Due to increasing rents and property taxes, and the constant expenses that arise when maintaining an older building, it has become no longer possible to keep our doors open. I have no distain for the landlords in the East Village, for they are put in a precarious position of having an overhead that they too cannot afford. Sadly, it is the small businesses that suffer from the escalation of the above market commercial rents and property taxes. I now join the ranks of Kate’s Joint, Zaitzeff, Life Café, and Lakeside Lounge; all business that have folded in a neighborhood going through a period of flux.
I look forward to seeing what the East Village becomes (Avenues A-C especially), for at this moment it is a neighborhood that is in the midst of change. Avenue B is a ghost town commercially, the community nature of the neighborhood has all but vanished, and it is over-run every weekend by a generation that has no vested interest in the East Village community except to visit on the weekends. By no means is this an indictment to the new, younger generation, it is more of an admission that much of the steady business for bars and restaurants has moved to Brooklyn and the high residential rents have stripped the neighborhood of the artistic/cultured feel it used to be known for. Mama’s Food Shop has weathered these changes, including surviving the recession, but as these changes started affecting our business, I realized it was the end of an era.
YM blames the new, younger generation.
AV blames the uneven food and lack of proper delivery service. Even before Guy ruined this for the neighborhood, Mama’s survived on being unique in the neighborhood, not on being good.