John Jovino, the Oldest Gun Shop in the City, Permanently Closes Due to COVID-19

Posted on: May 20th, 2020 at 5:00 am by

As more businesses reopen in Chinatown and Little Italy, one will not.

The John Jovino Gun Shop has officially fallen victim to the Covid-19 pandemic.  The Grand Street store is a relic, and photo magnet thanks to the revolver hanging from the facade – it opened in 1911 in the shadow of the former police headquarters on Centre Street. Over the years, the mom-and-pop served both members of the police force and the public at large. It’s considered the oldest gun retailer in both New York, and the country.

Charles Hu, who took over the business in 1995 yet retained the name, held out for months. The crushing economic stress from the mandated shutdown forced him to close the business for good.

At a time when gun sales are at record levels throughout the country one would think Jovino’s would do a booming business, but work stoppages at gun manufacturing plants had halted supply and Hu had neither guns or ammunition to sell.

Photo: Karlin Chan

The closure of Manhattan’s last remaining gun shop marks the end of an era, and members of the Chinatown Block Watch stopped by on his last day to wish him well.

John Jovino’s is the first major casualty for Chinatown as a direct result of Covid-19, and probably will not be the last.

Recent Stories

Fridays Under $40: Trying To Be Healthy

In our new Friday column, “Fridays Under $40,” Boogie contributor Sara Graham hits the streets to find cheap eats and affordable things to do during these weird times. There are many hobbyists that have sprung from the self-isolation of spring 2020—sourdough bread bakers, TikTok choreographers, “plant moms”—but I’m most envious of runners. I’m lucky if […]

Sister of Murdered and Dismembered Tech Entrepreneur Speaks Out

Exactly one month after 33-year-old tech entrepreneur, Fahim Saleh, was brutally murdered and dismembered in his Lower East Side apartment, his sister is speaking out with a memoir on Medium. In the blog post published yesterday, Ruby Saleh recounts her relationship with Fahim and her sorrow over his death. She said that her brother was […]

Thirty Years on, Mercer Street Books is Crowdfunding to Keep Afloat

The last of the old guard is facing an uncertain future. Beloved used book store in Greenwich Village, Mercer Street Books, could be the latest victim of the economic fallout from the Covid-19 pandemic. The neighborhood fixture is in its 30th year of selling used and out-of-print books, as well as records, and currently staring […]

Ode to the Doomed Trees of East River Park [OP-ED]

The following editorial was written by Lower East Sider, Barbara Katz Rothman. There’s something truly sad about the sight of a dead tree. Look at that photo of the tree killed by the storm last week. We think of trees and use them as metaphors, so often, even by “urban types” like me who actually prefer city skylines […]

Essex Crossing Starts Leasing at The Artisan with Rentals Topping $3,000

Essex Crossing this month announced the start of leasing at its latest luxury tower – The Artisan. Located at 180 Broome Street, this beast is the largest building at the nine-site project. Its floors contain office and retail space, as well as access to the Market Line, which is gradually reopening from the pandemic shutdown. […]