“Do you know what? We are going to seduce them. We’re going to seduce them with our square footage, and our discounts, and our deep armchairs, and…our cappuccinos!” – Joe Fox (Tom Hanks) in You’ve Got Mail.
This was Fox’s animated strategy for attracting customers to his big bookstore, modeled after the Barnes & Noble’s on 66th Street and Broadway, in Nora Ephron’s 1998 film You’ve Got Mail, a version of the play Parfumerie by Miklos Laszlo. This would threaten Kathleen Kelly’s (Meg Ryan’s character) small bookstore, “The Shop Around the Corner,” because she cannot compete with Fox and Son’s. The influx of big businesses into the Upper West Side is an important string of narrative in You’ve Got Mail, secondary only to the love/hate relationship between Kathleen and Joe. The battle between small shops and corporate businesses on the Upper West Side (and around the city) is one that continues to this day. In this film locations column, we look at the spots that were featured in You’ve Got Mail, and what they are today:
1. The Shop Around the Corner
At the time of filming, this storefront was actually Maya Schaper’s Cheese and Antiques Shop, an equally neighborly and cozy establishment compared to the film’s The Shop Around the Corner. The cheese shop closed when Schaper was no longer able to afford the $11,000 a month rent, and it briefly became Cafe Sonatina. Today, the location of The Shop Around the Corner is a laundromat called La Mode Cleaners.