Rising rents and other factors continue to drive long-time family-owned NYC businesses out of business. The latest victims are Ess-A-Bagel and Complete Traveller Antiquarian Bookstore, both on the East Side.
The bookstore closes today after more than 30 years at Madison Avenue and 35th St. It’s been the go-to place for hard to find travel guides including out-of-print books, books for children to encourage a love of travel, foreign language travel books and more. Luckily, Complete Traveller Antiquarian Bookstore will stay in business online.
Full disclosure: I have known owners Arnie and Harriet Greenberg for more than 20 years, and wish them well. According to the New York Times, NYC has lost nearly one-third of independent bookstores like Complete Traveller in recent years.
Since you can’t bake and serve bagels online, Ess-a-Bagel will be shutting down soon after 39 years of baking and serving what many believe are the best bagels in NYC. According to local weekly Town and Village, two neighboring eateries at the corner of First Avenue and 21st St. also have lost their lease and are shutting down, Grill 21 and Rose Restaurant.
Ess-A-Bagel reportedly is looking for a new location. Bank of America reportedly is moving into at least part o the space being vacated by Ess-A-Bagel, Grill 21 and Rose Restaurant.
More full disclosure: Both my parents worked in retail stores close to where I grew up in Inwood, so I have a deep-rooted fondness and respect for the small business owner.