New York City photographers James and Karla Murray have been using photography to preserve the disappearing mom-and-pop shops of the city for decades. The husband and wife duo traverses all five boroughs of New York searching for those hidden gems that might vanish at any moment. In their new book, Store Front NYC: Photographs of the City’s Independent Shops, Past and Present, they share images of long-disappeared icons and still-thriving favorite haunts. Here, the Murrays give us a sneak peek inside the book by sharing a few of their favorite lost and extant mom-and-pop shops featured, along with a bit of history about each spot!

Store Front NYC
Book Cover Image Courtest of James and Karla Murray

Chapters of the book are organized by borough and all include descriptions and maps. The book’s introduction was written by Blondie co-founder and photographer Chris Stein! In a virtual talk the Murrays hosted for Untapped New York Insiders, they shared photos from the book, told stories of the storefront subjects, and gave behind-the-scenes insight into how they captured the best shots. Watch the video now in our on-demand archive!

Storefronts of NYC Photo Talk

The Lost Storefronts

1. Cheyenne Diner: 9th Avenue at West 33rd Street in Chelsea, 2008

Cheyenne Diner
All photos by James and Karla Murray

The Cheyenne Diner in Chelsea was in business for 68 years before it was forced to close in 2008. Rising real estate prices caused the business to lose its lease. At the corner spot where it once stood, there is now a new condo development.