Monday, August 10, 2015

Sustainable NYC has closed



As many of you likely noticed, Sustainable NYC has closed on Avenue A near East Ninth Street.

The eco-minded general store and café was closed for several days starting Aug. 1 … a sign pointed to an inventory.



And the store was open for awhile then this past Wednesday and Thursday. By Friday evening, though, workers were clearing out the space. There were some free shelves and tables for the taking.



On Sunday, the thank you note arrived on the door from the founder.


[Photo by Bayou]

We reached out to Valeria Patterson, an employee of the store for seven years who took over ownership in 2013. She said that she had been making monthly payments to the prior owner, but fell behind when business trailed off this year.

"I would love to keep going but we didn't have an agreement with the former owner," she said via email. "I wanted to run the store for many years more."

The store opened in March 2008.

With this closing, there are now four vacant storefronts between 139 Avenue A and 147 Avenue A. (The other storefronts being Cafe Pick Me Up's two spaces and La Lucha.) … not to mention the several small shops on Ninth Street just west of Avenue A that Icon forced out with rent hikes.

31 comments:

Anonymous said...

Nothing is "sustainable" in NYC, anymore.

Anonymous said...

Bummer.. Was my go to place for interesting affordable gifts. Definite loss for the hood.

Anonymous said...

Another upsetting piece of news...this was a wonderful shop...a go-to place for shoes and gifts...

Now how about another "go-to" bar where the brats can clog the sidewalk and be nasty when you try to walk by.

Anonymous said...

Their watermelon berry ice tea was incredible and they carried the best gifty items. Sad, very sad.

mfleury75 said...

That's a terrible loss for everybody. Been there a couple of times and it was definitely a special place. Sorry to hear about that.

Anonymous said...

I am sorry to see this place go. I always found fun and interesting things in there for myself and friends.

Anonymous said...

if you combine a bunch of those spaces you might be able to fit a duane reade... or a bank...

Cory Bonfiglio said...

I loved that place. Not in the "how quaint!" sense, but having actually spent money on a weekly basis. Will be sorely missed.

Anonymous said...

One time I was shopping there, and a gentleman in his power-walking suit came into the store to yell at the owner for keeping the door open. He made a big fuss about the store having the air conditioner on with the front door open, and how that was not "sustainable." While he may have had a point, I thought it was the most white-people-problems exchange I have ever witnessed.

Anonymous said...

I never went in there. Sustainability comes from not buying stuff. Reduce, reuse, recycle.

Anonymous said...

"I would love to keep going but we didn't have an agreement with the former owner," she said via email. "I wanted to run the store for many years more."

That's an interesting bit...it's not a rent hike, but it appears Dominique didn't want to cut a new monthly payment deal to keep the place open. Was it impossible, due to costs, to lower the payments? Or is the answer less savory? I'd love to know the details.

Anonymous said...

Another one bites the dust. I passed by there last night on my way home and was shocked to see the empty space. I am not surprised though. With the rent hikes and lack of business, no wonder this happened. It is sad. I purchased a few things there and thought it was a unique compliment to the area. Places of this kind are diminishing. This is truly a sign of what is transpiring all around us, particularly with the East Village. This is proof how quickly things change. :(

Billsville said...

@10:40 AM The guy yelling about the air conditioning was no doubt another whiny Gothamist reader, they have been targeting local businesses like Rosie's on 2nd Ave. about their open door A/C usage when its really all the SUVs, trucks and oil burning boilers creating the most air pollution and greenhouse gasses. Their false outrage is as usual very misplaced.

NOTORIOUS said...

Rats. I liked this shop. It was my go to for unique gifts and cards.

aron pieman kay said...

cultural obliteration in the name of greed....the greed that is killing the lower east side which is totally disgusting...the developers are a foerign breed who dont give a damn about the cultural, political history....more plastic to kill the hood....we have to stop the jared kushners and their crew of fascists

Anonymous said...

Nice place and nice people.
Melanie
East Village Corner

Anonymous said...

Actually open store doors while the AC is blasting is a real problem. It wastes energy, increases utility costs, impacts the power grid and, sadly, seems to perpetuate the American cultural "norm" that everything can be wasted...

Has gotten worse in NYC over past 10 years or so as mall chain stores (which have open doors in malls)have proliferated in NYC.

City Council bill to prohibit was watered down because Bloomberg opposed - Bloomberg did not want to "inhibit" business (unless soda or cigarettes). It is impossible to believe that a closed door reduces business.

On those really hot days when the grid is stressed, it is "expendable" neighborhoods in Staten Island or Brooklyn which lose power - meanwhile the chains like Joe Fresh, L'Occitane, H & M etc have the AC blasting and doors open.

The Con Edison website includes an advisory against open doors when AC is on.

Anonymous said...

If you live in the EV and your credit card is "connected to your dads" then you probably like the changes happening here. For the rest of us, it might be time to plan our escape and be prepared to move many miles away.

Anonymous said...

This store was a great, peaceful presence on the block, and somewhere that I also spent plenty of money.

It's a shame the owner didn't work with the tenant to keep the store in place. I was under the impression that Dominique was a very community-minded person -- yet it seems that now she's doing her part to destabilize the hood. Would like to hear her side of the story.

This is a store that could be very profitable.

Anonymous said...

I think I heard trump was going to open a community outreach office here in order to continue to solidify his #s in gaining the office of the presidency of the united states.

I think he said - Ave A is the perfect place, it's a terrific neighborhood with great people, it will really help me do amazing things because after all I want to give it back to the people.

Christopher Pelham said...

Sad and disappointed. I really liked that store, the staff were always very friendly to me. I could always find gifts there.

Anonymous said...

@ 11:00 AM
It's perfectly clear you never went in there. This is made obvious by your comment, showing you have no idea what you're talking about.
But please, stay in your brain cave.

Anonymous said...

Anonymous 12:23 AM:

"It's perfectly clear you never went in there. This is made obvious by your comment: 'I never went in there.' "

Bravo.

Anonymous said...

Maybe Alt Cafe can come back and save the neighborhood??

Dominique Hirschkron said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Bork and blarg said...

I'll miss this place for their delicious honey and peanut butter on gluten-free toast and freezer full of Lula's vegan ice cream. It was a nice, quiet spot to use the wifi and get stuff done.

Bridget Burns said...

Hello,

Can anyone help me get in touch with the owners of this store? I just found out they were closed and I have a gift certificate for $150 which I would like to get refunded. There seems to be no contact information anywhere for this, no website, and the phone line has been disconnected.

Bridget

castig said...

Terrible sadness for the east village!

Anonymous said...

Very sad to see this store closed when I walked by yesterday for the first time in a while. Would always stop by when in the neighborhood, it was a great place. I wish they would re-open in a space nearby.

Anonymous said...

As someone who has worked there, it's sad to see such a quaint quirky and store full of personality go, sucks that it's because of disagreements and that they didn't pay the neighborhood respect to put out a notice of gift certificates refunds, some easily purchased for over $100. Businesses are supposed to give a grace period for customers to use it or refund it.

Bridget Burns said...

Yes, I'm so disappointed in this store. I finally got in touch with one of the owners who simply said the inventory had been sold so too bad that I had a $150 gift certificate, it would not be refunded or honored in anyway. If I wasn't so financially strapped, I'd want to take them to court, mainly because of the way they have completely cut off communications with customers and not done anything to rectify refunds. Such a shame for a store which should have embodied more sustainable community driven principles.