Filling in the Blanks

Reader Norma McGrody recently wrote:

“I feel that Tribeca is in need of the following specialty shops—how can I get the word out?
1. A great florist shop with beautiful fresh cut flowers delivered each day.
2. A cheese shop. I have to walk to Whole Foods, which is a bit of a trek when I have unexpected guests.
3. Although we have a lot of bakeries, I’d love a great bread shop such as Amy’s Bread.
4. A market that also has great appetizers in addition to cheeses. As a busy New Yorker with a lounge that we use for impromptu entertaining, this would be a welcome specialty shop.
5. A gift/card shop.
6. And an office supply store. Where does one go to replace an ink cartridge for a printer?”

I replied that I buy ink cartridges at Staples (or Office Depot?) on Broadway at Barclay-ish, even though my soul dies a little each time. But that’s not the point. The point is, what would you like to see in greater Tribeca? And where exactly do you think it should go? I tried playing this game once before, and yet I feel like you might have more to say this time. Besides, a lot of interesting storefronts are empty or will be soon—Bouley Bakery, Hoi An, the old Five Franklin showroom at Harrison and Staple, TAMA Gallery, Design Within Reach, PB & Caviar, 200 Chambers….



  1. First of all – great job with the site! I use a google alert to watch what is going on in the hood but may kill it cause you catch all the good stuff and I’m tired of seeing tribeca film fest or some star sighting posts. great work – How do we readers support your effort?

    I love Whole Foods. but the unfortunate byproduct is that many of the stores mentioned above would not be able to survive on neighborhood support alone. it would have to be unique enough to draw support from surrounding neighborhoods. Flowers? Morgan’s market actually has decent flowers for everyday display.

    keep up the good work

  2. I LOVE your ideas Norma – although I’m less passionate about the office supplies than I am about cheese. Also afraid that a really good cheese shop nearby may contribute a little too much in the way of lbs. I don’t have any self control. That said, I’d be willing to risk the extra weight for something like the Bedford cheese shop that’s in Brooklyn. It would be perfect in that JCrew/Liquor store spot on W. Broadway. But since they seem to be firmly ensconced, it could work in that small shuttered space next to Columbine. I think we also need another sit-down place for breakfast that isn’t Bubby’s.

  3. I would like a stationery store closer than Staples, which is kind of schlep. Though Manhattan Books on Chambers St, carries a lot of basics.

    And where can you get your shoes shined around here?

    I also would like a soup and salad place for lunch. Sometimes it’s hard to find just a good salad. I’m looking forward to some of those new restuaruants opening, giving us some more options. We still miss Bouley Bakery. Hell, I still miss Ceci Cela. I’d love it if they came back to the neighborhood!

  4. @Joe: Thanks for the compliments! The best support you can give right now is to mention the site to anyone you know who might enjoy it, either by emailing them a link, forwarding the newsletter, “sharing” a post on Facebook, or retweeting an update on Twitter. Basically, my #1 goal these days is to increase readership, and if anyone has ideas/suggestions on how to do it, please email me at

  5. At one point I actually thought of opening a gift/card shop in the area, but after the research I just felt it couldn’t be financially supported. There was an office supply store on worth between broadway and church but it closed down and moved to a smaller space inside an office building (I forgot where sorry). A cheese/appetizer/party necessities shop is a good idea. I enjoy this site thanks for putting it up.

  6. I dreamed of opening a gourmet take-out/cheese/entertaining type shop years ago, but, sadly, the full-scale food business in NYC is tough, particularly if you can’t sell/serve booze. Also, much of the commercial real estate in Tribeca won’t allow food businesses, because of landmark or residential issues. I don’t mean to be a buzz-kill, though…if anyone does open one, I’ll be first in line for cheese!

    and, Norma, as an fyi, we do have a big following for the cards we sell at Tribeca Treats. We don’t offer a full line of stationery supplies, but our selection of gift cards and thank you notes have been popular.

  7. @Rachel: And you know I’m a fan of the cards, seeing as how I seem to be buying one every week!

  8. Ha, for those of us who have been in Tribeca for a very long time, we remember “Cheeses of all Nations” on Chambers. It was a truly humbling experience to walk through its door. Tribakery was a great place for fresh bread. Used to be lots of shoe shine places on Chambers and Greenwich. There was also a great gift card shop on Greenwich as well as a fabulous newstand owned by Freddy and Mary which moved locations until DeNiro finally upped the rent :( The problem is that the spaces are just too expensive to rent. It used to be that no one would venture down to visit us below Canal street, lol.

  9. An ice cream shop/parlor.

    A late-night diner a la Bubby’s without the prices of Bubby’s. ($17 for a grilled chicken caesar salad?!)

  10. A Bouley Nursery or two – one that’s a preschool that caters to the precious young children of the neighborhood (they are the future) and then a nursery-nursery that sells Bouley’s signature overgrown shrubs and planters. Also a Super Cuts (the Flow-bee broke). And a Paragon Sports, ABC Carpet 9 (all 6 floors), Home Depot, and a gas station. And while we’re at it a Chipotle and a Bugaboo/Maclaren Crushing Station (sorry, I recycling station).

  11. Just stumbled into a large cards and stationery store on west side of church just south of chambers. On the Hallmarky side but extensive. I buy most of my cards at the place on broadway in the Woolworth building, the one that has the hummingbird as the logo – forget the name. Shoeshine places are closer to WTC, on east side of church south of Murray I think and on barclay btwn broad way and chambers. Also for some things mailing related I use the tiny place on west side of church just north of Murray, next to the christian scientist reading room; guy there is very nice.

    Blaue Gans is my regular Sit down brunch – weisswurst, pretzel, kostrizer. Always relaxed. Great eggs too.

    Agree that more easy salad healthy sandwich lightish lunch
    take out would be great. Equinox gym cafe actually has reliable stuff. Also agree on bread. Not to flog a dead horse but the closing of bouley market
    cafe leaves a huge whole all around. It was my single favorite place and the most useful.

    A liquor store specializing in a good beer selection. Better even than WF which is a start but not as good as it looks at first glance.

    Stylish and reasonably affordable mens clothes! J Crew does not count. Cent 21 is too crazy. Just one smallish well-curated shop
    is all I’m asking. Nice jean selection, etc. But smart
    and downtown.

    A larger thrift store with artful but not crazy selections – the time is right. In my alternate universe, that’s what i would open. Like Rondo for adults.

    Really good cheap mexican. Little place is fine but more $ than it’s worth and maryannes never did it for me.

  12. I agree with a lot of the above thoughts/comments. For some short-term answers…

    Cards: oddly enough, Sweet Lily nail salon on West Broadway has a decent selection of greeting cards.

    Brunch: I agree with Henry (above) about Blau Gans but I would also add Landmark to the list – while the brunch menu is relatively standard, they execute the dishes really well.

    Bread/.Sandwich: Grandaisy Bakery does some pretty decent bread… Their “Fillone” loaf is my personal favorite. They also have pre-made sandwiches that are not overly stuffed and heavy and are particularly delicious. Also, the new Takahachi Bakery seems to have really good rolls.

    Cheese/Specialty Market/ Florist: Wouldn’t that just be the most spectacular “everything store” to join Tribeca (oh, and if they could offer ice cream as well!).

  13. What about a magazine shop? And more cool, yet affordable restaurants like Momofuku Ssam Bar in the East Village or Rice in Nolita. So many of the restaurants are too high end, which is fine, but not all the time. I also agree about a decent Men’s shop. I love Tribeca, put it needs to be filled in a lot more and while it has it’s own distinct charm which I love, it wouldn’t hurt if it took some cues from some other hoods. It’s too sparse and needs a bit more density like the West village, soho or nolita, but without all the craziness. Look at Locanda Verde. If you build a decent place, people will come. And Pizza? We need a place to get a decent slice.

  14. @David, Farinelli does a great slice of pizza .. and bread !