cafe-restaurant...


Across the street, The New World Order, a vintage boutique, closed in May... and the empty storefront offered up a photogenic night-time shot...


However, there is already paper over the windows... another business on the way in...?


On the corner, a well-placed tipster told us in April that Thomas DeGeest, founder of Wafels & Dinges, will open his first café based on the same concept as his popular food trucks in circulation around the city.


In late May, Zaitzeff abruptly closed... this space and the basement location next door of the former Dolphin Gym sit empty...


Next door, the former Croxley Ales Beer Garden is full of weeds ... while Croxley Ales plans to expand to the storefront to the north. (Not pictured)

Up on the southwest corner, a chunk of the ivy-covered building is empty after Mama's sudden departure...


On the east side of the street between Third Street and Fourth Street, the stretch of storefronts that included the LeSouk empire are empty... Neighbors have been buzzing about that rumor that the building will receive a few extra floors during an upcoming renovation (only rumor for now) ...


Max, the 12-year-old Italian place near Fourth Street, will have a new location in Williamsburg ... when that opens, according to The Wall Street Journal, the Avenue B location will close...


On the northwest corner of Avenue B and East Fourth Street ... Kate's Joint closed in April ... word is an organic market will be opening here...


And at Fifth and B, the former Cabrini Center for Nursing and Rehabilitation will become upscale housing...


Meanwhile, expect some dumpsters here in the coming weeks and months...



The Hare Krishnas moved out of their home at 96 Avenue B last summer, as BoweryBoogie first reported.

[BoweryBoogie]

At 98 Avenue B, Pizza Grupo will be moving into Layalay, the former B&T hookah hotspot, from its current home at 186 Avenue B...

[Ah the memories! 98 Avenue B a few years ago...]

And, of course, at Eight Street... St. Brigid's continues its restoration...

[Monday... by Bobby Williams]

Between East Ninth and East 10th ... the former pet shop is still for rent... it closed in May...


On the corner of East 10th Street, the sidewalk shed finally came down outside the former Life Cafe space after too long ... the 30-year-old Life closed last Sept. 11, as we first reported... (And Ninth Street Espresso will expand into part of the space...)


Next door, Lakeside Lounge closed on April 30. Workers have gutted the exterior in preparation for a new bar from some folks involved with Niagara...


An applicant is on the August CB3/SLA docket for the former Mercadito Cantina space that we hear will be a BBQ joint ...


On the east side of the Avenue, No. 165 was on the market... with promises of retail and two-more floors. The building is now in contract, per Streeteasy.



Up on the next block, we've been writing about 185-193 Avenue B, a former theater and, later, church... workers just started demolishing the place to make way for a 12-story apartment building that will include community space and the new home for the Elim Pentecostal Church...


What else... a space for rent near East 13th Street...


... and the Copper Building retail space has yet another broker...


And as we reported last November, an "artisanal cocktail bar" is opening upstairs from Bee Liquors (in the space that has been home to White Noise and Uncle Ming's). Yesterday, Paper noted that the space will be called Pouring Ribbons, and run by American Bartender of the Year Joaquín Simó, who worked the last five-plus years at Death & Co.


Lastly, maybe, you can rent the former Luca Lounge space for the low price of $19,995 per month.


If you made it this far without bursting into tears or something... I've counted 22 empty storefronts. (I didn't mention a few that have been closed for some time.) Still, for all these sweeping changes... there are some really good places on Avenue B, from bars (Mona's, Manitoba's, Vazac's, B-Side) to stores (Bee Liquors, Sunny & Annie's, Amor Bakery, Wendigo) to institutions (GOLES, Lower East Side People's Federal Credit Union) to restaurants (Cafe Rakka, Y Cafe — you have your favorites ...) ... and just two franchises: one national (Subway); and one local (Duane Reade). Wonder how long that chain-free feeling will last...

Previously on EV Grieve:
There are more than 20 empty storefronts along Avenue B

24 comments:

Morgan Tsvangirai said...

Damn. Great post.

So what the hell is going on?

Anonymous said...

It is merely the next wave. The businesses that arrived in the 1990s to cater to the Indie Rock-Thrift Store Crowd (Mama's, Lakeside, Kate's) have gone just like those people have moved on or whose tastes have changed.

Now, a modest luxury phase sets in to cater to the New Money, the recent arrivals with cash and assets who want proximity to Wall Street as well as Silicon Alley. This explains why we have new housing at Cabrini, organic markets and artisanal cocktail bars.

Soon enough, when a studio on B is running $5K, it will all change again. It always does. It always will.

Hey19 said...

Wow, great reporting, when you lay it all out like that, it really is stark.

I didnt know some sort of market was moving into Kates Joint, thats great, Im tired of being under the thumb of Gracefully.

I know I say this every time, dont forget Sigmunds and Snack Dragon, both good, honest businesses, and Paradiso Tiramisu for that matter, they put up w my intro to Italian, they get a nod for that.

Also have to agree, great to still have Mamas bar, 7b and B Side, great spots.

So Cafe Buon Gusto is worth trying? Ill have to go soon, good food and no corkage fee is tough to find.

nygrump said...

Another Bloomburg success story!

Anonymous said...

Thank you CB 3 for denying every applicant that applies for a liq lic or beer & wine lic

Fashion By He said...

whats the deal with that run down school, think its on 12th street? any update on what is being done with it?

James Famularo said...

thank you cb 3

EV Grieve said...

@Fashion by He

Do you mean the former PS 64-CHARAS/El Bohio on East 9th Street between A and B?

Sitting empty still after 10 or so years... Being pitched for "community use" now...

Marty Wombacher said...

You just know that 7-Eleven and Subway are drooling over all those empty storefronts. Thank God for Mona's and Manitoba's, the M & M's of Avenue B!

Anonymous said...

The Manitobas were looking for alternative space some months back. Nothing seemed to come of it.

Wilfrid said...

Inherited Discovery Wines from Avenue A too. But this miserable story does confirm that the choice is between nightlife and empty storefronts, not between nightlife and mom'n'pop businesses. Short of legislation to stop rent increases, they can't survive.

Sad, but what's the alternative?

Anonymous said...

Continuum Cycles near 13th, my go to bike shop. It might seem elitist and insufferable from the outside, and I didn't want to go here at first but these guys have been quite helpful and forthright and their prices seem lower than anyone else's, so now I go out of my way to get my stuff here. Also Gruppo Pizza is great esp. if you like very thin crust.

jdx said...

great article. :)

LvV said...

There's a fab clothing designer who lives in the storefront of his space between 12/13th Sts, west side. He repurposes clothing and fabrics and always has something interesting in the window, and has been in the hood at least as long as me (~15 years). I hope he stays forever. Because I am a dope, I can't remember his name right now ... Geo?

nygrump said...

11;13 - one solution is to not allow empty spaces to be tax write offs -the market has spoken and the market says the rents are too high.

Goggla said...

Wow, this is depressing.

I second the recommendations for Sigmund's, Mona's, Manitoba, 7B, Sonny & Annie's...gotta give some love to Amor Bakery btw 13th & 14th as well.

tourist said...

damn. was that your last post?

Anonymous said...

Shit. Avenue C is in better shape. Ain't that something.

Karen said...

Thanks for the scary recap. On a positive note, I just read about a San Francisco group that brings pop-up shops to vacant storefronts. Sadly I doubt that EV landlords would be open to such a community supportive program.

More can be found here:
http://us2.campaign-archive1.com/?u=5b63a0823e3b9c105434c46d7&id=468b11ee80&e=218370d6ea

And here: http://www.yoursqft.com/

tourist said...

we are so busy in the united states saying we are number one that we dont notice we are not anymore. there is so many more interesting things happening in other cities of the world. each one of our buildings should have huge mural monsters from head to toe. it would be the hottest thing. this is what happens when the rents and everything is too high. everything becomes conservative and scared.

Hey19 said...

Ill second Continuum, they are good guys. Bike nerds, but good guys. I always focus on food service in these conversations, but what Ave B really needs is more stuff like Continuum.

Anonymous said...

wow, looks like an apocolypse.

the community board should be begging for restaurants, bars and cafes to open!

Or maybe they want it to continue the slide back to the good old "edgy" and "gritty" days of the 80s when we had open air heroin dealers and lines of junkies.

Good times!

Anonymous said...

Don't fret. Ave B became the epitome of a shit hole (or barf hole, as it were). It was due for a nice "cleansing rain". Maybe it will be better this time around once businesses who don't want to be surrounded by shit hole barf lounges begin to retake the storefronts.

Anonymous said...

The neighborhood has been in a slow decline for a good ten years now. Nothing new. The local artist and musician types have long fled the coup along with the once unique air that filled the streets. Replaced with trust funds and run of the mill night life. Still a couple okay bars but the scene has been bludgeoned with mediocrity and reality tv types.