Gem Spa is out of Business, Long Live Gem Spa

Posted on: May 8th, 2020 at 5:00 am by

July 2018

Gem Spa is closed forever. Long live Gem Spa.

After weeks of rumors, the iconic corner bodega at St. Mark’s and 2nd Avenue announced yesterday afternoon that COVID-19 killed its business, which had already been reeling from a year of financial setbacks due losing their license to sell tobacco products.

Parul Patel, who has been helming the store for her father (owner since 1986), was on the road to recovery thanks to a media blitz and mercy line. But the progress made was zeroed out by the pandemic.

Gem Spa, which dates back in one form or another to the 1930s, released the following statement.

It is with a heavy heart that we announce Gem Spa has poured it’s last legendary egg cream and closed its doors forever.

This has been an extremely difficult decision, and one we are heartbroken to make. Forced to close the store due to New York City & State Covid restrictions implemented six weeks ago in the interest of safety to our customers and staff, we had hoped to reopen once things stabilized. Prior to the crisis, it had become increasingly apparent that the evolving character of the area was no longer able to sustain a corner creation like ours.

Coronavirus concerns closed our city, cratered businesses, and ultimately sealed the fate of our (close to) 100-year-old shop.

After careful review and assessment of our options, we have made the heartbreaking but necessary decision to close permanently.

We have enjoyed the most incredible love, support, loyalty and friendship from our neighbors, city, and visitors from around the world. We are, and always will be, eternally grateful to the historical artists, musicians, designers and dedicated denizen’s who saw us as much more than a beloved bodega but an iconic East Village institution.

Although our physical doors are closing, we will live on through our website where we will be highlighting more of our rich history and the iconic figures that have made us who we are. We will also continue to sell Gem Spa branded merchandise as well as art, books and photographs inspired by our store.

The Patel family would like to thank everyone for all the beautiful memories and for the opportunity to serve you. We hope that all of you are staying safe and in good health. Lots of love from all of us to all of you.

EV Grieve first reported the news yesterday.

Recent Stories

Chinatown Garment Industry Hanging by a Thread

Once a hub of manufacturing for the city’s garment industry, there are only a few remaining factories in Chinatown from a peak in the hundreds. The localized industry, which once employed thousands of immigrant women and men, sparked an area restaurant boom in the 1970s. Yet, began to decline in the late 1980s when manufacturers started […]

Residents Unite Against Developer Plans to Swap Park for Parking on LES Waterfront

Residents on the Lower East Side waterfront may soon lose more publicly accessible outdoor space. The developer of a new super-tall plans to reduce a children’s playground to a parking lot. As excavation work commences on Chetrit Group’s 70-story, twin-towered development at 265 South Street, tenants in the adjacent building – Lands End II – […]

Chinatown Homeless Murder Suspect Still Awaiting Trial

More than two years since the horrific murder of four homeless men in Chinatown, the suspect has yet to be held accountable for the crimes. In the early morning hours of October 5, 2019 Randy Santos stalked, then allegedly bludgeoned to death Cheun Kwok, Anthony Manson, Florencio Moran and Nazario Vasqez-Villegas while asleep on the streets. In […]

Excavation Begins for 70-Story South Street Towers

Cranes, and plywood, and pile-drivers, oh my! Such is the story down on the Lower East Side waterfront. Department of Buildings on April 12 issued official approval to the Chetrit Group to begin foundation activities for its dual 70-story tower at 265 South. A month later, the big trucks are mobilized. While excavation is now […]

For 7th Year Running, Greek Jewish Festival Returns to Broome Street this Weekend

After a more subdued outing last year, the Greek Jewish Festival this spring is on the rebound, pulling out the stops. It returns on Sunday for another go-round. Founded by Kehila Kedosha Janina on Broome Street seven years ago, the event celebrates the culture and traditions of the Greek Jewish community. Years past saw crowds […]