Roni-Sue’s Chocolates Focuses on Essex Market Stall as MTA Construction Sidelines Forsyth Street Store

Posted on: March 4th, 2020 at 5:00 am by

Lower East Side chocolatier, Roni-Sue’s Chocolates, no longer has a public-facing brick-and-mortar presence. Its store at 148 Forsyth Street recently shuttered after nearly seven years on the block.

Signage affixed to the drawn grate steers customers to the new Essex Street Market, where the business maintains a stall.

Owner Rhonda Kave tells us that MTA construction work beneath Forsyth Street is to blame. The ongoing repair of the ventilation plant apparently depressed foot traffic to the store, and sales were down. Instead, Kave is utilizing the space as a production kitchen, classroom, and events space (by appointment only).

“Paying to staff a front-of-house operation here is no longer a viable alternative,” she told us in an email. “All of our retail sales now happen out of our Essex Market location where we’re open 7 day a week.”

The subway work here over the last couple years has fomented dangerous conditions north of Delancey. For example, last August, an attacker was caught on surveillance smashing the windows of Roni-Sue’s. The same man had allegedly also tried to run down residents while on a bike.

The MTA is currently swapping out the ventilation plant fifteen feet beneath the roadbed along the eastern perimeter of Sara D. Roosevelt Park. Originally built in 1962, this section of the subway was identified as the eighth-highest priority level for equipment replacement.

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