Please allow me to get a little sentimental here.
While I know that there are real problems in the world and this is certainly not one of them, Organic Avenue closed its best and most iconic store yesterday – the West Village location on 8th Avenue between Horatio and Jane.
Needless to say, it was a sad day.
I had been going to this store for at least nine years or so. Not only was it one of the very first places that I bought pressed organic juice (circa 2005), but when I wasn’t living in Manhattan and would come back to visit, this would be the very first stop that I would make upon my return.
It had what very, very few other juice stores have – soul. This Organic Avenue outpost was small and intimate, and you could go sit inside (or outside) on the bench by the window, drink your juice, hang out, and talk with people. And I met a countless number of them and went on many dates with women that I met there. Furthermore, you always looked forward to a Liv Tyler sighting, which happened once.
More than anything, what this store offered was a sense of community. It was warm and comforting, people knew your name, and its tranquility made you feel welcome with no rush to leave. Since I don’t drink alcohol, it had become my de facto bar.
Last week, I spoke with Jessie Gould, Vice President of Brand and Marketing at Organic Avenue, about the store’s closing. Apparently, it was not an easy internal decision to close this location as executives clearly understood the importance of this store to its loyal customer base. Yet at the end of the day, Organic Avenue is moving in a different direction and the location’s tiny footprint did not allow the company to incorporate many of the new offerings that it will soon be rolling out.
While I completely understand that this was a business decision and that it didn’t make financial sense to keep this store open, especially since competition has heated up in the neighborhood, it just won’t be same to no longer have an Organic Avenue presence on this block. Nor will it be the same when my Mellow Love in a glass bottle is no longer just a short walk away.
When you ask New Yorkers what is so special about living in the city, one of the things that they’ll tell you are the local stores that you frequent on a very regular basis. These places become part of your daily life. And when one of these stores that you become so attached to closes its doors, an inevitable void looms large.
Today was a very strange day when I walked by Organic Avenue, looked at its orange awning, and realized that juice is no longer served there.