Updates in the continuing sagas of two eateries that couldn’t be more different in concept but face a curiously similar predicament: Ray’s Candy, the Avenue A shop that nearly closed last week after 36 years in business, isn’t out of the woods yet. The Villager has penned an editorial calling on readers and concerned neighbors to step in and save the store, whose 77-year-old owner, Ray Alvarez, has lately fallen on hard times and been unable to pay his $4,000 monthly rent.
“Ray deserves a break,” the editorial reads. “[A]fter all, he’s been breaking his back working every evening in his little hole in the wall for more than three decades. Simply put, he’s a vital part of the neighborhood fabric. It sounds like a cliche but it’s true: Without him, Avenue A and the East Village just wouldn’t be the same. People talk about communities losing their character. Well, Ray IS character, plain and simple. There’s got to be a way to save his store.”
Some 60 blocks north, Tavern on the Green gave up the ghost quite some time ago, and now its remains are being auctioned off. Following a seven-day auction preview, which Fork in the Road attended, the auction began yesterday afternoon. Diner’s Journal has a full report on the event, which attracted 1,000 bidders for some 25,000 items. By the end of the evening session, the total take was more than $1 million; the priciest items, such as the restaurant’s collection of chandeliers and a ceiling of Tiffany glass, will be auctioned off tonight.
Proceeds from the auction will go towards paying off Tavern’s $8 million debt; it’s too bad that some of it can’t go towards paying off Ray’s, too.