What We've Lost

| 16 Feb 2015 | 11:42

Magic Shoe Repair

30 Carmine St b/t Bleecker St and Bedford St


?20 years in business

?Building was sold, and the cobbler and his neighbor were put out so that the landlord could combine the two storefronts into one.

Magic Shoe's cobbler, Misha, hailed from Odessa, Russia, repairing shoes as well as timepieces. The New York Times reports that a "stream of émigrés from the former Soviet Union have passed through Magic Shoe Repair, shining shoes, working their way into America with a rag, polish and hungry energy."

Alan's Alley Video Store

207 Ninth Ave. between 23rd & 24th

?Independent video store

?25 years in business

?The building's landlord found a tenant who could pay higher rent, driving out owner Alan Sklar.

Alan's Alley Video Store, one of the last of its kind, closed down after 25 years of catering to Chelsea locals. A neighborhood institution, the store provided a treasure trove of movies, and attracted regular customers over time. Sklar has said that although he could hypothetically move his business anywhere in the city, he would like to stay in Chelsea so that he won't be forced to rebuild a customer base.

Back Fence Bar

155 Bleecker St at Thompson St

?Bar/music venue

?68 years in business

?Failed its health inspection

Although the popular Bleecker Street bar and music venue already had plans to close shop--and to exit with one final concert--their plans were ruined when the city Health Department forced the bar to close, citing evidence of mice, filthy flies, and improper sanitation practices. With its kitschy checkered tablecloths and small stage, the bar hosted countless musicians in its day, and was a favorite among a mix of tourists, locals, and NYU students.

Paradise Cafe

139 Eighth Ave b/t 16th and 17th sts.

? Restaurant

? 20 years in business

? Owner Michael Turowsky could not afford the doubled increase in rent.

An institution in Chelsea, Paradise Cafe was a frequent stop for muffins, smoothies, coffee, and sandwiches, as well as conversation and a welcoming atmosphere. Serving organic food, the cafe was also a favorite among such celebs as Ethan Hawke and Ben Stiller. Turowsky laments the gradual change in Chelsea's overall vibe--from that of funky to more serious.

Camouflage Clothing

139 Eighth Ave. between 16th & 17th

?Clothing store

?38 years in business

?The store's landlord more than tripled its rent from $7,000 to $24,000 per month.

The owner of trendy men's clothing store Camouflage, Norm Usiak, has lamented the current state of New York shopping options, saying that the city has turned into a "mini-mall." Camouflage Clothing was a hot spot for fashionable locals to buy high-quality, name-brand clothing, and was a true, old New York-style clothing store.

Canal Room

285 W. Broadway at Canal St.

?Live music venue

?10 years in business

?To be replaced by a new bar called Haus.

Tribeca's longtime live music venue closed to make room for high-end "mixology" bar and lounge, Haus. Canal Room was known for its regular '80s and '90s cover band nights.


311 W. 17th St. near Eighth Ave.


?11 years in business

?Owner Sue Torres said in the statement announcing the restaurant's closing, "We could go on for hours about the plight of small businesses in these economic times, but we are sure you have heard enough of that in the news. This is a decision that we, ultimately, had to make for ourselves."

Torres's restaurant received consistently rave reviews, and counted April Bloomfield, Frank Bruni, and New York critic Adam Platt among its loyal fans. Sueños was known for its excellent margarita list, its pork tamales, and, as Platt referred to them, the "superior" chorizo quesadillas.

Manatus Restaurant

340 Bleecker St, between Christopher & W. 10th


?Had been in business since the mid-1980s

?The new asking rent was too high--$50,000.

A 24-hour restaurant that was cleaner and more refined than the average New York diner or coffee shop, Manatus was considered a more affordable, but still delicious, option in the hyper-gentrified West Village. With a fully-stocked bar, a killer bacon cheeseburger, and a friendly atmosphere that attracted older locals, Manatus was a go-to destination--now, to be replaced by a Calvin Klein outlet.

Vercesi Hardware

152 E. 23rd St between Lexington Ave. & 3rd Ave.

?Hardware Store

? 101 Years

? The building's landlord sold the location to another tenant who will replace the store with an 18-story condominium

Vercesi was one of the last family-owned hardware stores and was known for knowing many customers on a first-name basis.

Blarney Cove

510 E. 14th St between Avenue A & Avenue B

? Dive bar

? 40 years in business

? The bar was leased to another company

Having become a staple of the Lower East Side, Blarney Cove gained a legendary status, often full of regulars who not only knew the staff but all knew each other. Many described it as one of the last, great dive bars of the city.

A-1 Music Company

186 1st Avenue between 11th & 12th

? Musical instrument store

? 26 years in business

? Closed due to a dip in sales and rent being too high

Among the vanishing music stores of the area, A-1 customers would find instruments that were cheaper than at a mega-store.

Rainbows and Triangles

192 Eighth Ave at 20th St

?Gay gift shop

?20 years in business

?The store's owner did not want to renew the lease after a rent increase.

The unique "gay gift shop" served as a kind of community hub for Chelsea's gay community, offering up gift cards and scented candles alongside lube and sex toys, along with friendly conversation and socializing.

Jack Bistro

80 University Place between 12th & 11th

? Restaurant

? Eight years in business

? Closed due to an aggressive landlord who wanted to increase the rent by $20,000

Jack Bistro was popular for being low-key and affordable for a quick lunch, and often packed with university students on a budget.

Jill Anderson Boutique

331 E. 9th Street between 1st & 2nd

? Clothing store

? 18 years in business

? Anderson said a combination of bad luck, high rent and the day-to-day difficulties of running a business forced her decision to close the shop.

Anderson's boutique was among the few whose owner handmade the clothing sold there. .

Odessa Café and Bar

119 Avenue A (b/t E. 7th St and St. Mark's Place)

? 48 years in business

? Closed after new owners demanded a 50 percent increase in the restaurant's monthly rent.

Odessa became a staple of the Lower East Side. Customers loved the incredibly inexpensive prices for a Manhattan establishment and during its run gained many regulars. Many described the café as an "old-school late night diner" with classics such as perogies and burgers.

Café CNN

315 Park Ave S. between 23rd & 24th

? Café

? The café is closed due to being hit with a lawsuit for nearly $350,000 in back rent and then filing for bankruptcy last summer.

Café CNN will be missed for reasonable prices and a vast selection favored by office workers in lower Manhattan

Dewey's Flatiron

210 Fifth Ave. between 25th & 26th

? Bar

? 18 years in business

? Dewey's is closed after the landlord refused to renew the bar's lease

This downtown mainstay was filled with workers looking to relax after a long day on weekdays and sports fans on weekends. Dewey's also lent to many New Yorkers a vintage feel with its World War I era brass cash register and upstairs lounge filled with old photographs of the city.

Olympic Restaurant

115 Delancey St. between Norfolk & Essex

? Restaurant

? 35 years in business

Olympic is closed after the city sent the owner an eviction notice saying he had to leave so that the diner's building can be demolished to make way for the massive Essex Crossing development

Pulino's Bar & Pizzeria

282 Bowery Street at E. Houston St.

? Pizzeria

?Three years in business

? Owner is looking to transform the place into a French restaurant.

Pulino's was unique for being one of the few pizzerias to serve breakfast, especially their classic "breakfast pizza". Regulars noted how often packed the place would be for the pizzeria's many original creations and its vibe.

First Ave Pierogi & Deli

130 1st Ave between 7th St. & St Marks Pl.

? 30 years in business

? The deli is closed due to the owner retiring

As one of the last Polish delis in the area, many locals say their pierogies were the best they'd ever had.


135 1st Ave (b/t St Marks Pl & 9th St)

? Sandwich Shop

? Two years in business

Biomed Drugs & Surgical Supply Co.

50 Third Ave. between 10th & 11th

? Pharmacy

? 20 year in business

? Rent was too high for the owner

Biomed was one of a dying breed of surgical supply shops that was pushed out by the expansion of chain pharmacies.


45 Park Ave. S. between 25th & 26th

? Restaurant

? One year in business

This restaurant was like a version of another restaurant that owner Dani García operates in Malaga, Spain. It was among the few modern Spanish brasseries in New York, serving traditional dishes such as roasted suckling pig and rice and shrimp with black squid ink.

Bob and Kenn's Broome Street Bar

363 W. Broadway between Grand & Leonard

? Bar

? 42 years in business

? Longtime owner Kenn Reisdorff passed away and, although the lease would renew in January 2015, Residorff's daughter does not want to maintain the bar

The bar was part of a landmarked 1825 building whose stained glass windows date back to the 1880s, when it was a German beer hall.

DeRobertis Pasticceria and Caffe

176 1st Ave. between 10th & 11th

? Bakery

? 110 years in business

? Family retired

After so many years, DeRobertis had gained legendary status. Customers raved about how being in the shop was like stepping back in time to a traditional pastry shop. Additionally, many locals claimed that DeRobertis' traditional Italian ice cream was the best ice cream they ever had.


28 E. 4th St. between Bowery & Lafayette

? Plant shop

? 20 years in business

? The rent has gone up from $15,000 to $34,000 a month.

A traditional mom-and-pop nursery, the owners had years of horticulture experience which gained the trust of residents along with their wide range of plants.

Stromboli Pizza & Pasta

112 University Pl. between 12th & 13th

? Pizzeria

? 47 years in business

? Closed in order to make way for a new residential complex at 110 University Place

Stromboli's low prices made it a favorite of NYU students.


205 Allen St. between Stanton & E. Houston

? Restaurant

? Seven years in business

Mole was known for their margarita-fueled happy hours.


29 E. 2nd St. between Second & Bowery

? Restaurant

? Two years in business

Although only open for a short time, customers raved about brunch at Boukié's

Archangel Antiques

334 E. 9th St. between 1st & 2nd

? Antique store

? 21 years in business

? Family decided to retire after the lease expired and they could not keep up with the increased rent

The store was a family-run business whose owners knew many of their customers on a first-name basis. Customers raved about the wide selection of vintage items and moderate prices.

Rocket Joe's Pizza

245 Eldridge St. between Stanton & E. Houston

? Pizzeria

? 23 years in business

Regulars called it the perfect place for a late-night fix.


245 Eldridge St. between Stanton & E. Houston

? Restaurant

? Three years in business

Even though around for only a short while, Zoë had become a neighborhood establishment known for its comfort American cuisine.

San Marzano

71 Clinton St. between Rivington & Stanton

? Pizzeria

? Five years in business

? After a water pipe burst and flooded the restaurant, rendering the space useless, owners decided it would be best to sell

San Marzano was known for its deluxe wood-burning Valoriani Verace oven.

Bereket Turkish Kebab House

187 E. Houston St. between Houston & 2nd Ave.

? Restaurant

? 19 years in business

? Landlord sold the building to Ben Shaoul, who plans to turn it into a high rise

The longtime Lower East Side resident was one of the few 24-hour restaurants left in the area.

Min's Market

2-4 Clinton S. at Houston

? Bodega

? Significant rent increase forced this mainstay to sell

Min's Market has been at its location for many years and was dependable for residents who needed to pick up a few necessities.

Zulu's Coffee Shop

77 Delancey St. between Orchard & Allen

? Café

? Three months in business

? Owners signed a three-month lease and decided against renewal when the time came

The shop was unique as it was modeled after a 1920s confectionary shop.

Zucco's Le French Diner

188 Orchard St. between Stanton & E. Houston

? Restaurant

? After a few tough years, the restaurant is being pushed out by the consistent development of high-rises surrounding the restaurant.

Zucco's was a popular spot on the Lower East Side, known for serving authentic French cuisine. Although on the small side, patrons often spoke of the intimate, romantic ambiance making them feel as if in Paris.