Showing posts with label Fontana Shoes. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Fontana Shoes. Show all posts

Friday, December 5, 2008

Scene in Stogo

Blogger, seeing what has become of A. Fontana Shoe Repair at 159 Second Ave. at 10th Street and unable to resist the pull of curiosity, steps out of the cold and into the ice cream shop. The door is open. A cashier stands behind the counter while a woman, bundled into sweaters, browses the flavors. The owner, a salt-and-pepper, Pacific Northwesty kind of guy, puts up his hands.

Owner: 10 more minutes. We’ll be open in 10 more minutes.

Blogger: OK. I was just wondering, I’m a blogger. I write about new places. And I was wondering what Stogo means. Are you Swedish?

Owner: The ice cream is all organic.

Blogger: I thought maybe it was Swedish, with the name Stogo. Sounds kind of Swedish. Where is it from?

Owner: We use agave instead of sugar. But we’re not really open yet. 10 more minutes.

Blogger: Is this the only store, or are there more?

Owner: This is the beginning of a business. Please. We’ll be open soon. 10 more minutes. Please. Please.

Blogger exits back into the cold, wondering who would open an ice cream shop in December, around the corner from a dozen other fro-yo and ice cream shops, and wishing for the perk of a free sample.

Stogo is a go

Well, now! Stogo, which took over the former A. Fontana Shoe Repair at 159 Second Ave. and 10th Street, is now apparently ready for action! A tipster writes:

It wasn't open when I went by, but all the paper was down and everything looked ready for business. The signs inside say it's an organic, gourmet, dairy-free ice cream place. It looks like every other boring fro-yo joint, with space-age white stools and blonde wood. Very swedish -- like Ikea.

Previous Stogo coverage on EV Grieve here.

Monday, December 1, 2008

The plot thickens at reported vegan ice cream shop

Just a mere three weeks ago, a mysterious Stogo sign appeared at the former A. Fontana Shoe Repair at 159 Second Ave. and 10th Street. As we reported in a worldwide exclusive, the beloved shop was becoming a vegan ice cream joint. And now? Another Stogo sign has appeared! This one over the front door.

So much progress at this location the past month! But! We still are searching for answers. Could this be the Stogo as in consultant Malcolm Stogo of the Ice Cream University, whose team lost a heartbreaker Saturday versus Milk and Cookies Community College? We don't really have any idea. But we promise to continue to take this matter very seriously!

Friday, November 7, 2008

Developing!: A sign appears at 159 Second Ave.

A few weeks ago, we passed along word that the former A. Fontana Shoe Repair at 159 Second Ave. and 10th Street was becoming a vegan ice cream joint. Well, the front windows have been papered over for weeks. And then! A sign just appeared, as this photo from our tipster shows:

Stogo? As in consultant Malcolm Stogo of the Ice Cream University?

Whether this place has anything to do with Stogo, we'll share his bio anyway -- because it's delicious! (heh):
For the last 25 years, Malcolm Stogo has been in the forefront in developing today's ice cream concepts leap years ahead of the industry. He is the author of Ice Cream & Frozen Desserts, co-author of Ice Cream Cakes, and author of a new book titled How To Succeed in the Incredible Ice Cream Business. He is President of Malcolm Stogo Associates, an international ice cream consulting firm, as well as founder of Ice Cream University, a seminar series and publishing company on ice cream production, and marketing and publisher of Batch Freezer News and Ice Cream Store News, two quarterly newsletters on everything one needs to know about ice cream production and marketing. In the 1980's, he co-owned Ice Cream Extravaganza (New York), the largest single frozen dessert operation ($1,500,000 in sales). He also invented the chocolate dipped waffle cone now being produced and sold all over the world.

I can't get past Ice Cream University. ICU? Go Defibrillators! (And do they have a football team?)

Friday, October 17, 2008

East Village soon to exceed maximum capacity for dessert places

We've been far too curious about the fate of 159 Second Ave., the hallowed ground that was home for 27 years to the beloved A. Fontana Shoe Repair. There has been lots of activity there in recent weeks. Anyway, we started (sarcastically) speculating about the future tenant. Based on the above photo, there was one undeniable conclusion: high-end dessert place!

Well, guess what?

An unimpeachable source -- an anonymous tipster, who, for the purposes of this post, we'll call Jeremiah Moss -- passed along the following news on the location late yesterday:

I went by today and a worker told me it's going to be "a vegan ice cream shop." I saw soft-serve machines in the background. Should be open in 2-3 weeks. Could it be another Lula's Sweet Apothecary? Or competition?

Time will tell! Anyway, there's going to be an all-out dessert war in this area now (as if there wasn't one already)...FroYo vs. Vegan Ice Cream vs. TheLiteChoice vs. Chocolate By the Bald Man Who Kind of Looks like Moby vs. the M&M's we can buy at the corner bodega vs. ChikaLicious vs. Dunkin' Donuts vs. Cold Stone Creamery vs...(Meanwhile, we'll just be at Ray's.)

Oh, here's what the space looked like in August...

Let the "bald man" jokes begin!

[Jeremiah has a thoughtful post on what used to be in this space, A. Fontana Shoes.]

Tuesday, September 23, 2008

Speculating about the future of 159 E. Second Ave.

We've been keeping our eye on 159 E. Second Ave., the hallowed ground that was home for 27 years to the beloved A. Fontana Shoe Repair. There has been lots of activity there.  A tipster reported last night that the plywood was down, though the windows are still covered with paper. This is what we spotted earlier with our special spy-cam:

Sure, we could just do a little reporting and find out what's going in here...but let's just wildly speculate!...Because no matter how ridiculous our guesses, we probably won't be too far off! Based on the kitcheny-type wares, I'm going with a high-end dessert shop. Because this area desperately needs more dessert places!

At least there's good news at the tailor shop next door, as Jeremiah reported.

Saturday, August 23, 2008

Activity at the former site of A. Fontana Shoe Repair

What's going on at the former location of the A. Fontana Shoe Repair on 10th Street past Second Avenue? The shop, there for 45 years, closed in late February. I didn't spot any workers or construction permits when I walked by...And there will be no sarcastic asides about bank branches, yogurt shops or Duane Reades. Anything is possible.
If you're new to this...Jeremiah has provided thoughtful coverage of Fontana's this past year.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

27 years, 1 dumpster

Jeremiah had the awful news about Fontana's shoes being gutted on Friday. Walked by myself and saw the aftermath.

He had been at this location for 27 years; been in business in the neighborhood since 1962. Jeremiah has more photos here. And there's this feature from The Villager. Meanwhile, I can't help but wonder what Angelo is doing now. He's 75, and doesn't want to stop working.

“I would like to stay another 10 years, well maybe five years,” he told The Villager. “I’m used to working all my life. I don’t want to stop now. I don’t know what I’ll do. I’m not the kind of person who sits and watches TV all day. I like to be active.”

Why was this man's life destroyed? So the landlord could try to make an extra $1,500 a month in rent from Angelo, who was already paying $4,000 a month.

This whole thing bothers me on so many levels...the greed...the heartless removal of a neighborhood institution...the fact that this kind of thing is happening too often today...

There was also something comforting about the shop. For several years my walk home from work took me by his matter how shitty things seemed to be, you could always count on seeing Angelo working away in his rather ramshackle store ... the TV with the rabbit ears that was always on but no one ever seemed to watch...

My walk home included passing by the Bendiner and Schlesinger medical buildings on the northeast corner of 10th Street and Third Avenue. The buildings weren't much to look at, though there was a plaque on the 10th Street side commemorating Peter Stuyvesant, whose family once owned the buildings. Oddly enough, I found comfort in this place too. At night, I'd look up to a paneled office in the lab. I could see enough to tell that it looked as it the place was frozen in time circa, say, 1974. It reminded me of an office my father had.

Of course, though, these historic buildings were demolished in 2005 to make way for more soulless apartments and a Commerce Bank. You can read more about it here.