Seward Park Co-op Residents Protest Potential Chain Stores

Roots & Vines, 409 Grand St., shuttered last month. It may be destined for rebirth as a Dunkin’ Donuts.

Rumors circulating among Grand Street residents about the possibility of two corporate chains moving into commercial storefronts owned by the Seward Park Co-op are generating a wave of backlash and an online petition in opposition.

Word on the street this weekend was that the Grand Spa at 403 Grand St. and the recently shuttered Roots & Vines cafe three doors down would be converted to a 24-hour 7-Eleven convenience store and a Dunkin’ Donuts, respectively.

This morning, protesters launched a drive to collect signatures; as of 2:15 p.m. they had gathered 91 supporters.

Roots & Vines Owner Talks About Why She Closed Cafe

Roots & Vines, 409 Grand Street.

Here’s a follow-up on a story we brought you on Monday — the closure of Grand Street cafe Roots & Vines. Yesterday, an auction was held inside the coffee shop and restaurant. Everything from ovens to espresso machines to bar stools was for sale.  This morning, we spoke with Natalie Krodel, who opened the business with Nguyen Huynh, almost nine years ago.

Why did Roots & Vines close? The simply answer seems to be the cafe wasn’t making it. The ongoing recession might have been part of the problem. But Krodel said it’s been especially tough in the last year or two as competitors have opened up in the immediate vicinity. She mentioned Pushcart Coffee on East Broadway and Cafe Grumpy on Essex Street.  There are, of course, many other “artisanal” coffee newcomers within a short walking distance.

Roots & Vines on the Auction Block

Roots & Vines has served its last sandwich. Photo by Cynthia Lamb

Grand Street cafe Roots & Vines has apparently closed for good. Auctioneer Michael Amodeo, purveyor of no-longer-wanted goods for many a defunct Manhattan restaurant, brings word that he will liquidate the contents of 409 Grand Street on Wednesday.

Founded by Natalie Krodel and Nguyen Huynh, Roots & Vines was a frequent gathering spot for residents of the neighboring co-ops along Grand Street, and its front patio area hosted many an animated conversation in fine weather.

Here’s just a partial list of items up for sale at Wednesday’s auction, which begins on site at noon:

Latest Model Turbo Chef Model C3 Rapid Cooking Oven, Mazarocco 2 Head Espresso Machine, Double Espresso Coffee Grinder, Under counter 150Lb Ice Machine, 2 Keg Beer Cooler, Vita-Mix Blenders, Bar Stools, Chairs, Tables, 3x Ductless 3Ton A/C Units, Pots, Pans, Utensils & Much More.

Local Author to Read From Debut Novel Tomorrow Night

Joanna Smith Rakoff will read from her debut novel at "Roots & Vines (corner of Grand & Clinton)" tomorrow evening. "A Fortunate Age," tells the story of a group of friends transitioning to adulthood in New York City after graduating from Oberlin College in 1994. The reading takes place at 730pm. See the New York Times review here and the Los Angeles Times review here.  Rakoff lives in a Co-op Village apartment.