Chocolate Bar owner Alison Nelson thought she had a done deal to open a new store at 23 Eighth Avenue–"literally, diagonally across the street" from her original West Village location, which closed last spring.
Not so fast!
The current occupant of that space, House of Cards & Curiosities owner James Waits, said he has no plans to retire when his lease expires next December (contrary to The Observer‘s prior report) and further indicated that he intends to renew and extend his stay for years to come.
The building’s owner, Beth Bogart, confirmed that she was in talks to lease the space to Ms. Nelson. She blamed the mix-up on a "miscommunication" with Mr. Waits.
"I thought James didn’t want the space because I hadn’t heard from him [about renewing]," Ms. Bogart told The Observer. "Alison certainly had the impression that she was going to be able to be there in January of 2010. …Aside from House of Cards & Curiosities, I can’t imagine anything I would’ve wanted in my house more than the Chocolate Bar–I’m a big fan."
Ms. Nelson, meanwhile, said it was never her intention to push Mr. Waits out of the space: "I was under the impression [he] would not be staying. I believe Beth was too."
She will now turn her attention to other available retail locations in the West Village.
"I have spent the past few days viewing spaces in the ‘hood and there is one I have my eye on," Ms. Nelson said. "But since I am a free woman, per se, I’m happy to hear of any great spaces that may be available!"