Tuesday, May 12, 2015

[Updated] Will proposed taxi stand on Avenue A bring relief to Punjabi Grocery & Deli?

[East Houston]

As previously reported, the ongoing East Houston Reconstruction Project is having a major impact on Punjabi Grocery & Deli's business.

Through the years, cab drivers made up a sizable portion of Punjabi's business. The reconstruction, however, has prevented drivers from being able to stop by for an inexpensive vegetarian meal here at 114 E. First St. between Avenue A and First Avenue. (Owner Jashon Singh told BoweryBoogie a few weeks ago that his sales are down some 60 percent in the past five years during the roadwork.)

Some relief might be on the way.

Tonight, CB3's Transportation & Public Safety/Environment Committee will hear a proposal for a taxi relief stand on the west side of Avenue A between East Second Street and East Houston. The proposal calls for four parking spaces for cabs.

[Avenue A]

Last summer, Punjabi started an online petition asking the city to approve a taxi relief stand — seven parking spaces on East Houston and two additional spots on the bend of East First Street. (There's currently a No Standing sign on East Houston, where there used to be metered parking.)

According to BoweryBoogie, "the DOT has been unwilling to talk to, or meet with Singh, according to their lawyer/advocate Ali Najmi."

EVG reader Jim Duffy, a Punjabi fan, has been in contact with the NYC Taxi and Limousine Commission. A rep there told him via email that the Department of Transportation "sent a team out to do a field study and determine a good location for this relief stand." The DOT proposed the west side of Avenue A, which they say is about 150 feet from Punjabi.

The meeting tonight starts at 6:30 (there are several other items ahead of this on the agenda). The meeting is at the University Settlement, Houston Street Center at 273 Bowery.

Also, “#SAVEPUNJABIDELI,” a short directed by filmmaker Adeel Ahmed, debuted online yesterday at the the Tribeca Film Festival site. Per the film notes, the short "gives a glimpse into the unique hospitality that has made Punjabi Deli a cheap and delicious food staple in the neighborhood for over two decades and why it’s not just a cabbie stand, but an appreciated NYC icon worth saving."


The CB3 committee voted to support the cab stand. But! Per The Lo-Down:

The city says a decision on an exact location must wait until the end of the summer, when a long-delayed construction project on East Houston Street is expected to be completed. In the meantime, the city’s Department of Transportation has agreed to set up a temporary taxi stand on the west side of Avenue A, just above East Houston.

BoweryBoogie and Gothamist have coverage from the meeting too.

Previously on EV Grieve:
How you can help Punjabi Grocery & Deli stay in business

Never-ending construction continues to hurt Punjabi Grocery & Deli


Anonymous said...

This petition is crazy - cabs can park alongside the street just like everyone else. I live above Punjab and cabs are constantly filling the parking spaces along the street - why do they deserve additional dedicated spots? I was picking up food at Punjab a few days ago and the owner said that sales were doing well now that the construction outside has been slowing down and the block is opened up. I love the food at Punjab, but this revolution that's starting is ridiculous.

Anonymous said...

Yeah I mean this is coming off like "Let's create parking for Punjabi Deli customers." Fuck that and cabbies taking spots. No business should get preferential treatment.

What's next? A limo stand for (restaurant)? Why not? Where does it end?

And NYPD does nothing about this, imagine that! ... said...

Anon 6:26pm: The EV is coming on up, so it should soon be a lot like the UES:


You wouldn't want to inconvenience any of the upper crust now, would you?

Anonymous said...

As a lifelong NYer of 40 years, I love Punjabi Deli. it's the perfect place to go after a night out, when you just want delicious, affordable food. not to mention the staff are warm and friendly. it's a down-to-earth rare jewel in the increasingly impersonal, and trendy EV of today.

To the above posters: Punjabi isn't looking for "special treatment", but instead to have the city reinstate the access taxi drivers once had to the deli. the city has had over 5 years to complete their construction, but have failed to deliver. instead you find construction equipment littered, blocking the once free-flowing street. the city has created an EYESORE, and it's affecting the health and quality of the neighborhood businesses.

les native said...

They are a neighborhood institution

bryan flake said...

More parking for taxi's seems like a logical idea. This way, people can just walk up to a taxi and not have to hail it as it rushes by. I can see this benefiting the elderly and the disabled a lot.