New Happenings on West 8th Street – Hotel, Sewing Center, Craft Beers – and a Closing?

Now Open -- Textile Arts Center

Much has been written on this blog and elsewhere about the decline of 8th Street in the Village. For a number of years now, new businesses have tried to get a foot hold on the once popular strip. Many have closed; seemingly more and more rapidly — likely due to exorbitant rents.

There’s a few new shops – and a hotel – coming in this fall on West 8th between 5th and 6th Avenuesand one new restaurant closing? Will they take hold?

Here’s a sampling:

1 West 8th Street – Vegan organic juice spot, Organic Avenue is coming to this location at 5th Avenue.

3 West 8th Street – New Hotel With Literary History Coming. Owners are, supposedly, aiming for it to be “affordable.”

From Hotel Chatter:

In New York’s Greenwich Village, right above Washington Square Park, there exists a building known as the Marlton House—formerly an SRO, it was converted in 1987 into dormitories for students at Parsons The New School for Design. And now, thanks to Sean MacPherson and Richard Born, it’s becoming a hotel again.

What’s interesting about the building is its history of attracting notable writers, artists and actors as guests—Jack Kerouac, Edna St. Vincent Milay, Maggie Smith and John Lithgow have all stayed here.

For the new W 8th Street hotel, Born and MacPherson will look for inspiration to their two previous efforts: the Bowery Hotel and the Jane Hotel, saying the renovation design will be “in that genre.”

The NY Post spoke to Born about the new project, who said:

“It’s screaming for a hotel that will fit in with Greenwich Village and NYU,” he said. While it will have a bar/restaurant, Born believes the hotel itself won’t be “terribly pricey.”

This scares me a little. It sounds more NYU than Greenwich Village.

24 West 8th StreetApple Cafe Bakery. DNAInfo covered the space coming in with “New Bakery Brings Gambian Spice”:

Apple Cafe Bakery is taking over the storefront formerly owned by wine purveyor Is-Wine, which vacated about five months ago, Abramson [from realtor/property owner Buchbinder & Warren] said. The 1,100-square-foot space rents for about $9,500 per month, according to the site.

26 West 8th Street – OPEN SINCE THE SUMMER — Textile Arts Center; 2nd location — the other is in Carroll Gardens, Brooklyn. Currently, there is no mention of the West 8th Street location on their web site. Last night there were people inside taking classes. I’d heard previously from the managers that they were “keeping a slightly lower profile this summer” at the 8th Street store as they got up and running.

26 West 8th StreetThe Growler Station, a craft beer store is coming, via The Real Deal Deals.

30 West 8th Street – is available! Right off the Park at MacDougal Street; this previously housed woman’s glittery clothing store, Versailles (which moved to Flatbush Avenue in Brooklyn). The listing from Buchbinder & Warren states it is 750 square feet and renting for $11,500.

47 West 8th Street – State Room restaurant closed and soon to be vacant?

State Room 47 West 8th Street, No Longer?

It looks like the State Room, previously Rabbit in the Moon, at 47 West 8th Street has closed. It always seemed to operate like a private club and they added a new fake facade and all this plastic ivy to the exterior – without getting Landmarks Preservation approval first. The interior, per the web site, actually looks somewhat nice but the exterior just did not draw you in. It certainly looks closed and there’s no note saying they’ve gone on vacation.

As for what Buchbinder and Warren Realty is looking to fill the vacant spots on West 8th, DNAinfo reports:

Buchbinder and Warren Realty Group advertises four vacant West 8th Street retail spaces on its website. Bill Abramson, director of the group, said his company is thinking carefully about how incoming tenants will shape the neighborhood.

“We could fill up our shops with tattoo shops and [eyebrow] threading shops, but they’re just not the type of tenants we want and that we think will enhance the neighborhood,” he said.

It doesn’t have to be tattoos and threading on 8th Street, but how about making it affordable for, say, a book store? the return of PosterMat? What else?

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Previously on WSP Blog:

Fashion Designer and Former Tenant Patricia Field: NYU Killed 8th Street August 12, 2011

Spotted in Shop Window on Troubled West 8th Street: “Support Small Business” March 16, 2011

Neighborhood Spotlight: Monk Thrift Shop

Monk Thrift Shop is off the Park on MacDougal Street en route to West 8th. The shop has vintage and contemporary clothing, shoes, jewelry, books, tchotchkes (knick knacks), and more. Although it’s received mixed reviews on Yelp, I find it a fun place to walk in and explore. It’s obviously surviving, unlike many on troubled West 8th Street, and it’s eclectic in a city increasingly homogenized so probably a good idea to support it. Plus they have these fabulous ruby red slippers, a la Dorothy, in their window right now!

Ruby Red Slippers at Monk

They also take donations and will give you a tax receipt, so, if you don’t know what to do with some old something or other, here’s a place to bring it. They are open every day 11 a.m. – 8 p.m., except Friday and Saturday 11 a.m. – 9 p.m.

Monk Thrift Shop
175 MacDougal Street (betw. Wash Square North and W. 8th Street)
#212/533-0553

On West 8th Street; Spotted in Shop Window on Troubled Strip: “Support Small Business”

Sign spotted in the window of Andy's Chee-Pees in business since 1977

More and more for Rent signs on West 8th Street

West 8th Street between 5th and 6th Avenues has been in trouble for awhile now despite the local BID’s efforts to make the strip less about shoe stores and more about high end establishments. A few new spots have opened recently but so many have closed; three in a row on the south side of the street right off MacDougal, including Is-Wine and 8th Street Kitchen, both relatively new. There was another newcomer, Patty & Bun right off 6th Avenue, on the northern side. I always meant to go in. That’s now closed.

This sign, “Support Small Business,” is in the window of Andy’s Chee-Pees Vintage Clothing. This is their “flagship store,” in business since 1977. My first memory of this Village strip is from going to Postermat in the ’80’s when the block was a destination.

The status of West 8th Street has been an ongoing discussion for years now. Is there hope for it to revitalize? It is one block from Washington Square Park. What would it take?

2006: West 8th Street will be new ‘Culinary Alley’, Village Alliance says, The Villager

2008: 8th Street Ghost Town, Jeremiah’s Vanishing New York

2011: More Closings on West 8th Street, Flaming Pablum