A reported rent hike forced Cafe Pick Me Up out of its 20-year home at 145 Avenue A at the end of May.
Meanwhile, landlord Icon Realty apparently hasn't been renewing leases for the small shops that make up the East Ninth Street storefronts. Just two remain open… and one of them, the vintage boutique Dusty Buttons, has just put up a store closing sign.
[Photo via Bayou]
Aside from announcing sales and thanking customers, the proprietors offer a sarcastic kudos to the landlord.
"And thank you Icon Realty Management for making all of this possible! Hope your investments pay off! Coming soon, the NEW East Village!"
Dusty Buttons owner Amanda Loureiro told us that Icon served her a 30-day notice to vacate her shop last Friday.
She also shared a letter that she plans on posting to the store's Facebook page (edited a bit for length):
The first time I heard from Icon Realty we were asked to vacate for an undisclosed amount of time to allow for repairs to the building, and also offered a new lease with an unaffordable 125 percent increase for our less than 300-square-foot store. Then with no more conversation came the 30-day notice to vacate. I knew this day would come, that energy was swirling about for months. Icon bought our building last year, since then we have been looking for affordable East Village store front with no luck.
We opened Dusty Buttons six years ago in October. We moved once from across the street. My husband and I both live in the East Village. He moved here in his early 20s in 1982. I ran away to NYC at 17 in 1992 to live with a boyfriend for a while, attracted to the creative energy and a feeling of anything could be possible for a odd young girl from a small New England town. The boyfriend and I broke up and I begrudgingly moved home, with a feeling that I would return one day...
It was 2009 when I returned, very different from 1992. But that energy was still here and we found an affordable rent for Dusty Buttons. I met amazing like-minded creative people, became part of a neighborhood ... and adored being part of a community.
My husband and I are considering moving the store and ourselves to Philadelphia. The rents are lower and a creative energy feels full and strong. We may change our store a bit, more antiques ... maybe even a name change to 'Dusty and Buttons' a bit more of a duo like Tango and Cash or Hall and Oates!
July 29 is probably our last day as we have to be out by the 31st. There will be a sale, not a crazy one because we adore our inventory and want to bring it with us, but still a pretty good one! Come by and say farewell. I can't promise to not be tearful because this little shop was my baby, and saying goodbye will hurt like hell.
Icon Realty bought the building at 145 Avenue A for $10.1 million in April 2014, according to public records.