The Grey Dog, a fixture in the West Village coffee house scene for over a decade, will be closing its doors. Lease disputes with their landlord have forced brothers David Ethan and Peter Adrian to pack up shop at their flagship store on Carmine Street.
Ethan and Adrian opened their flagship coffee shop in 1996 and have remained successful in the age of Starbucks. Their locations at University Place and West 16th Street continue to serve as a community hot spot for the coffee-drinking crowd.
It is not for lack of popularity that the iconic shop is shutting down. According to the Grey Dog website, disputes with the landlord of the Carmine Street shop are forcing the brothers out. In a letter to their patrons Adrian and Ethan explained their decision to close: “Our landlord came to us with an outrageous demand. He claimed that he had made an oversight on our lease and informed us that he was intending to collect property taxes retroactive to the beginning of the term. This fee was not included in the lease and amounted to over $100,000.”
Despite their success the brothers are unable, or unwilling, to pay this fee and have instead decided to focus on their other locations, much to community dismay. Online reviews sing the Grey Dog’s praises. “Grey Dog is a quintessential coffeehouse. It’s the place I’d go on a late Saturday morning, New Yorker in hand, hipster glasses on face,” said one online review.
Carmine Street is losing a rare combination of tourist destination and local hang out in one fell swoop. There is no doubt that the Grey Dog on Carmine Street will be sorely missed by Villagers and tourists alike, who will be forced to commute to the 16th street location for their morning coffee and downtown vibe.
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