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Poe Cottage – Bronx NY

The Poe Cottage located in Poe Park on Kingsbridge Road and the Grand Concourse in the Bronx is the last home that Edgar Allan Poe lived before he died. It is also the the spot where his young wife Virginia died of tuberculosis. The cottage, moved from its original site a block away to a park setting is an interesting little piece of New York City history. The Bronx was originally part of Westchester County when Poe decided to move there in 1846 because of his wife’s illness.

I recently visited Poe Cottage and was very impressed with the knowledge of the docent. The cottage, built in 1812 is a rare example of how people with very modest means lived. The house with only three rooms downstairs, a kitchen, parlor and small bedroom and two rooms upstairs. Virginia is said to have died in the downstairs bedroom with her deathbed among the original pieces that Poe owned.

Poe became friendly with the faculty of nearby St. John’s College, now Fordham University. Tours of the university are available by appointment

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Dominick’s Closing Update

The former Dominick’s at 1 North Halsted Avenue, in Chicago’s Loop neighborhood will reopen as a Whole Foods on March 25th. The remaining three locations 2 in the city and one in Elmhurst that will reopen in the near future. The hours of the new store are 8AM – 10PM, Monday – Sunday.

Heinen’s Fine Foods has reopened the Bannockburn location at 2503 Waukegan Road and the Lake Bluff store at 201 South Waukegan Road. The hours for both store are 8AM – 8:30PM daily.

In Countryside, Tony’s Finer Foods has completed renovation and opened at 6704 Joliet Road. The daily hours are 7AM – 10PM.

Shop and Save Market opened at the former Dominick’s at 5829 South Archer Avenue in the Midway neighborhood of the city. The store is open 7AM – 10PM Monday – Saturday and 7AM-9PM Sunday.

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Streits Closing Matzo Factory on Lower East Side

Streit’s, the last large matzo factory in Manhattan’s Lower East Side will close its doors after Passover. The 100 year old company has had it’s factory at 148 Rivington Street since 1925. Streit’s stated that they need to update their machinery and have a loading dock in order to be competitive in the kosher food market. They are looking outside of Manhattan for a 100,000 square foot facility.
For many years the family has resisted selling their factory in a very hot Lower East Side real estate market.

Streits joins the list of other closed old-time Jewish establishments like it’s Rivington Street neighbor Shapiro’s Wine and Ratner’s Delicatessen.

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Fortunoff Fine Jewelry

The Fortunoff family has opened a new jewelry store in the Source Mall in Westbury, NY. The store located near P.F. Changs at the eastern end of the mall. Fortunoff’s who had stores on Fifth Avenue, a large store in Westbury, White Plains in New York and Paramus, Wayne and Woodbridge in New Jersey closed in 2008. The Fortunoff and Mayrock family sold controlling interest in the company in 2005. Three years later, a store that I had shopped at my whole life closed. In 2009 the Fortunoff and Mayrock family purchased the intellectual property and the Fortunoff name. The following year the Backyard Store opened under a license agreement with Chair King.

The hours for the new jewelry store are Mon-Wed 10-6, Thurs – Sat 10-8 and Sun 11-5.

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Update on Dominick’s Store Closing

The former Dominick’s at 3243 W 115th St, in the Marionette Park, IL has reopened as Jewel-Osco. The new hours will be 6am-12am daily and the pharmacy hours will be 8am-10pm M-F and 9am-5pm on Sat/Sun.

30 stores still remain without new owners.

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Weinman Hardware – Bellmore NY Closed

After almost 100 years in business and over 90 on Bedford Avenue in Bellmore, Weinman Hardware is closing its doors. Small neighborhood hardware stores are having a rough time competing against Lowes, Ace and Home Depot. Roy Weinman, a World War II veteran, who will be 90 this week decided it was time to retire. People are very reluctant to take over a small hardware store.

Locals who frequent the store like the personal attention and Roy’s knowledge. His son David, who works with Roy plans on opening a small repair shop in the area.

Union Square Cafe To Leave East 16th Street

New York’s every escalating rents has claimed another victim. Danny Meyer’s Union Square Cafe, located at 21 East 16th Street announced that once the lease terminates at the end of next year the restaurant will relocate to a yet undetermined location. According to the New York Times, Mr. Meyer and the landlord Ari Ellis of David Ellis RE could not come to turns for the economics of the restaurant to work. Union Square Cafe has occupied that space for thirty years.

Landlords sometimes perceive that their property is worth more than they can realistically rent it for. A story comes to mind from my hair cutter. He moved his business seven years ago because he and his partner could not come to terms with their landlord. The landlord told him that he would have the place rented in a week. That space is still vacant.

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