If you dread the touristy downtown vacation walking this season, you’re going to be surprised: Rockefeller Center is on the move!
Hidden behind the Art Deco faÃ§ade of 30 Rockefeller Plaza, in a space filled with some 10,000 vinyl records, now lives rock lovers’ paradise. Rough Trade, an independent London record store, opened at 30 Rock in June after closing its Williamsburg store in March.
This helps create an avant-garde vibe in the Long Haul Zone, bringing live performances to the Outer Plaza and inside the famous Rainbow Hall on the 65th floor. Last month, the rarefied venue hosted British post-punk band Dry Cleaning and The Muckers from Brooklyn.
âI have the impression that this brings a lot of independent and alternative artists to [those who wouldnât] necessarily hear them or see them, âsaid Christian Salhany, a 24-year-old shopper and East Harlem resident, of the store’s presence in the neighborhood. “It just shows the resurgence the city can have, and it’s constantly evolving – and that’s great.”
Another client, Garrett Troy, 33, who lives near the old Williamsburg outpost, said: is happening around here.
Rough Trade is in great company – and there is more to the cool to come downtown. Last week, Williamsburg’s Detroit-style Ace’s Perfect Pizza opened a 30 Rock outpost – as did Soho’s health-conscious and “socially conscious” convenience store The Goods Mart, which sells beef burritos at 5. , $ 75 per plane each week from Los Angeles. On the horizon: a tap room for the Brooklyn Other Half brewery at Rockefeller Plaza; and, across Sixth Avenue at 135 W. 50th St., a Singaporean-style food market from Urbanspace and street food guru KF Seetoh, which is slated to open next year.
While a number of these locations were considering a move from Rockefeller Center ahead of the pandemic, COVID-19 threw them into action as stores near chains like The Gap and Duane Reade closed.
“This moment gave us the opportunity to move to an area of ââthe city devoid of counter-culture, which called for independent creative cultural activity, which was widely considered to be ‘uncool’, [while] at the same time, it was an easily accessible area, âStephen Godfroy, co-owner and director of Rough Trade, 48, said by email from London.
In recent years, owner Tishman Speyer has approached smaller local businesses to open at Rockefeller Center to counter the chain presence, according to the New York Times. In addition, they make reasonable rental agreements.
For Jill Lindsey – who owns an eponymous boutique, cafe, and wellness center in Fort Greene, Brooklyn – a downtown business presented a unique opportunity to bring up-and-coming designers to a neighborhood known to be a giant. big brand.
âIt was a really good breath of fresh air from what people have been saying,â Founder and Owner Lindsey, 43, told The Post. âPeople were like, ‘Wow, local in the city center? It’s crazy!’ â¦ This is what New York City needs and should be.
It opened last November, in the middle of a lonely holiday season, selling clothes, accessories and home items – such as candles from Greentree Home and handbags designed in collaboration with KZ_K Studio. and 1 Workshop – under a 13 month contract which runs until December.
Lately, thanks to its location across from Radio City Music Hall, the store has seen traffic from tourists seeing the venue’s signature âChristmas Showâ. And Rockettes fans mingled with his loyal Brooklyn crew who crossed the river to shop: “They’re the ones who kept us here and they’re the ones who really supported. [us]”said Lindsey.
Lindsey even hosted local designer pop-ups at her boutique, including one with jewelry designer Karen Karch, 57, who had a store in Soho for 16 years before moving to Gramercy ten years ago. It closed its doors last September due to COVID-19.
“I love Midtown because it’s like Radio City Music Hall, Rockefeller Center – it’s so New Yorkâ¦ but I never thought of it as a place where I would like to have a store or have a presence.” said Karch.
“I saw this [Lindsey] was doing, which was so interesting for that area – and she told me management wanted to bring local New York businesses to the area, so tourists wouldn’t see the same thing they could see everywhere they went. live.
Seeing signs of promise, Rachel Krupa, the founder and CEO of The Goods Mart, 41, also jumped at the opportunity to expand into the city center. It opened in a lobby-level newsstand at 30 Rock – selling virtuous riffs on snacks, like Cheetos-style puffs made from peas and jars of almond butter.
âBeing part of the city center in the heart of the city, we are able to [reach] more people, and the goal of ‘The Goods’ is to make the best options for you readily available to everyone, âKrupa said of the new outpost.
Eli Sussman, the 36-year-old co-owner of the fast-paced, laid-back shawarma spot Samesa – who recently operated in East Williamsburg before shutting down due to COVID-19 last September – also didn’t sniff out his downtown debut. city.
In March, Sussman and his 39-year-old brother Max opened a lobby-level restaurant at Rockefeller Center, fulfilling the duo’s long-standing goal of putting their concept to the test in a vibrant neighborhood.
âMidtown is a whole different beast, and while it might not have the same freshness as the West Village or the East Village, or somewhere in Brooklyn, if you want to have a successful restaurant, you have to be where the customers are, âSussman said.
âI think we’re bringing something cool downtown. Something new and fresh, something that isn’t just a cookie cutter.