One of the more unique shops around has apparently closed. An EVG reader reported that the shop on East 14th Street between Second Avenue and Third Avenue was cleaned out on Monday.
EVG East 14th Street/IHOP Way correspondent Pinch confirmed that the shop now mostly sits empty.
Unfortunately, we have no idea why the store closed. Rent hike? A retirement? (The owner, the rather cantankerous Alex Bogatyr, is up in his years.) The market for Russian knickknacks waning?
The store has been around for years. Jeremiah Moss wrote about the shop back in 2009:
The walls are covered with paintings of dour-faced bearded men, sunsets, and lonely forests. In the back, there are racks and racks of clothing and fabrics. And all around, everywhere you look, the shelves are stacked high with tchochkes.
If you do decide to shop here, be ready to bargain. Alex is a haggler, and he's a serious man. A professional who knows his wares, he will not give you service with a smile, nor with a sneer. This is old Leningrad on 14th Street, not Bed, Bath, & Beyond where the robotic staff are programmed to utter a monotoned hello to you every five seconds.
Updated 5:53 p.m.
From the comments… author Romy Ashby stopped by …
"I went in to visit with him yesterday at about 5 PM. He was having a sandwich and we talked. He said that a rent hike is the reason he's leaving. He had me write my name and number in a notebook full of names and numbers, and he said he will call if he finds another place."