Tiehama Grocery Closes After 25 Years on East Houston Thanks to Ben Shaoul

Posted on: February 2nd, 2015 at 5:00 am by

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Abdul of Tiehama, Photo: Steve Butcher

And then there were four…

Tiehama Grocery – the bodega located on East Houston for nearly twenty-five years – closed its gates for the last time after business on Saturday. A tipster tells us, “[Owner] Abdul in trusty fur hat is handing over the keys today” to Ben Shaoul, known in these parts as the “Sledgehammer.”

We all know why.

The controversial landlord purchased the entire corner of East Houston and Orchard last year to drop more luxury living on the neighborhood (Ray’s Pizza was the seller). Obviously at the expense of this low-rise strip of retail. Since we first broke the news, the small businesses have been gradually disappearing. Bereket, gone; Philly’s Cheese Steak, gone; Lobster Joint, consolidated in Brooklyn; Ichiban Sushi, gone; Karaoke Boho, moving down the block; Taqueria, moving to St. Mark’s Place.

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So long, low-rise East Houston

A ten-story residential building will eventually sprout at 196 Orchard, thanks also to the air rights acquired from Katz’s Deli last summer. The current plans call for a ten-story (120 feet) mixed-use tower with 94,923 square-feet of residential and a commercial footprint of 13,463 square-feet. There will be 83 dwelling units and community facility space for a “physical culture establishment” (i.e. Gym). Retail is part of the equation, as well.

The 120-foot height is the zoning limit as set forth by the 2008 East Village/Lower East Side rezoning.

Meanwhile, there had been a shred of hope for Tiehama. Back in October, we learned that Abdul was eyeing 176 Ludlow right around the corner. The bodega was denied, though, in favor of office space for the Hotel Ludlow. There are no plans to reopen at the moment…

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East Houston in 1995, Photo: Steve Butcher

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