Tuesday, March 24, 2015

Reciprocal Skateboards has closed on East 11th Street



That's it for Reciprocal Skateboards, the spirited shop/hangout at 402 E. 11th St. near First Avenue.

Owner Jon Eastman, who has run the place the past five-plus years, explains in a Facebook post:

[I]t comes with great sadness and difficulty that I'm forced to announce that as of this past weekend, Reciprocal has closed its doors for good. We are unfortunately completely out of resources to continue operating any further. And by resources, I mean money.

Over the last year or so I've scraped and clawed desperately from my own personal finances to get just enough money together, so that we can stay open and keep this beautiful thing alive. And that worked for a year or so. However, regardless of how hard I try, the margins in the skate industry, particularly for a mom and pop skate shop are just not there. The prices of skateboards today are barely more expensive than they were 20 years ago. Even cheaper if you factor in inflation. Yet our costs to purchase these products have gone up consistently.

Sure, we can charge more, but we have to compete with CCS, and Zumies down the street who buy in volume and charge next to nothing for cheaply produced decks with clever marketing campaigns. We're already more expensive than those companies, and the numbers still don't add up for us. This coupled with our increased rent, made the decision a clear one.

We'll particularly miss playing the shop's pinball machines, curated by Eastman, whose grandfather ran an arcade on Coney Island.



Images via Facebook

18 comments:

Anonymous said...

Sad to see them go. Jon was always friendly and kind as well as being helpful to his neighbors. I wish we had played more pinball. The landlord has nerve raising the rent: There is always garbage outside and the buildings are kept like a dump, (not Reciprocal's responsibility) but it's all a factor. Plus, the "mural" on the wall—not at all welcoming.

Gojira said...

Never went in here but always liked seeing it when I walked by, it was quirky and colorful and had an older East Village vibe. Sorry, Jon, but thanks for your efforts, and may you land somewhere else more conducive to success. NY ain't that place any more for so many people.

Anonymous said...

Jon has a successful bar in Williamsburg called Jackbar. He knows how to hold it down. Go check it out!

Anonymous said...

That's a shame. Jon's a nice guy, and this was a cool little place to get one's mind right after work. Will be missed.

Anonymous said...

Jackbar is fantastic. Well priced beer, cool people everywhere, and that pinball that always lured me into reciprocal when i was in the area. Bring the extra tables to the bar!

Also I'm sure if a few decks hung behind the bar (the artwork is always alluring), the neighborhood kids would eat it up, you can probably sell quite a few. Keep the dream alive, you're vision was and still is appreciated.

Anonymous said...

As another Anonymous wrote, Jon also owns the pinball-themed bar Jackbar on Havemeyer Street in Williamsburg. Heard about it through the skate shop, stopped in a couple times. Nice laid back vibe and good beer, and of course great pinball.

Anonymous said...

When my husband and I started dating Reciprocal was one of the first places he took me to showed off his hood (I was living in California at the time and what proper Cali girl doesn't love pinball and skateboards?) Right then and there I knew I was gonna marry him! We even settled on our current apartment since it was just a mere block away. I am so sad that another piece of great East Village culture is drifting away. But Reciprocal will always live on in our hearts.

Anonymous said...

Sad. Loved going here with my kid, though we hadn't been since he got his board. Shit.

Anonymous said...

I don't understand, was this a pinball arcade or a skateshop

Anonymous said...

"lso I'm sure if a few decks hung behind the bar (the artwork is always alluring), the neighborhood kids would eat it up, you can probably sell quite a few."

The underaged are going to have a difficult time buying skateboards at a bar.

Anonymous said...

I just brought my daughter and a group of her friends there for some pinball after movies & pizza. Such a shame. Maybe it's time for an arcade somewhere else in the neighborhood?

Anonymous said...

"I don't understand, was this a pinball arcade or a skateshop." Both.

Anonymous said...

Jon and his staff were really cool people. I don't skate, or play pinball. But when my twins were first walking on the sidewalk, not stroller bound, we often took 11 th instead of 10th because it was less foot traffic. We would stop in and were welcomed warmly , always. I only purchased a few hoodies and tees there, mostly gifts. But knowing they are gone takes a piece of the EV heart away. Will take the damn L train to patronize his bar. Great, great guy. Quite indicative of what we are losing due to hyper gentrification.

Anonymous said...

you can play pinball at modern pinball on 3rd ave but it's all murray hill br0s there.

Anonymous said...

This one hurts.

Mark Gunter said...

Farewell and thanks to Jon, Greg, Jill, Avi and Adam for a great run from your small but dedicated Arkansas fan club!

Chris ryan said...

Sad to see Jon n Jill leaving. A regular stop on our stroller walks with the baby 😓

Anonymous said...

Ugh just t walked there. As a father of two toddlers, this was my one respite on a Saturday afternoon, while they slept in the stroller....this one sucks extra bad