7. The Story Behind the Chinese Hispanic Grocery, 130 Eldridge Street

People always chuckle when they see the signage on this neighborhood bodega, but there is a deeper story to this bodega’s name. In the 1970’s, the Lower East Side saw an influx of Latino immigrants, many of them hailing from the Dominican Republic. According to an interview conducted by Fader Magazine, the store was called “Steve’s Grocery,” but when the neighborhood demographic changed in the 90’s — with more Spanish people moving away and more Chinese people moving in — the family that owned the bodega saw an opportunity and changed the name to “Chinese Hispanic Grocery.”

According to Rafael Perez, the son of the family, growing up in the Lower East Side was a dangerous time, when gunshots would ring out on the street. Being inside the family grocery store was the place where he felt the safest.