2. Gem Spa (Founded in 1922)

gem-spa-st-marks-place-east-village-james-and-karla-murray-storefront-photography-nyc-001Photo by James and Karla Murray, as seen in the book Store Front: The Disappearing Face of New York

In early May, we were saddened to hear of the permanent closing of Gem Spa, a century-old beloved East Village haunt for egg creams that was located on the corner of St. Mark’s Place and Second Avenue. The corner store first opened in 1922 under a different name and became Gem Spa in 1957.

Gem Spa was one of the locations on our Historic East Village Food Tour, led by renown photographers James and Karla Murray who are long-time residents of the neighborhood. Guests tasted delicious specialties from at least 6 different tasting stops, including Gem Spa, where they sampled the egg cream, said to have been invented in this shop in the 1920s. Earlier this week, the iconic yellow signage awning and black and yellow signage have been taken down.

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2 thoughts on “26 NYC Restaurants and Bars Closed Permanently in Coronavirus Pandemic

  1. Manhattan restaurants come and go all the time. But I do shed a tear for those well established joints like coogans and the Irish cottage Tax laws need to be changed to discourage empty real estate. Before the virus empty storefronts were all over Manhattan

  2. It is sad to say that this will not be the first list of closed restaurants and bars. With the talk of the mayor saying 50% open by September. The list will be huge and the desire to live here will diminish by the uniqueness gone. We may see vast exit of the city

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