Gem Spa Loses its Iconic Signage

Posted on: May 18th, 2020 at 5:00 am by

Photo: Robert Carmona

The finality of losing Gem Spa officially took hold over the weekend.

The iconic signage and awning were deposed from the southwest corner of Second Avenue and St. Mark’s Place, and the contents of the store liquidated. It now looks like any other retail vacancy on the Lower East Side.

Gem Spa, which dates back in one form or another to the 1930s, closed down for good last week. Parul Patel, who has helmed the convenience store for her father (owner since 1986), faced challenges over the last year due to a lost license to sell tobacco products. They made a valiant effort at a comeback thanks to a media blitz and merch line. But COVID-19 was ultimately the final nail, as it were.

“Prior to the crisis, it had become increasingly apparent that the evolving character of the area was no longer able to sustain a corner creation like ours,” Patel noted in a public statement. “Coronavirus concerns closed our city, cratered businesses, and ultimately sealed the fate of our (close to) 100-year-old shop.”

Recent Stories

Celebrating Rosh Hashanah in the 1900s Lower East Side [PHOTOS]

Sundown tonight marks the beginning of the Jewish new year with the holiday of Rosh Hashanah. To celebrate, below is a small collection of photos, courtesy of the Library of Congress, illustrating how Jews of the early 1900s celebrated the holiest of days while living in the ghetto of the Lower East Side. You’ll notice […]

The New Museum Returns to the Bowery from Pandemic Sidelining

After being sidelined for six months, the New Museum is back. They reopened their doors earlier this week to the public at large. As previously noted, three new exhibits will grace the space and run through the remainder of 2020; “Peter Saul: Crime and Punishment,” “Jordan Casteel: Within Reach,” and “Daiga Grantina: What Eats Around […]

Mission Chinese to Shutter East Broadway Restaurant Due to Coronavirus Challenges

Mission Chinese Food, the popular Nuevo-Chinese restaurant, is to close its flagship Lower East Side location at the end of the month. In a lengthy missive posted to Instagram, chef-owner Danny Bowien explained the challenge of operating during pandemic times and the ultimate decision to close. “We faced the difficult decision as a business to […]

Lingerie Traded for ‘Original Goose Country’ on Rivington Street

There is a new leather vendor headed to Orchard Street. Taking the place previously occupied by a lingerie shop and cafe. Signage appeared this week outside 83 Rivington Street, announcing the forthcoming arrival of Original Goose Country. This is the first brick-and-mortar for the outerwear brand, which came into the scene in 2018. Its founders […]

Night and Weekend Work on F Train Tunnel Rehab to Begin on Monday

The MTA next Monday will begin work on the rehabilitation of the Rutgers Tube, a subway tunnel under the East River that was damaged during Hurricane Sandy eight years ago. The long-awaited repairs include track replacement, signal equipment, cabling, tunnel lights, and new pumps. The MTA is also installing a backup generator connected to the […]