Welcome Home Everyone!
At least, it feels like everyone has come home, particularly after the relative quiet of August. Just today, it seems as if everyone was out and about; Equinox was teeming with exercisers, North Street was clogged with traffic and yes, the Avenue was busy with shoppers and people doing their back-to-school errands.
As often, when one returns from being away and notices various changes that have occurred during her absence, the shock over the altered landscape can feel even more startling. Luckily, most of the changes that have taken place since August are positive, allowing for a rather effortless transition back home.
The first major change I noted was the Ave's (301 Greenwich Ave.) brand new outdoor seating area, located on Havemeyer. As a devout Starbucks patron, I was rather taken back at this noted addition, though pleased to see it being fully utilized. After speaking with the staff, I learned that the store has been waiting for the zoning approval for years and only just received permission a week ago. In fact, their zoning enables them to operate 8 tables outside, however, Starbucks has set up just 5 tables for now, and is, as manager Jillian told me, "testing the waters".
Apparently the outdoor commercial zoning must be allotted each year and is dependent upon success, causing Starbucks to ease into their long-awaited privilege. Although, Town Hall only allotted placement of outdoor tables to the Havemeyer Street side rather than both Havemeyer and Greenwich Ave, Starbucks is very pleased to offer outdoor tables at all. "Afterall", said Jillian, "not many businesses are allowed to have tables at all".
This got me thinking about just who does offer sidewalk seating on the Ave. The only places I can think of are , (whose space is not exactly on the sidewalk), (again not really on the Ave) and , who also recently set up two tables out front. Otherwise, the options are remarkably thin. Then again, the sidewalks of the Ave are clearly reserved for strolling.
Another, not-to-be-missed addition is the shiny, new store alongside (200 Greenwich Ave.). Upon query, I learned that the boutique's larger space is actually only temporary and will be abandoned as soon as the former space, just down the next block (255 Greenwich Ave.), is finished with its expansion. The current estimate on timing is mid-November. I must say, for a temporary space, it is quite glamorous and put-together. It goes to show you that successful people/brands understand the power of presentation.
Another addition is the British-themed clothing store, Jack Wills, located next to Calypso. With clothing designed to mimic British heritage and style, Jack Wills (252 Greenwich Ave.) should stand to do well with the college-age, preppy crowd in Greenwich, especially those already familiar with the brand from its stores in Nantucket, Newport and Southampton. Furthermore, the 2,568-square-foot store is modeled after an English Country House appealing to anglophiles on a complete sensorial level. Perhaps they should consider carrying upscale, coffee-table books like, England's Hideaways? Just a thought.
The last bit of news is not as cheerful, I'm afraid. From the large yellow signs in the windows, it appears that (40 E. Elm St.), that lovely bastion of French Country fabrics and Provencal-style furnishings, is closing its store for good. On the bright side, the "Going out of Business" signs usually signal deals.
If you have more updates on the Ave and its ever-changing retail-scape, please email me here. As always, I love to be current on the Ave!