An iconic space meant to represent all the good things on the Upper West Side that have been demolished by corporate greed has a new owner who will gladly starch your shirts for you.
The exterior of the store at 106 West 69th Street was the set for “The Shop Around the Corner,” (left) Meg Ryan’s charming children’s bookstore in the film “You’ve Got Mail.” For those of you who haven’t seen the movie since the 1990’s, it hinges on Ryan’s attempt to save the bookstore even as Fox Books (a Barnes & Noble stand-in) works to destroy it. In the process, Ryan and Fox Books executive Tom Hanks fall in love and eventually (spoiler!) meet in Riverside Park to kiss and play with a dog.
The space has changed hands since then — at the time of the movie, it was occupied by Maya Schaper’s Cheese and Antiques, the kind of cozy neighborhood store that was a perfect model for The Shop Around the Corner.
When Schaper could no longer afford the $11,000-a-month rent, Cafe Sonatina moved in, hoping to profit off the store’s association with the movie. The owners even hung a You’ve Got Mail poster in the window. Alas, Meg Ryan’s magic didn’t wear off and the store closed its doors about a week ago.
Now La Mode Cleaners will try to turn The Shop Around the Corner into the organic dry cleaners around the corner.
Hey, at least it’s not a bank.
Meanwhile, Schaper tried to reopen her cheese and antiques shop around the corner on Columbus Avenue, but it didn’t quite catch on. She even tried dropping the cheese to focus on antiques, to no avail. That store is now “The Mobile Shop,” selling cell phone equipment.