Wednesday, March 12, 2014

Bowery loses another staple: King Glassware closes

King Glassware restaurant supply company closed after 81 years.
Dating back to 1933, King Glassware may have been the oldest surviving restaurant supply store on The Bowery. Just last week, neighborhood archivist Adam Woodward came across this 81 year old mainstay at 112 Bowery shuttered with "FOR RENT" signs hanging on the gates.

King's phone number is disconnected and its website down, leading us to believe the decades-old business is gone for good and not simply relocating.

Surviving two world wars, the Great Depression, recessions in the 1980s and 2000s, as well as an abundance of competition from the dozens of restaurant supply stores along the thoroughfare is no small feat. Back in 1995, co-owner Fred LaMay told the New York Times about competition from the rise of similar stores opening on The Bowery, and the pressure to sell out.

"There are 30 percent more restaurant suppliers than there were 10 or 15 years ago," LaMay said.

At a time when shop owners were enticed to sell their buildings at 30% or more above market rate, LaMay turned down all offers.

"We tell them we're not interested," he said. "We'll sell when we retire."

We've reached out to the building owners for an interview but have yet to hear back. If we get any more information in the future we'll update this article.