4. The Original Century 21 Store was in Bay Ridge

Original Century 21 Store in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn.
The Century 21 department store was founded in 1961.

Many know Century 21, a New York discount retail chain, filed for bankruptcy following COVID-19-related challenges. However, fewer know the original Century 21 store was in Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. The store, known for affordable prices and an extensive interior, now survives only in the memories of Bay Ridge natives.

Founded in 1961 by cousins Sonny and Al Gindi, Century 21 eventually added 13 locations throughout the eastern United States. However, the love Bay Ridge residents along with residents throughout the broader tristate area harbored for Century 21 could not save the department store. Within the greater context of COVID-19, a lack of insurance money and the failure of politicians to pass a bill that could provide Century 21 with the insurance money led to the store’s downfall.