Saturday, May 17, 2014

In wealthy Englewood, a buffet of empty storefronts

Downtown Englewood is filled with empty storefronts, including the one above, even though it is one of the wealthiest towns in Bergen County. Many of them once housed restaurants.

Smoke Chophouse, a steakhouse and cigar bar, on Engle Street was supposed to reopen as Sofia, a "country Italian steakhouse," in February.

This restaurant space next to It's Greek to Me has been empty for many months. It once was the home to Sol & Sol, a Jewish deli.

It's Greek to Me will get some competition when Syros Taverna opens on the other side of Palisade Avenue, the city's main shopping street. Angle parking, Manhattan-like traffic congestion and the lack of free parking hurt business.

Baumgart's, a successful restaurant, offers a lunch special, as does The Kitchen on the same block of Palisade Avenue.

This restaurant never opened in the Palisade Avenue space occupied by Wild Ginger/Wild Nigiri for many years.

On the same block, these two storefronts have been empty forever.

Expensive boutiques once occupied these two storefronts on North Dean Street.

Restaurateur Charles Hamade is making a second attempt at getting his pizza concept to succeed in a storefront across from his former Wild Ginger/Wild Nigiri, where U-Pie Company first opened before he moved it to Cliffside Park and combined it with Bushido, a Japanese restaurant. He closed Bushido last year.

Empty storefronts also are available in Palisades Court (ShopRite), a shopping center on Nathaniel Place, above and below. Palisades Court and a lot of other commercial and residential property in Englewood is owned by TREECO, a real estate development company.

The TREECO storefront where Victoria's Secret operated for many years is available again after it was used recently to sell Purim costumes. Are high rents one of the reasons for all of the empty retail space? 

Havana Espresso Boutique Coffee Bar at 46 N. Dean St. in Englewood displays salads, sandwiches and other food. Table service is just one of the things that sets it apart from Starbucks Coffee on Palisade Avenue and North Dean streets.

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