Rodeo Drive East trussed, hog tied and left to die

Free parking

Free parking

Greenwich Gossip is concerned about the number of stores shuttered on Greenwich Avenue. The blogger cites an impressive number of recent closures but I don’t share his alarm – at least not yet.

The mix of businesses on the Avenue has always been in flux as market tastes and forces change. We watched the demise of single-shop stores, the loss of the best record store, Al Franklin’s, to a Talbot expansion and the last time I checked, Bernie Yudain was still griping about the loss of Finch’s Drug Store. Me, I think the biggest loss was Charlie Grannick’s gun store above his own pharmacy.

But so it goes. It has been nice to see restaurants on the Ave open past 5:00 PM and if the chains crowded out the locals and Westchester shoppers clogged the street with their SUVs well, at least we gained taxes. Now things are changing again – Talbot’s not only retreated from the record store, it pulled off the Avenue completely. I have no idea what iteration of Ralph Lauren’s is doing (I saw some howler of a window display at a Lauren “Rugby” store featuring effeminate models dressed in camouflage and army helmets – surely that won’t last), but whether he stays r goes, we’re still a pretty vibrant town with some money people. As long as those folks are here, I’m confident we’ll attract retailers with a desire to separate them from their stash. Cathy Fuld has to buy sheets somewhere, right? and can you see her doing a little on line browsing at Land’s End? I don’t think so. And of course, we can allsways accommodate a few dozen more banks.


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14 responses to “Rodeo Drive East trussed, hog tied and left to die

  1. Internet Age

    Why drive through cluttered streets of soccer moms going nowhere on their cellphones when almost anything can be ordered on line? The next time you sit behind the UPS guy in his truck, think about it, you probably could have stayed home, ordered it on line, and spend more quality time in your garden than deal with the hassle of the Avenue. Move out idiots. Greenwich WAS good 20 years ago. It will become the next LArchmont or Mamaroneck, or New Rochelle. Those were close to NYC too. Yet now you don’t need NYC. You can work from home. Like beautiful Colorado. Suckers, you idiots for staying in Greenwich.

  2. InfoDiva

    Talbots is alive and well on the Avenue.

    You really need to get out more.

    • christopherfountain

      Well Info, I’ll confess that my excursions to the Avenue are pretty much limited to crossing it on my way somewhere else. Did they retreat from Al Franklin’s or did I mishear that?

  3. John

    I understand that Greenwich Ave., with all the fancy stores, is a big plus to show to prespective homebuyers. I can’t for the life of me understand why that is? Wouldn’t you want a street like Greenwich Ave. where you could buy groceries, liquor, drug store (OK, we still have that), inexpensive lunch, reasonably priced sox and shoes, toys and things that people need every day? And take you kids to a movie, for that matter. Who wants what is basically a big gift store with banks? I’m really asking – Chris? What’s the draw?

  4. BackCountryGal

    John……When you find the town ‘where you could buy groceries, liquor, drug store, inexpensive lunch, reasonably priced sox and shoes, toys and things’, be careful, ‘you’re traveling through another dimension, a dimension not only of sight and sound but of mind; a journey into a wondrous land whose boundaries are that of imagination. That’s the signpost up ahead — your next stop, the Twilight Zone.’

  5. InfoDiva

    They did some re-arranging of their space, I know that. But they’re still alive and well.

    What are your thoughts about happing Apple on the Ave? The store should be a huge draw.

    My neighbors have owned the little shirt laundry (and its building) on the corner, right next to Apple’s new digs, for years. I wonder how long they will be able to resist the offers that are likely to come their way.

    • christopherfountain

      I think the Apple store is a great development and I intend to shop on the Avenue for the first time in years when it opens. I know that Ferari, the developer, sent people up and down the Avenue getting shopkeepers to sign a petition of support for Apple coming in down there and they all, (well I don’t know that, but a whole bunch of them) did. And the owners of BowTie Cinema, who really do run theatres as a labor of love rather than making a ton of money from them (disclosure – they’re clients of mine) have some pretty cool ideas for the theatre on Railroad Avenue which will keep movies in town and add a little extra pizazz. Early days on that project, but I think lower Greenwich Avenue will get stronger, not weaker in the coming year.

  6. Walt

    Dude –
    Help me out on a few things. Why would Al Franken have a store on Greenwich Avenue? Isn’t he trying to be Senator from Minnesota? What is he going to sell? Snow shoes? Seems like a dumb idea.
    And why is Farrah and MJ dying on the same day such big news. Two old white woman croak? Big deal? No. Unfortunately , it happens all the time. It’s not news. You selling some dirt – NOW that is news.
    Your Pal,

    • christopherfountain

      In case he loses that Minnesota senate race, of course. Owning a record store is, next to being a real estate agent, the next best thing to being paid for doing notrhing the way a senator is.

  7. anon1

    You should see Madison Ave on the UES in Manhattan. One empty retail space with a FOR RENT sign in the window after another. I have never seen this in 25 years. Times are achangin’.

  8. kidding really?

    It’s all about the high rent. When owners of the vacant locations get real with price per square foot then you’ll see new openings.


  9. anon

    I live and work in Greenwich, and honestly, I go to Greenwich Ave about once every six months. It’s such a hassle to find a parking spot that it’s not even worth it. I used to eat at Abis often with my kids, but the last time I went, I literally had to drive around the block five times before I found a spot – that was about three years ago. Richards has their own parking, but the store is a rip off – everything is priced like a $7mm spec home that’s really worth $3mm. And the Apple store will be a complete waste of time because Apples are also overpriced – you can buy a PC for half the price, and a PC is better.

    Seriously, when I go shopping, I go to the mall in Westchester. I prefer Nordstrom to Richards, and the parking is better too.

  10. Cos Cobber

    I’m late to the thread…

    I love these former residents who throw barbs with greenwich in the rear view mirror. If wherever they have gone is so much better, why bother making posts on a greenwich blog? why look back a lowly greenwich?

    I have lived in other places that I am not fond of. I don’t bother reading their town blogs..seems like a waste of time if you really didn’t care.