Cigars and Juice Replace Cake and Glasses in Grand Street Turnover
WILLIAMBURG — Volatile commercial rents and fast business turnover are on clear view on a two-block East Williamsburg strip where shops are shuttering and opening within days.
"A lot of businesses come here and don't make it," said entrepreneur Ben Dahar this week while closing his three-year-old Moe's Deli on the stretch. "The rents go up and up."
The short Grand Street strip between Bushwick and Graham avenues is welcoming a new cigar house, juice and salad cafe and bagel shop this month while a Dominican cake shop, eye glass store, deli and pizzeria are all on their way out.
The changes are so rapid that the local business organization is studying the striking trend.
"The turnover here is constant," the Grand Street BID's leader Artineh Havan said of the two-block section. "We're trying to change that. The property owners are usually giving two-year leases, and we're trying to get them to invest in businesses longer."
Havan said the BID would be releasing results later this year as to why turnover was exceptionally dramatic.
Here's the latest on opening and closings on the strip:
Refugio Cigar House just moved from its Lorimer Street locale to a larger Grand Street center where the shop offers a large back lounge with televisions, couches and open hours as late as 5 or 6 a.m. (although technically the shop closes at midnight). The new store's grand opening was Sunday.
"The street traffic here is great and the night life is too... I still pick up customers at 1 a.m.," said Refugio Cigar House's manager Jimmy Brigandino, noting that rent were also cheaper than the shop's previous spot in North WIlliamsburg. "It's been a tremendous change."
Flower Power, an organic juice, salad and sandwich bar also just opened this week and has already drawn crowds into its cozy space.
Bread Brothers bagel cafe is expanding from its other Brooklyn location by the Montrose stop, the company announced on a sign above its soon-to-open Grand Street shop.
Moe's Deli closed this week when the owner said profits weren't enough to renew his lease.
Longtime Resident The Dominican Bakery shuttered and a "for rent" sign is on the storefront.
Grand Vision Eyewear couldn't make it any longer on the street.
David's Pizza closed earlier this year in Bread Brothers' future spot.