UES Retail: Chain, Chain, Chain

11 Nov 2019 | 11:57

There was a time - When the UES didn't look like a drive across the country where all you would likely see were strip malls with every manner of retail and commerce. Couldn't help but think of that while walking along Third Ave. north of 65th St. - Target, Nordstrom Rack (not to be confused with Nordstrom 57) and all those empty storefronts along both sides of the avenue that don't bode well for anything but other chain stores or big box businesses. Or do we really need another bank? Another mega supermarket? Another hospital or rehab facility? I will say that walk-in medical facilities like City MD and Urgent Care are welcome, as are walk-in med facilities for pets.

One East Side local business story that's really worth noting is Health Nuts, which started out in the 1960s or early 70s as a really small, compact local business on the northeast corner of Second Ave. between 63rd and 64th Sts. Today, it takes up almost half of the block. I'm wondering if a similarly named business coming to the southwest corner of Third Ave. on, I think 65th St., is the same ownership. The little shop that could - and did. A welcome in NY story: Going nuts. A good thing.

Truth in naming - Everybody, except maybe fake news types, wants the truth, especially when they are buying something. Even the U.S. Congress recognizes a need for truth in lending. And there's an Act which protects consumers with lenders and creditors. And if it goes through, there will be a Truth in Spending Act, saying that a bill must be passed by both the House and Senate in identical form and then be signed by the President to become law.

So how about a practice or policy that protects the consumers against false names for let's say restaurants? Like that nice little restaurant calling itself Bread N Wine on Lexington Ave in the 90s. Since opening in the last year they haven't been able to serve wine because they don’t yet have a liquor license. And except for bread used for sandwiches, I've never seen a shelfful of loaves for purchase during the day or evening. They do have good soups and salads. But I'm there for bread and wine and that's what they're supposed to be selling. To add insult to injury, they promote an all-day $6 wine. Just not at their eponymous shoppe.

A 3,000 year-old date - Leave it to chef Dino Redzic to celebrate old-fashioned pizza by serving it the way it was made back in the era of King Darius, whose his soldiers baked flatbread on their shields and which were later covered with cheese and dates. Dino and his partner Nick Krkuti call their newly opened pizza parlor simply Old Fashioned Pizza. And dates are among the toppings offered. The shop is located on East 13th St., just west of Second Ave. During the day and early evening, it's buzzing with school-age kids from the neighborhood who enjoy the slices and sometimes a whole pie, especially those with dates, and the ones with pepperoni or lasagna. For the grab-and-goers, kids and grown-ups alike, there are salads and sodas in the fridge. It's all self-serve and sit down for slices, whole pies, soda, garlic knots, strombolis, calzones. The only beverages served are soda, Snapple, and bottled water. "Absolutely no wine," says Dino, "not with kids as customers." Way to go.

Reader readback - Perennial reader readbacker Alan Flacks on "Lap Time" item in last issue calling out adults who permit the young child they are with to take up a seat if child is of an age and size to occupy their lap. Flacks, in part, as edited: Lap time recalls the adverts in The Subway Sun with cartoons by Amelia Opdyke-Jones aka Oppy. One of the best and remembered was"Little enough to ride for free; little enough to ride your knee." The Transit Authority should bring back these ads. There aren't any ads or they are MTA ads, because advertisers do not, for whatever reason, wish to advertise in the subway. And when was the last time you saw an advertisement in a subway car for a Broadway play?

A composite readback from several readers: Another reason for stores (small businesses) going under is that landlords get too much money from developers to tear down buildings. No more Duane Reade on Third Ave and 87th St. No more dry cleaner on Second Ave between 87th and 88th. And a half dozen other empties along the avenue. When Duane Reads start closing down, one can only wonder what's/who's next?