Maxilla & Mandible, the fossil shop at 451 Columbus Avenue where thousands of New York kids gawked at the bones and fearsome skulls of dinosaurs, bobcats and crocodiles will close this month, DNAinfo is reporting.
Since it opened in 1983, the store has served as a virtual annex to the Museum of Natural History a block away, but on a much smaller and arguably more hands-on scale. It’s the kind of store that’s fun just to walk by, where skeletal faces stare back at you. Inside there are massive moths, full skeletons, tons of fossils, and even a box full of bones for sale (you can buy 6 bones for $1!).
The store has also served as a kind of scientific advice center, where people could ask questions about almost any branch of natural history and have them answered by someone with a PhD.
The owner, Henry Galiano, said the store is closing because sales fell over the past year — and he is blaming the new protected bike lane on Columbus Avenue for that. Customers, he told DNAinfo, simply can’t park in front of the store anymore, as the installation of the lane resulted in 67 parking spots being taken away. After a very slow Christmas season, he says customers told him the lack of parking forced them away.
It’s unclear when exactly the store will close, but until the doors shut they will be having a sale, says @reporterleslie.
Losing H&H Bagels this summer was pretty awful. But there are lots of good bagel places in the neighborhood. There are no other stores quite like Maxilla and Mandible. Feel free to reminisce in our comments section below.
Photo below by jairus via flickr. Top image via Maxilla & Mandible.