Walking around the wet of early December, there are some key small business closings to mention, as our little Carroll Cobble village completely turns over to something new. Farewell old friends:
American Beer Distribution Co., a mega beer store that’s been family-run on Court Street since 1947. This is very sad if not predictable. I recently went in to stock up for the holidays on the shop’s wide selection of craft and import beers, but was turned away after discovering the $75 minimum for deliveries and $10 delivery charge (in other words, you must spend $85 to get a delivery. I do love beer, but I didn’t want $85 worth. And I’m strong, but not strong enough to carry the case and six pack of German beer that I wanted 12 blocks home.) When I stupidly suggested that the shop consider doing less expensive deliveries to the local, beer-hungry populace, I was dressed down. “We’d go out of business quickly with the price of fuel and parking tickets alone,” a fella snapped at me, as the woman behind the counter rolled her eyes and grunted, knowingly. (The local wine shops deliver freely but at this point I was not going to say another word. And in fact Scotto‘s Wine Cellar will bring wine to your door at the drop of a hat, and help you pick out some bottles over the phone — in case any readers are stuck in a little apartment with a sick or screaming baby and desperately need some vino ((not that that scenario ever happened to me)).
And while the service at American Beer, in my opinion, was lacking, and more dusty than some of the shelves, it’s a terrible loss for the neighborhood, which was all the more awesome for having a beer superstore with a great selection at good prices. American Beer was also one of the local spots that wasn’t computerized. There was always a woman at the checkout counter with a pile of written receipts recording everything with a pen and calculator in her black book. Bon Voyage American Beer, we will miss you.
Tony’s Hardware, on Smith. The shop is still open, but there’s a big For Lease sign on the front window.
Moxie Spot, the kids-focused restaurant and hangout playspace on Atlantic Ave.
And of course, with rents doubling and tripling to $10,000 and up to $15,000 a month around here, within the last eight years, we of course have to wonder how some owner-operated local businesses, the places that make here so wonderful, stay open at all.
And of course it’s not just us, it’s New York City — a living organism always in flux. Check out this great graphic in Curbed.com on the deconstruction of the American Folk Art Museum in Manhattan.