The wrecking ball has done its work to Manhattan Diner, the beloved Greek spot that held down the corner of 77th Street and Broadway for 11 years.
The East Side of Broadway between 77th and 78th Streets was emptied out of retail tenants by Friedland Properties earlier this year to make way for a 20-story apartment building with a CVS on the ground floor. The block was nothing special, but that’s the reason why locals have lamented its destruction. There are too few blocks left in the neighborhood made up of small businesses, and obviously way too many drug stores. Manhattan Diner closed in May, along with a lot of the other small shops on the block: salon Curl Up and Dye, Italian restaurant Vai, the World of Nuts & Ice Cream, New Town Pizza and more.
As New York magazine’s Justin Davidson wrote: “There are two compelling reasons to mourn this block’s destruction. The first is that Broadway’s small businesses are being choked out not by inexorable Darwinism but because landlords and developers almost always prefer to sign a long-term lease with a clean, quiet, stable, and heavily capitalized corporation rather than risk renting to an amateurishly run boutique or a potentially odoriferous diner…The second reason that the demolition of the 77th Street block should cause much gnashing of teeth is that the low Broadway building is an endangered species.”
The CVS is slated to open in 2013, once the high-rise is completed. Curl Up and Dye indeed.
Thanks to Gavan for the tip.
Picture of Manhattan Diner in happier days by diffusor via flickr. Aftermath picture by Avi.