Wednesday, June 24, 2020
Checking in on Anwar Grocery
Text and photos by Stacie Joy
Anwar Hossein has owned and operated the Anwar Grocery, 106 Avenue B, since 2005.
He and his family live upstairs here between Sixth Street and Seventh Street. Hossein previously owned two other stores in the neighborhood — A&H Grocery at 204 Avenue A and Ahn Newsstand and Candy store at 500 E. 12th St., both long shuttered.
Hossein says that things are difficult for the shop right now, that the lease expired this past December and that they’ve been in court with the landlord, all of which is on hold due to COVID-19-related closures. He and his family hope that they are able to hold onto the store.
We recently took a look at the grocery after it was burglarized in early June during a rash of overnight break-ins. He has also reported at least one daytime robbery since then. He stresses that things are getting bad again, he says, like they used to be.
He shows me the paperwork from when he was shot twice at his other grocery. (Surgeons had to amputate his pinky toe after a bullet shattered it during a robbery.)
The old-school-style shop has some unusual selections for your shopping needs, such as DVD copies of a Nickelback concert, blank TDK cassette tapes and VHS videotapes.
If you dig, you can also find religious amulets, sombreros, school supplies plus the usual selections of refreshments. The times I visited, Bollywood was on repeat on the TV up front. Anwar's is definitely the last of its kind in this neighborhood, and well worth a visit...