The say that New York is not the city it once was is a statement so obvious and oft-repeated that it is all but meaningless. And yet, even for the blasé, who view negative neighborhood change as a losing battle, there are occasionally startling changes, changes that suggest the city has reached an altogether different stage in its gentrification and development.
Like the impending closure of a hip Soho hot spot that has consistently studded its small, intimate tables with celebrities over its 20-year run. And, less than a mile away in the West Village, the opening of a juice bar.
Boom, at 152 Spring Street, is going out of business after Hurricane Sandy flooded the basement kitchen, causing some $100,000 worth of damage. But the real reason is that Soho has turned a corner when it comes to gentrification. The trendy eatery, once a symbol of how much Soho had changed from the gritty, industrial district it once was, cannot afford to rebuild and pay the $150,000-a-month rent.
“The rents are just ridiculous. It has become really hard for smaller restaurants and shops to survive when big luxury brands want flagships in Soho, the Chanels and Louis Vuittons of the world, even though there are never people in those stores,” former Boom partner Rocco Ancarola told the Post. “It’s just too costly to fix things up from the hurricane and fight the high rents.”
It’s enough to make a person nostalgic for the earlier waves of gentrification that washed over the neighborhood.
Meanwhile, in the West Village, Elixir Juice Bar is opening its only storefront at 434 Avenue of the Americas between West Ninth and West 10th Streets, Crain’s reports. Specializing in juice cleanses, Elixir has outposts in 10 Equinox gyms around the city, but this was apparently not enough to sate New Yorkers’ cravings for juice and/or the dubious health benefits of juice cleanses. It will replace a lo-cal dessert shop. We’re not sure if that’s an improvement or not, but not all hope is lost: an Elixir at 532 Hudson Street closed down earlier, despite offering occasional specials like $5 smoothies. Maybe not all hope is lost?