Recently closed wine bar Bar Vespa
A spree of business closings on Second Ave., between 91st and 95th streets, has received a lot of attention over the past year - due mainly to the impact of the Second Ave. subway’s construction, which has spurred a ton of difficulties for the businesses closest to the mayhem.
Getting far less attention - but maybe more alarming - is a recent string of businesses that shut down on an eight-block stretch between 77th and 85th streets on Second Ave., far removed (for now) from the subway's construction.
During the four-month period from June through September, a staggering 10 businesses have closed on this stretch (another shut down in May - so, 11 shuttered in a five-month period).
The businesses were a mix of chains and mom-and-pop stores; they were retailers, restaurants, wine bars and pizza spots. Some were part of a city-wide chain shuttering (Burittoville) or a nation-wide chain trimming locations (Talbots Kids) - but still, 11 is a ton in that amount of time on such a short stretch.
Not surprising, the area’s business managers and owners I spoke with pointed to a perfect storm of a struggling economy, a drop in consumer confidence and rising business costs – especially increased rents - as main causes of the closings.
So far, it's been a rough year for Italian eatery Bardolino. There was the fire back in February, which hit just in time for the place to miss that Valentine's Day sales boost, and knocked the restaurant out for almost three weeks. Now, more bad news courtesy of the New York State Department of Taxation, which, according to the posted signs on the restaurant's window, has closed and seized the premises until they fork over some cash. Any one with further info, please hit the comments.
Fire Breaks Out On 78th, Bardolino Restaurant Closed [78thand2nd]
From the tipline: Ken writes in with some insider info on Blue Moon on 75th and 1st, which will "most likely close at the end of May for a full interior demolition and remodeling. Should take a few months."
Closed: Anna Maria Pizzeria on 83rd and 1st has shuttered. According to Suzanne, "they were closed for health citations late last year, they have finally shut their doors. A 'for lease' sign was spotted in the window and a note on the door saying it was closed by the city."
Opened: Dylan Murphy's bar, at 1453 3rd Ave., opened its doors last week.
The Los Angeles Times checks in on New York's traffic challenges and the "ambitious city plan" that will make it possible for riders to travel around Manhattan via dedicated bike lanes. Naturally, as the number of bicyclists in the city spikes -- its grown by 75% in the past seven years according to the piece -- so will the number of accidents involving bicyclists, and there are plenty of them. Last year, 271 people were killed in New York City traffic -- including 23 bicyclists and 136 pedestrians -- the vast majority by motorists, according to the LA Times, and about once a year a pedestrian is killed in a collision with a bicyclist.
Councilwoman Jessica Lappin, from the Upper East Side, weighed in with her concerns:
"Jessica Lappin, a councilwoman from the Upper East Side, hears the horror stories almost daily.
Seniors in her neighborhood feel "terrorized" by delivery people who barrel down the sidewalks on two wheels, causing elderly residents to duck and dive. "While I understand that the cyclists fear for their lives in the streets," she said, "the answer can't be whizzing by on the sidewalk at 20 mph and running into pedestrians."
Lappin added that she supported bicycling in general and -- if it was safer -- would probably bicycle herself."
CB8's transportation committee is set to meet tonight at 6:30. On the agenda? Traffic conditions, as requested by residents, at 79th and Madison and 79th and Third Ave., as well as the traffic signals at the NE corner of East 80th Street and York Avenue. Full agenda and location, if you'd like to attend, after the click-through.
City officials are planning to close the "drop-in" homeless shelter at 237 E. 77th St. according to today's NY Post.
"The facility provides such daytime services as counseling, job training and medical treatment and helps the homeless find permanent housing. At night, its clients get bused to shelters with beds. Anne Teicher, the site's executive director, said the city wants to phase out drop-in centers to focus instead on "Safe Havens," where the homeless get both services and a bed. Neighbors fear that the center's closing will leave many displaced homeless people wandering the streets and hanging out in Central Park.
The center, which serves 800 men and women a year, learned last month that the city Department of Homeless Services was cutting off its funding: an annual $1.2 million.
The department wants the center, open since 1983, shut by June 30."
The article goes on to say that the site's exec director is pushing for a one-year reprieve.