Olive Market Closes

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Three businesses in the strip mall have had to close or relocate due to renovations to the shopping center. (Photo by Caroline Ryan)

The Olive Market grocery store in Roslyn Heights served the community one last time before going out of business on May 31. A sign on the door read “Clearance sale, grocery items 2 for 1. We will be closing after May 31. Thank you all very much for your patronage.” Two other family owned businesses located in the shopping center on 367 Willis Ave., Sotto Luna, an Italian restaurant, and Joven Dry Cleaners also closed, but were able to relocate to other locations nearby.

The property was purchased last May when renovations to the left of the CVS began taking place. Property owner Louis Silverman said he lives in Old Westbury and has been shopping at the center for years. The purchase was made because Silverman saw potential within the property.

Community members were disheartened to hear that the Olive Market had shut its doors after being a staple in the community for many years, and are hoping the owners of the market will be able to open elsewhere in town.

“The owners were always so friendly and carried the most stunning flowers at reasonable prices,” said shopper, Stephanie Herzog Cohen. “I am sad to see another beloved business leave in that strip. The rent that commercial landlords impose on small business owners in Roslyn is just so sad. Small business is what makes a town like Roslyn so special. I wish them well.”

Elyse Sussman Salpeter, a resident of Roslyn Heights said, “I’m really sad that it closed. It’s a local business that had really great fruit and vegetables. It’s so important to keep businesses like them in the community and to get booted for a bigger company is sad. I’m hoping they land someplace [else] soon. I can’t imagine the stress they must be under.”
“Although we have our big stores, nothing compared to the Olive Market,” said shopper, Janine Bradley Yip. “A good family trying to make a living now has to start all over. I am hoping they find a new place in the town to reopen.”

Sotto Luna closed the strip mall location in May. The restaurant will be reopening sometime this month at their new location on 875 Willis Ave, which was formerly Mitch and Toni’s American Bistro.

Joven Cleaners was able to relocate a mile down the road to 178 I.U. Willets Rd. Namy Tao, owner of the Joven Cleaners said she was given about two and a half months notice that she would need to vacate the building her business had been in for the last 25 years. After a continuous search, Joven Cleaners was able to take over an existing dry cleaner in the middle of April and closed the previous location on May 1. Tao said business in the new location is going well so far and is thankful to have had a place to relocate to. Finding a new place that was within three miles of her old location, with adequate parking space and affordable rent was nearly impossible, she stated. Tao is extremely appreciative of the community support she has received regarding the move.

“The community supported us a lot, many of my loyal customers came back,” said Tao. “From prayers, to putting out flyers notifying the town about the new location; one of my customers painted a picture to hang in our new place for good luck. We are so thankful.”
Many members of the community are spreading the word about the relocation of Joven Cleaners on various Facebook community forums.

“Just to let everyone know Joven Cleaners was relocated,” Amanda Schechter Shaked wrote. “Namy did an amazing job turning around a really bad situation and the new place is terrific. They are an amazingly hard-working and service-oriented mom and pop business. I highly recommend supporting this local business.”

The real estate company is still in the stages of obtaining permits from the town, but construction on the center has already begun. The property owner’s vision is to give the shopping center a more modern Hampton’s style look while giving the center a much needed update. The front of the CVS Pharmacy was recently updated and the rest of the buildings will be constructed to match. Major improvements will include a new parking lot, increased lighting, landscaping and the replacement of the front strip of the mall.

Silverman said he is not at liberty to confirm the new tenants, but hinted that community members can expect to see a fitness center and a fast casual eatery within the shopping center. Both businesses are set to open at the end of this year. The CVS Pharmacy and Starbucks located in the same strip mall will remain open through the construction.
“We’re excited to take a great shopping center that was neglected and bring the area back to what it should be,” said Silverman.

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