Gem Spa Loses its Iconic Signage
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.”