If you walked past Lucky, the variety shop at 79 Clinton Street, in the last day or so you know the longtime Lower East Side store is closing. We have a call into the owner to find out why they’ve decided to go out of business. While gentrification has taken hold on Clinton between Houston and Rivington, this one block (from Rivington to Delancey) has so far defied the winds of change. There’s a lot of concern about the sustainability of stores like Lucky, which serve low income and middle income shoppers. This commercial strip is part of the proposed expansion of the LES Business Improvement District.
UPDATE: A manager told us the store is closing down because the building’s owner raised the rent. He said Lucky will shut its doors for good in about a week. They are not moving to a new location.
Also Lo-Down reader Ed Rudyk noticed this interesting tidbit about 79 Clinton’s past in Ephemeral New York:
250-pound Fredericka “Marm” Mandelbaum, who arrived in Manhattan from Prussia in 1849, became one of the city’s most infamous thieves, a kind of mother hen to organized crime in post–Civil War New York. After moving to the U.S., Marm and her husband opened a dry goods store at 79 Clinton Street, which quickly became a front for her various illegal activities. Marm fenced stolen goods, financed gangs, assisted con men and blackmailers, and even taught pickpocketing to kids on Grand Street.