Openings and closings in the neighborhood

The Trader Joe’s on East 14th Street across from Stuyvesant Town has opened. (Photo by Maria Rocha-Buschel)

By Maria Rocha-Buschel

Business activity in Kips Bay and Gramercy in the last month has been strangely representative of trends throughout the city, at least regarding grocery stores: following a little bit of a “will they/won’t they” melodrama, longtime New York chain Fairway announced that it would be closing a number of their stores while Trader Joe’s, one of the chains blamed for Fairway’s demise, has finally opened across from Stuyvesant Town.

Recently opened 

Trader Joe’s, 436 East 14th Street, between First Avenue and Avenue A, traderjoes.com

The aforementioned Trader Joe’s officially opened across from Stuyvesant Town at the beginning of the year. Local blog EV Grieve reported that the grand opening was on January 6. The location features local artwork and is managed by a “store captain” who has been with the company for 14 years. Rumors of the new store on East 14th were first reported in 2017, in the years following the demolition of the building that once contained the Peter Stuyvesant Post Office. The store is in the retail space of an eight-story luxury rental building called EVE. 

The Dip, 58 St. Marks Place, between First and Second Avenues, (646) 559-9050,  thedipnyc.com

Gothamist reported at the end of December that a new sandwich spot had opened on St. Mark’s Place. The shop primarily offers sandwiches and focuses on the French Dip, a kind of hot sandwich made of thinly sliced roast beef with cheese that is served with a container of beef broth. In addition to a French Dip sandwich, the spot offers a buttermilk fried chicken sandwich, grilled cheese, corned beef and other options. The restaurant, which occupies a narrow space with about six stools along an eating counter, is open Sunday, Tuesday and Wednesday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Thursday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to midnight. The spot is closed on Mondays.

Le Fournil, 115 Second Avenue, between East Sixth and Seventh Streets, @lefournilnyc on Instagram

A new bakery has opened on Second Avenue in the space formerly occupied by Moishe’s Bake Shop. Moishe’s closed last March and at the time, the owners said that the closure was temporary while the space was being renovated and said that the bakery would reopen soon with new ownership. But the bakery ultimately closed, until it was reopened as Le Fournil at the beginning of this year. Gothamist reported that the new owners also found historic tilework in the storefront that had been covered by a dummy wall while Moishe’s was in business and workers carefully cleaned the tile walls, which are now on display. Current hours for the bakery are from 11:30 a.m. to 7:30 p.m. Tuesday through Sunday and is closed on Monday.

Om Juice Bar, 62 Madison Avenue, between East 27th and 28th Streets, (917) 409-5900, omjuicebar.com

This new juice bar opened in the Flatiron District in December, offering cold-pressed juices made from organic produce. The store offers eight different juices made from natural ingredients, including one named after the Flatiron neighborhood that the shop is in, which is made with spinach, green apple, celery, cucumber, ginger and lemon. All of the juices are served in fully recyclable glass bottles and customers get $1 off if bottles are brought back to reuse. The menu also offers hot drinks, toasts and bowls. The business is open daily from 8 a.m. to 7 p.m.

Opening soon

Balayage Me Salon, 210 East 21st Street, between Second and Third Avenues, (516) 424-4767, balayageme.com

Signage has been posted for this new salon on East 21st Street. The space was formerly occupied by Olys Hair Salone. Balayage Me Salon specializes in Balayage hair coloring, which offers subtle transitions with light and dark sun-kissed tones. The business also offers various barber services, including regular haircuts, hot towel shaves, buzzcuts and hairline cleanup. Customers can get half head or partial head balayage, as well as full head, half head or partial highlights. Hair extensions, perms, hair straightening, bridal makeup and color correction are also available. The salon also has a location on East 19th Street.

Closing soon or closed

Fairway, Chelsea location at 766 Sixth Avenue and West 26th Street and Kips Bay location at 550 Second Avenue and East 30th Street, fairway.com

The melodrama regarding Fairway began in the New York Post, which reported on Tuesday, January 21 that the chain had declared bankruptcy and would be closing their 14 stores in the New York area. The report prompted representatives from Fairway to quickly and vehemently deny the claim, only to announce on Thursday of that week that the business would, in fact, be filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy and closing a number of their stores, including in Chelsea, Kips Bay and the original location on the Upper West Side.

The store, which began as a fruit and vegetable stand on the Upper West Side, has been struggling for a number of years. Private equity firm the Blackstone Group bought the business two years after it went public, but an expansion wasn’t as profitable as the company had hoped, and by 2016, the company had filed for Chapter 11 bankruptcy for the first time.

Almayass, 24 East 21st Street, between Park Avenue South and Broadway, almayass.com

This Lebanese-Armenian restaurant, which opened on East 21st Street in April 2012, was closed by the beginning of this year. The restaurant, which originally opened in Beirut in 1996, also has locations in Abu Dhabi, Riyadh and Kuwait City, but this East 21st Street spot was the only location in the US for the business.

13 thoughts on “Openings and closings in the neighborhood

  1. Note that the two local Fairway stores are in-contract to be bought and operated into the future, under the continuing Fairway brand. The “holding company” is dissolving, but will sell stores as it can, and these stores have been sold first.

      • Another good article would be an investigation into the NYPD parking practices along 2nd Avenue. They routinely violate the vision zero rules and endanger pedestrians including 3 schools full of children by parking their personal vehicles, buses vans and trucks right in the crosswalk. I would think that is illegal, even for the police.

  2. I thought Fairway on 30th was closing regardless because they are building another medical monstrosity in that lot?? Did that plan fall by the wayside?

    • It’s interesting that Duane Reade is closing many locations…two on Third Avenue recently. Oddly, the one on 14th and Third had a sign yesterday reading temporarily closed. I was aghast that it didn’t explain or indicate the closest open branch.

  3. Are Target and Trader Joe’s exempt from the “No Dogs Allowed” law? I’ve seen several in both stores. I thought that places that sell food were supposed to be dog-free. I’m not talking about “service dogs.” I saw a humongous dog in TJ right where there was fresh food on display and one of those TJ employees was letting it jump up on him. Kinda unhygienic imo, as well as being against Health Dept. laws.

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