By now the challenges facing small independent local shops are well known. The good news is there are some solutions. GVSHP has gone to the New York City Council in support of some of them. What can you do every day in some way? Visit a local independent shop in your neighborhood!
Every month we select a Business of the Month based on nominations from the public. You can nominate one here in one minute. Today we revisit all 12 of the 2016 Business of the Month awardees in Greenwich Village, NoHo and East Village. Visit each and every one, and nominate some more.
And here is a helpful Business of the Month map to help you find them all:
Greenwich Village and music are a pairing that seems to have existed for as long as the neighborhood has been around, yet where does one go about finding an instrument? If you’re looking to follow in the footsteps of Bob Dylan or Lou Reed, then look no further than Matt Umanov Guitars. Matt Umanov has been in the guitar business since 1965, starting out performing independent repairs and restorations before opening his repair and sale shop on Bleecker Street in 1969.
Sadly, it is no more. St. Mark’s Bookshop had been a part of the East Village since the 1970’s. Unlike the large chain stores we are accustomed to now, St. Mark’s specialized in small and independent press, periodicals and journals.
The downtown scene has long been known for it’s variety, funkiness and edge. But how many stores have a “Cape” section? Or a “1970’s Jumpsuits” section? And how many such stores would be able to withstand the vagaries of the market, rising rents and ever-changing notions of what is hip and fashionable for over 30 years? Only one: Screaming Mimi’s, now on West 14th Street.
Not many shops survive to ring in their golden anniversary, much less past it. But The Silversmith on West 4th has been open over 50 years. Proprietor Ruth Kuzub has been working there since 1960, later opening her own shop in the creative crevice wedged between two buildings.
Whether you live near Avenue C between 4th and 5th Streets, or have to make the voyage from afar, there is arguably only one place in New York to get the best traditional Puerto Rican cuisine and ambiance: Casa Adela.
Where can you get everything you need for body, mind and soul, all on one city block? This year the Integral Yoga Institute celebrates 50 years in our community, with their Integral Yoga Natural Foods Store, Apothecary, workshops and classes, and more.
Where can you still experience the Greenwich Village music scene in a setting as creative and innovative as the sounds you hear and the sights just outside its doors? And get an Irish coffee, Italian dinner, Espresso Martini, or virgin bloody mary from a curved bar while you do?
Where can you get a last minute gift for anyone of any age? Buy a pizza tattoo, locally made silver jewelry, books on neighborhood history, socks that give back, a banana protector, stylish bags or hats, or a Trump coloring book? At Exit9 Gift Emporium, 51 Avenue A– our August Business of the Month.
For over 65 years, Astor Place Hairstylists has been a neighborhood barber, serving locals and customers from all the five boroughs, and celebrities from around the world. Founded in 1947, you can get a cut, a perm, color treatment, a shave, mohawk, or fauxhawk at the same place Susan Sarandon, Sinbad and one Bill DeBlasio go. You can even sit for the “Stephen Colbert” style at Astor Place Hairstylists.
For twenty one years, Chess Forum has been located in the heart of the “Chess District” of New York City and the world, in our very own South Village. Owner Imad Khachchan was an NYU PhD student in comparative religion in the 1990’s when he was swept up into the world of chess. Enamored of the bohemian and cultural richness of the neighborhood, he felt that unique character was not complete without its chess scene.
November Business of the Month: Jimmy’s 43
You know you are in for a unique experience whenever you have to descend stairs from street level to enter into a rathskeller. And if it is in the East Village, with antlers on the wall, a ceiling from the beginning of last century comprised of a series of barrel vaults and gothic arches, you know it is even more of a treat.
Strolling the neighborhood of our newest proposed historic district there is a special section along Thompson Street between Prince and Spring Streets of quaint locally owned small shops. That is where you will find The Hat Shop, opened over 21 years ago — our December 2016 Business of the Month.
Your input is needed! Help us select our next Business of the Month. Tell us which independent store you love in Greenwich Village, the East Village or NoHo: click here to nominate your favorite. Want to help support small businesses? Share this post with friends.