clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

East Village’s Historic Gem Spa Is Banking on Instagram to Save It From Closing

Plus, Hong Kong import Hutong gets another review — and more intel

East Village institution Gem Spa remains open, but barely

East Village institution Gem Spa, a 1920s-era newsstand where New York’s fabled egg cream was born, is hanging on by a thread — and Frenchette chef Riad Nasr took to Instagram pleading for #influencers to help keep the shop open. The Times detailed the store’s current struggles: Gem Spa is facing a lawsuit from its landlord, was forced to scale back its hours, and recently lost its cigarette and lottery licenses, which made up for 80 percent of its revenue.

Parul Patel took over the store for her father last year and is now trying to revive it by pulling in a crowd through social media. Gem Spa has over 2,000 Instagram followers under the name @besteggcream, where it’s going heavy on promoting its history as well as branded T-shirts for sale. And Nasr recently promoted the store on his own Instagram, too, asking influencers to “put down those ridiculous #burgers that disgusting #milkshake” in favor of the historic store.

In other news

The New Yorker stops by high-end Hong Kong import Hutong for a review and leaves kind of hungry. Jiayang Fan writes: “A recurring theme, as you move from one course to another, is aesthetically pleasing presentation that yields so few mouthfuls that communal dining becomes almost anxiety-provoking; playing chopsticks hockey for that last morsel is inevitable.”

— Chef José Andrés is heading to Florida to provide assistance for hurricane Dorian.

— A survivor of a 2016 multi-car crash in Queens is suing Chelsea bar Avenue and Bar 9 in Hell’s Kitchen, claiming they “recklessly” sold booze to the man who was driving the car that crashed.

All the places that supermodel Gigi Hadid and her new beau Tyler Cameron have hung out over the past month, including Soho Mexican restaurant La Esquina and the Fleur Room inside the Moxy Hotel in Chelsea.

— NYC is home to a growing number of culinary entrepreneurs that are running secret dinner parties and meal delivery services out of their own home kitchens.

— Police are after a man who stole several jars of hot sauce and mayo from Hamilton Heights restaurant the Grange.

— Lol:

Gem Spa

131 2nd Ave, New York, NY 10003 (212) 995-1866