Corner Bodega at Orchard and Canal Becomes ‘Smoke Shop’
You may have noticed that the corner bodega at Orchard and Canal Streets looks quite different of late. For good reason. The twelve-year-old Newsstand-Grocery business recently changed hands.
That certainly explains why the rotting maroon canvas was recently replaced with something less “analog.” The new marquee installed last week is illuminated and does away with “Newsstand-Grocery” in favor of “E-Smoke.”
The storefront addition appears to be secondhand, though. Indeed, why does it say “1st Ave” on it?
Inside the establishment, the space is completely transformed into something geared more toward pipes, e-cigarettes, and booze, instead of the neighborhood specialty grocer angle. The place is a shell of its former self. Gone are the growlers and craft beer offerings; gone are the specialty snacks and “unusual foods”; gone also are the racks of art and fashion magazines.
Longtimers in the area will recognize the former gourmet bodega as one of the first such convenience stores in the area catering to the gentrified population settling east Chinatown by offering the aforementioned “destination products.”