After yesterday’s post, What Does it Take for a Business to Survive in Today’s Greenwich Village?, I got a note this morning from a reader, Tim, who wrote re: “B&N Spot 8th and 6th”:
Saw a public notice in Times that TD Bank will open on that hallowed corner. Feh.
It does make sense that a bank is one of the few entities that could afford more rent than, say, Barnes & Noble, tho’ I was imagining a chain restaurant coming like Heartland Brewery which I could have dealt with or something like McDonald’s (that would be bad) … I’m not sure what is worse. A bank is pretty bad especially because that building has a large presence bordering two streets (Sixth Avenue and Eighth Street) and TD Bank is so unpleasantly larger-than-life already, glassy and green.
I went back to read the original article by Roger Friedman at Showbiz411 that had alerted me to Barnes & Noble closing back in November 2012 and saw in the later comments that the assistant manager of that Barnes & Noble space had commented stating that it wasn’t that they weren’t making it in that Sixth Avenue location, the issue was that there was a “HUGE rent hike.” That somehow makes it so much worse.
Former Assistant Manager Donald Kemp wrote, “My little store on the corner of 6th ave and 8th St was a special place. It was an old strange place with nook and crannies that we tried to fill with honor.”
Maybe Donald was the person who left the sign “Closed Forever” on the old Barnes & Noble door after they closed on New Year’s Eve 2012 (it was eventually changed):
Around that time, a commenter here, Richard, recalled some of the history of the building:
Yes, that used to be Nathan’s. I hasten to add it was not the sterile fast-food franchise version of Nathan’s you’ll find in malls and food courts today, but a real honest-to-goodness full-fledged branch of Nathan’s equal to the Coney Island original. That was my favorite place when I first moved to the Village in 1973. (There was another branch in Times Square as well.) As you might be able to guess, I’ve never quite gotten over losing it! But even my Nathan’s was an interloper on that corner; before that it was Nedick’s, a chain virtually forgotten now but once every bit as ubiquitous as Starbucks is today. Nedick’s was at that location for many years, perhaps decades, and I’ve heard some old former hippies complain that when it closed they blamed Nathan’s for taking away a favorite local hangout.
Also, the location was a B. Dalton bookstore (number of years?) when Barnes & Noble took it over.
Now it’s looking like it’ll be a TD Bank. The history of the building definitely is continuing a downhill trajectory.
At least, the Barnes & Noble maintained the ‘bones’ of the building. TD Banks all look glassy, bright green, shiny, corporate, and … the same.
And then, continuing on the theme of corporate entities-infringing-on-the-Village, CitiBank is coming on the other side of Sixth Avenue. This actually compounds the impact of the TD Bank news (still to be confirmed but seems pretty likely).
At least, Barnes & Noble sold BOOKS.
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Previously at WSP Blog:
Barnes & Noble 8th Street Closing November 30, 2012
All photos: Cathryn
Except Top Photo: Showbiz 411 (Note – TD Bank Modifications via this blog)