Changes are ahead for several commercial spaces on Grand Street controlled by the Seward Park Cooperative.
In a written report to residents, the co-op’s board of directors said it had recently met with Alan Phillps about a proposal for an ownership transfer at Kossar’s Bialys. Phillips has been involved in a lot of different food industry projects, including a deli concept called Friedman’s Lunch (with locations in the Chelsea Market, Hell’s Kitchen and now the old Cafe Edison space in the Theater District). The board approved the proposal, noting that Phillips, “has been in talks with the owners and has plans to improve the space as well as the offerings of Kossar’s, without changing the name or the type of establishment.”
We reached out to Kossar’s co-owner, Evan Giniger, who said he’s thought about taking on some new investors to help expand the Kossar’s brand. Giniger says his lease requires him to submit any new owners for approval to the co-op board. Right now, he added, there are no commitments from any new owner and no signed contracts. So we’ll have to see what happens with the business in the next few weeks.
In 2013, Giniger and Marc Halprin purchased Kossar’s Bialys, a Lower East Side institution since 1936, from Juda Engelmayer and Danny Cohen. The space at 367 Grand St. received a major face lift in 2016.
The co-op board also reported that Ramiken Crucible, the offbeat and reclusive gallery, would be vacating its space at 389 Grand St. Last year, the gallery had intended to expand its space, taking over a portion of the former Seward Park Liquors storefront, right next door. That plan is now kaput, Seward Park Co-op General Manager Frank Durant confirmed this week.
As for the new liquor store going into the aforementioned space at 393 Grand St., Durant said violations for underage liquor sales must be cleared up by Seward Park Liquors before anything happens. There’s an upcoming hearing at the State Liquor Authority on the issue. The SLA will not issue a new license at the Grand Street address until the old violations are settled.
Finally, the co-op is moving forward with a lease for My Little Village Preschool, which is currently located at 33 Avenue A. They’ll be taking a space previously occupied by Comprehensive Kids School.