Avenue A Institution Ray's Candy Store in Danger of Closing
Ray's Candy Store
Jenny Miller/Grub Street
Ray's Candy Store has been selling egg creams, soft serve, and Belgian fries out of a miniscule Avenue A storefront since 1974, but if business doesn't improve, it may not live much beyond its 36th birthday.
The Villager reports that the shop, which has thus far been blessedly immune to gentrification, is in dire straits: owner Ray Alvarez says business is down and that he's struggling to make the $4,000 a month rent. Things are so bad, in fact, that Alvarez says he's been learning how to collect cans from a Chinese man who "taught me how to make a deal with the supers or in the bars -- get all the beer cans."
This isn't the first time that Ray's has been in danger of closing: this summer, it was temporarily shut down by the DOH, and at the beginning of 2009, the Villager reported that Alvarez, who's almost 77, was struggling with crippling credit card debt and a hernia, and unable to pay his rent. At the time, things were so bad that his friends wanted Adult Protective Services to intervene. Now, it seems, his store is in need of some protective services of its own.
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