In the late 80s and early 90s, many of the bohemian types who turned the East Village into a hip and cool neighborhood began to lament its gentrification. One famous piece of graffiti in the neighborhood lamented in plain words “the East Village is dead”. Of course, this all happened before I was born, and there are still different institutions that have stood the test of time, such as Veselka and Ray’s Candy Store. But there are also countless places that have closed shop in this unique and historic neighborhood, mostly due to rising rents. And just recently, three true institutions of the East Village are now gone. Let’s take a moment to think about them:
Clayworks Pottery: When Clayworks first opened in January 1974, owner Helaine Sorgen described the neighborhood as a different world, filled with empty storefronts. The store, selling handmade stone and porcelain pieces, has been there through the neighborhood’s growth and development. While the store still does brisk business, it was purchased by a predatory real estate investor who won’t renew the lease. The business’s last day is expected to be September 15.
Jimmy’s No. 43: Jimmy Carbone is arguably one of the most well-known names in New York City’s bar and food scene, thanks to his gregarious personality, podcasting, and active involvement in local events. His bar/restaurant, Jimmy’s No. 43, was known for its unique and frequently changing selection of draft beers since first opening in 2005. Due to a decline in business, the bar is closing. However, Carbone, whose bar has weathered temporary closures during both the East Village explosion and Hurricane Sandy, remains hopeful that he can find a business partner to help with the bills.
Croxley Ales: After nearly 15 years on Avenue B., Croxley Ales, known for its selection of craft beer and wing specials, is finally shuttering its doors. The reason for the closure is unknown, but their second location in Williamsburg remains open. The bar will be taken over by the owners of the two Triona bars on Sullivan and Third streets.