Wednesday, January 28, 2015

Rumors: Duane Reade expansion will take over adjacent storefronts, including East Village Cheese



A tipster tells us that the Duane Reade on Third Avenue at East 10th Street is expanding, and will gobble up the adjoining spaces that include the 21-year-old Excel Art and Framing Store and East Village Cheese.

The owner of the Frame Shop received word this past Saturday that his lease will not be renewed; "that a handshake deal was already made with Duane Reade in early December."

Per the tipster: "Both of these small businesses are very important to the community."



The convenient store and clothing boutique Project 36 have already been emptied out ahead of the expansion…



The tipster noted that there's already a huge Walgreens on Astor Place. Not to mention the recently expanded Walgreens on East 14th Street and Fourth Avenue … and the Duane Reade locations on East 14th Street and Third Avenue … and East 14th Street and Broadway.

And this won't be the first time that Duane Reade looks to KO beloved neighborhood businesses.

75 comments:

Anonymous said...

I've always thought that Duane Reade was a bit small.

Anonymous said...

I walked by East Village Cheese the other day and marveled that it was still there - so much for that

xootrman said...

Time was folks came to the Nabe to score "recreational" drugs. Now big drugs are moving in. How about that for irony?

Ken from Ken's Kitchen said...

I was just at EV cheese on Monday. This is no way to start the day.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Duane Reade will start selling cheese.

Anonymous said...

I use to tell people that the EV (A-D) were pretty safe from corporate takeover of the retail space. For example the amount of boutiques, hair salons, etc... which can make a 300-500 sq foot space into a working space. With the new big construction happening east of 1st ave I have to rethink this theory.

Gojira said...

Just at a loss for words.

sam_the_man said...

Hey, what's that? Something affordable and useful? Fuck you get out.

Anonymous said...

They do sell cheese at most duane reades.

Anonymous said...

If this is true, EV Cheese should relocate within the neighborhood. They are a destination with a strong following and could thrive elsewhere.We shouldn't assume this is the end should the rumors prove true!

Anonymous said...

East Village Cheese is a unique wonderful place. It is a bargain cheese place. Also has deli meats. It probably is not what people want in terms of sparkling new age green propaganda where everything is packaged and you get a fancy bag. If you want a hunk of cheese or hunk of deli meat with a baguette or a bagel, some real American coffee and some chocolates, then it's a great great place.

Anonymous said...

It's all up for grabs now folks.

Anonymous said...

Anyone know whether the coop owns the commercial space in the building or whether it is separately owned (i.e., who is the landlord, the coop or some other entity)?

Anonymous said...

Cheese is unhealthy and shouldn't be eaten.

Anonymous said...

Shut that bloody bouzouki up!!!

bowboy said...

On Bway, we have a D-R just below Houston St. and then another just above it. I swear I could throw a tennis ball from one store to the other. Of course, both are mostly empty except mid-day. Over-expansion will be their undoing. Unfortunately, we'll have to live through a decade or 2 of this crap until they collapse. ugh.

Anonymous said...

Duane Reade is slowly taking over New York. What a fucking shame.

Anonymous said...

I'm very sad to hear about the Excel frame shop. We used them to frame nearly everything in our apartment and the guys who work there are outrageously kind and good at what they do. I'll be extremely sad to see that wonderful small business go.

olympiasepiriot said...

How on earth is that thing not big enough already? Are they trying to force us all to only consume, use, or admire what they sell?

I already stopped going into any of them because of the Jim's Shoe Repair issue. NO matter what! There's an enormous one across from my office...I plan things to make sure I don't need to go there for anything. So far, I've been able to make it work. (The closest I got was needing a last minute birthday card and remembering that there was a Hallmark store in the Manhattan Mall. Yeah, it's another chain and it actually was difficult to find a decent card, but Hallmark isn't pushing out useful businesses at the moment, so they benefited in a tiny way.

Anonymous said...

Boycott the bastards!

Anonymous said...

This is so depressing. Must we lose every small business that distinguishes us as a neighborhood? Is capitalism only for huge corporations, not for mom-and-pop stores?

Anonymous said...

Like a previous poster, I am wondering if the retail space is under control of the co-op building that sits above it, and if so, do the tenants have a say in what happens to the retail spaces? Is there anyone in that building who thinks Duane Reade has plenty of space and we still need small shops in the neighborhood?

Anonymous said...

The coop does not control the space

Anonymous said...

Good news! They are going to relocate hopefully just across the street. 👍

Anonymous said...

Unfortunately the Coop has no say. Very frustrating!

DrGecko said...

@ anon 1:26 - Who's moving across the street? The frame store or EV Cheese?

Anonymous said...

Motherfuckers! Time to boycott Duane Reade!

Anonymous said...

I adore EV Cheese. And to whoever thinks cheese is unhealthy: go eat some cheese.

Anonymous said...

It is easy to blame faceless corporations from doing what they are designed to do which is to expand exponentially until they ultimately collapse and their corporate bones are scoffed up by another corporate identity. However I think we are losing sight the faceless and often nameless landlords that are making the deals, forcing out tenants with rent hikes which mean "get out". There's plenty of players in this game and we and our neighborhood are always the losers.

Anonymous said...

Since this doesn't affect me directly, I don't care that much. Maybe I should, but I don't.

Anonymous said...

I'm convinced EV Cheese would do even better than previously have, if they moved further East. 1st Ave would be awesome. They're too far into no mans land on 3rd.
Hey, what's happening with the De Robertis space? (hint-hint)

Anonymous said...

We've been going here forever and started noticing that inventory was way, way down in the store in the past few months. Stuff in the front cases went from $2 to almost $4. Fearing that this would be the announcement. PLEASE move further East!!!

Anonymous said...

It is a Walgreens company.

EVQP said...

NOOOOOOOOO! EV Cheese 4ever...

Anonymous said...

NOOOOOOOO! This is NOT acceptable! Shame and fie on Duane Reade for being such a disgusting useless space hog! (I remember very well how DR was the first business to close on 2nd and B during 1) blackout and 2) hurricane)

I LOVE East Village Cheese. Like an oak tree, it has sheltered many nonprofits (allowing them to provide cheese for cheap at events) and non-billionaire folks in the shade of its generous prices.

This is terrible! In 10 years: Duane Reade City, wall to wall....

Anonymous said...

These type of businesses are expanding in the EV because it is what the landlords think the new residents want. In some cases they do and in some cases they don't. Look at all the new businesses that cater to the millenials and the kidults that can't make it. The real culprit behind all of this rapid change in NYC is the changing of the rent laws. If there was no such thing as vacancy or luxury de-control then the predators wouldn't have swept in and bought all the buildings. The old landlords were making money off rent-regulated tenants as most rents went up 3-5% per year which kept pace with their costs. After the rent laws changed the predators did the math and new down to the apartment what units in what buildings were over the 2k mark and what were close. They then purchased those buildings for outrageous sums and systematically cleansed them of undesirable rent regulated tenants, turned them into defacto dorm rooms, frat or sorority houses, with no kitchen to speak of. This is there business model.

So this new demographic is now what is driving the types of businesses we have. They would never think to go to a cheese shop, a fishmonger, a butcher, a bakery or the farmers market. Don't get me started on how fearful I am we may lose our weekend market on Avenue A. So now we are getting the same shit that everyone else has, because that is what they know.

If you want to slow the rapid change then you have to support the strengthening of the rent laws, support preservation (developers hate landmarked buildings) and shop at your favorite small businesses. Not to toot my own horn, but every Christmas present I gave, my tree, my food and my booze for the holidays, with one exception was purchased below 14th street and East of Broadway from local businesses. It's how I shop every day.

Anonymous said...

@ 10:36 AM
You are on confused puppy. You don't even know who you are, do you? But enjoy your boutique cheese and chocolates.

Anonymous said...

@ 2:16 PM
Thanks for the informative post.

Anonymous said...

The rent stabilization law is unfair, inequitable and causes building decay and tenant abuse. Just get rid of the law altogether. I live on a 2 bedroom rent stabilized apartment. I would like to downsize but won't move because I can't find a cheaper 1 bedroom.

Giovanni said...

I would really like to meet the marketing geniuses who keep saying to themselves, "What the East Village really needs is more big chain stores."

I would then like to show them what the bottom of the East River actually looks like.

Anonymous said...

When I was recently looking for an apt. to relocate in the city, most of the landlord's, or real estate agent's, or rentee's, pitches were that a Starbucks or Duane Reade or a bank were only a few blocks or feet away.

The new generation doesn't need local businesses such as East Village cheese. They can always order from Fresh Direct or Whole Foods or Amazon to get their cheeses. No need for real people interaction. All they need is Tinder, Snapchat, Instagram...apps to feel "connected".

Anonymous said...

Blandification rages on.

Anonymous said...

What I find disturbing is that Duane Reade nowadays sells groceries.

Anonymous said...

The landlords don't care what the residents what, they rent to the highest bidder. Don't mistake their motives for altruism.

bowboy said...

"Since this doesn't affect me directly, I don't care that much. Maybe I should, but I don't."
-- that pretty much says it all, and it's why this kinda stuff will just continue.

NOTORIOUS said...

This is such a shame. I go to both of these businesses on a regular basis, particularity the frame shop as there are so few of them left.

How many of these fluorescent nightmares does Duane Reade need to force upon us? There are several within blocks of each other. WTF?

Anonymous said...

I think it's great that Duane Reade sells groceries. They're cheaper than bodegas and the food is better.

Jill said...

When Woolworths closed I felt Duane Reade took their spot, somewhere between a drugstore and department store where you could get pretty much anything. That Duane Reade doesn't sell Budgies is a sticking point, but hey, times change. Since they were bought by Walgreens the tempo has changed and they have become even blander what with that shrink wrapped "food" and I miss Woolworths even more.

EV Cheese is owned by Murrays cheese and sells the leftovers they can't sell for $1165/pound on Bleecker St. The line is always long and the selection varies. If you want something specific forget about it, but if you are open hearted, they are the best.

NOTORIOUS said...

I'd hardly call what they sell groceries. It's dorm snacks and soda.

stuart Z. said...

Two of the BEST stores in the East Village. OMG! I sure hope they find another home. Realtors, landlords help them out!

Anonymous said...

FUCKING DISGUSTING. I WILL FIGHT THIS.

Kurt said...

@Jill East Village Cheese is NOT owned by Murray's

Around the corner from Astor Place, the East Village Cheese shop is a long way from the Himalayan plateau, where owners Thupten Tenphel, 35, and Lobsang Tsultrim, 29, grew up. Like many who opposed the Chinese occupation of Tibet, they were forced to flee the country in the 1990s because of their political views. Neither spoke a word of English when they arrived in New York, but they found work at East Village Cheese and taught themselves in part by listening to chatter in the cramped, bustling store.

http://eastvillage.thelocal.nytimes.com/2011/11/07/east-village-monks-at-east-village-cheese-the-owners-like-the-munster-have-monastic-roots/

Goggla said...

Heart.
Broken.

Former East Villager said...

I am very saddened by this news and am hit by so many thoughts and memories.

And what of the employees? That block -- the pawnshop, the barber school. I'd forgotten a lot, but it came back to me when I saw the photo.

Firstly, that when I was sort of poor, East Village Cheese kept me pretty much alive. I lived mostly on cheese, crackers, pastrami, canned beans, bread, jam, and tea. I shopped at Western Beef, Met Food, Key Food, Prana, and the 4th Street Coop. I liked them all,
but EV Cheese always made me feel not poor. I always felt like I was walking on air when I left the shop.

Steadily my circumstances improved and I saved and I could buy more things, such as the canned seafood
treats in the back. Again, these things keep for a long time, were inexpensive, and I always left with a smile
on my face.

After I was evicted, I would try to visit NYC when I could. And I always went back to EV Cheese. The last few hours I spent in NYC in December, a morning, I went to EV Cheese, Key Food, and Gena's in the afternoon for lunch. At EV Cheese they knew I was traveling and wrapped up my cheese in extra plastic wrap without my asking. It almost seemed like a
goodbye.

Nostalgia, happiness, loyalty. I believe in these concepts still.

EVQP said...

Checked in with them today and they say they are looking to move - in the 'hood. Phew!

Anonymous said...

@4:41, If you think the rent stabilization law is so unfair, then give up your rent stabilized apartment.

Jill said...

Huh, I have a clear memory of reading that they were owned by Murrays, but i guess not. Sorry for spreading misinformation. Now my night is ruined as I try to figure out where I read that!

Jill said...

Ok just to prove I'm not totally crazy I found one citation, and I can see how something like this would register as being owned by Murrays, though it says it was founded by the same Murray.

"Best Cheese Steals in the City: There are some stores in New York (Schaller & Weber comes to mind) that take you back in time as soon as you step inside. East Village Cheese is one of them. Started by Murray Greenberg, who also founded Murray’s Cheese, in order to take advantage of surplus cheese purchased by wholesalers, East Village Cheese is a mish mash of remainders, both packaged and by-the-pound (half pound minimum). Cash only, and what you see is what you get – it may not be Brillat Savarin, but where else can you buy brie for $1?

http://www.kimberlybelle.com/2010/08/cheese-please-part-i.html

Anonymous said...

Don't think the last bit about Murray's Cheese owning EV Cheese is accurate.

Anonymous said...

You don't understand.

chris flash said...

The only way to kill corporate chain parasites is a sustained BOYCOTT campaign.

However, it seems to me that the demographic that Walgreens/Duane Reade caters to are transients with no roots or connection to the NYC neighborhood they are living in at the moment. What the fuck do THEY care about a cheese store that's been serving a community they are not a part of for more than 20 years??

Folks should look at Jeremiah Moss' proposal to save small businesses by restrictive zoning vs chains, as is being done in San Francisco and has been done in NYC against "adult" businesses under Giuliani (See vanishingnewyork.blogspot.com)

Anonymous said...

EV Cheese used to be in the nabe, but were forced out (one of the very first casualties, along with Pete's Spice shop), but more likely they were given a good deal on the third avenue rental boom that took place awhile ago when all those new buildings went up (NYU dorms, etc). But now with West Side on Third & 13 and TJ's around he corner, it is especially tough. Open Pantry is shutting down because of that as well. You feel when a business is closing when they aren't making an effort to generate new sales. The variety at EV Cheese has remained pretty static since the summer.

Anonymous said...

The demographic/generational changes mean even if you try to limit chains the small places will suffer. The population is so different now. People shop differently. They have different tastes. And if you're going to throw blame around blame the old time landlords who cashed in and sold. They never get blamed. Why?

Helaine Sorgen said...

I remember EV Cheese starting in or near what is now Whiskers on 9th Street off of 2nd Ave. I think Whiskers might have originally been 2 small store, one of which was the cheese store and one of which was Cobblestones before they moved to their present location. (What say you, Delaney?). Murray and his whole family worked there for ages, even after they moved to 3rd Ave. Various family dynamics led them to eventually sell. Does anyone else remember this?

Anonymous said...

Funny thing is that as a kid I used to shop at the original Duane Reade between, yes, Duane and Reade. Back then it was just some crummy drugstore a block from our apartment. Never would have guessed that it would morph into an evil greedy hydra-headed corporate monster out to transform NYC into one city-length soulless fluorescent-lit aisle of overpriced shitty body products. Torture to think I might have strangled it in its crib by shopping at Ralph's on Chambers instead! If, like some people say, these oversized chain stores are just sidewalk-level branding, then I'd say DR's branding is going horribly wrong and I hope at some point some mindless exec wakes up out of his capitalist zombie coma and realizes it. That and some goddamn zoning restrictions...

Anonymous said...

DEVASTATING NEWS! I hope EV Cheese is able to find other space in the neighborhood!

Anonymous said...

I do recall in the late '90s, the current Whiskers space was 2 stores: Whiskers and Teriyaki Boy. I don't recall what was there before that era

Anonymous said...

I spoke with the owner today and he said they were going to move in August to a store of similar size on Avenue A and 13th Street.

Jill said...

Yes my husband remembers it being on 9th St too. It's the first thing he said wheni told him about this-- they moved before, they'll move again, no way will they give it up, that place is always packed.

By the way it is owned by Tibetan Buddhist Monks

http://eastvillage.thelocal.nytimes.com/2011/11/07/east-village-monks-at-east-village-cheese-the-owners-like-the-munster-have-monastic-roots/

Scuba Diva said...

Anonymous—January 28, 2015 at 11:26 AM

Cheese is unhealthy and shouldn't be eaten.

You know that, I know that; unfortunately that's kind of beside the point. I've been in the neighborhood over 30 years, and like several commenters here I used to frequent E.V. Cheese a lot; when I was a poor freshman in 1980, I lived up at 3rd between 13th and 14th and got the grape leaves here. I learned a lot of cheeses I wouldn't have been able to get otherwise.

Since I've been vegan, I haven't found much of a reason to go to E.V. Cheese, but I'm certainly heartbroken that they're being forced out and am taking this as yet another reason to avoid Duane Reade stores like the plague.

For several years now, I've studiously avoided the empire that is Duane Reade/Walgreen's—and I can't even do that completely, because they have certain things I need and don't know where else to get them.

(From the time Walgreen's started moving into the city, I subconsciously associated them with Wal•Mart, and it saddens me to know how close to the truth that actually is.)

Gojira said...

13th and A?!? Yes! The only open storefront I recall at that intersection with any kind of size is 205, wonder if that might be the spot? I'd be there every week!

Anonymous said...

This is a big problem where coop residents have no say on who the retail is in their buildings. My coop was an HPD built building by the evil Ron Moelis, L&M Development & Donald Capoccia. They made money by selling units and keep the retail space. Of course, they don't rent it out to a small biz owner. Oh, no it's given to a nasty chain. Let's not that after selling the coops and keeping the retail space they changed it to a condo corp. Yet the corporation has never met.


Can we find out who their landlord is?


Anonymous said...

You can't put your arms around a memory.

Anonymous said...

East Village Cheese was always the best. I hope they can relocate and we can still buy all the wonderful bagels, cheeses, pastas, coffees, jams etc. again.
Melanie
East Village Corner

Anonymous said...

This is so sad!!! I can't believe that they would close such a nice store because of corporate greed. All of these chains are killing the culture of the East Village.