In an era when chain stores are becoming the norm, supporting Upper West Side small business has become more important than ever before. Many independent local stores on the Upper West Side are run by families who have been around for generations. They’re part of the community and what makes this neighborhood so family-friendly. Read below to find out what are some of the oldest small businesses that are still thriving today.
Beacon Paint and Hardware
371 Amsterdam Ave.
This Upper West Side hardware store has been on the Upper West Side for 116 years. The family-owned store has been around the neighborhood since 1900! Initially, Beacon Paint operated as a paint and wallpaper one-stop shop and didn’t quite make the transition into a full-fledged hardware store until the 90’s. The mom and pop store carries household cleaning products, AC units, heaters, fans, electrical and lighting supplies, fans, extension cords, and even building materials. They also have tools available for sale or rental and offer key cutting services. Beacon carries Benjamin Moore Paints and customers can match any color or brand of their preference as long as they bring in a swatch of something. The customer service is always courteous, kind, and provides one-on-one individualized attention.
Zabar’s has been a staple of the Upper West Side since 1934. This family-owned Upper West Side small business has managed to survive many changes over time due to it’s commitment to offering the customer quality products. Their success has spread so far beyond the UWS that Zabar’s has been featured in movies! The store introduced New Yorkers to European delicacies such as brie cheese, sun-dried tomatoes, gnocchi, and caviar. The emblematic store occupies almost the entire block between 80th and 81st streets on Broadway. Zabar’s is best known for its artisanal fish counter, exclusive cheese section, house roasted coffee, fresh-baked rugelach and other Kosher items. Their specialization in smoked fish goes all the way back to when the initial owner would inspect every fish before selling it to the public. It’s this firm belief in quality that has driven Zabar’s to being one of the classic establishments of the West Side.
Harry’s Shoes, one of the Upper West Side’s quintessential stores, was founded during the 1930’s. This Upper West Side small business comes with a welcoming atmosphere, a helpful staff, and a loyal customer base. It’s large selection of shoes in all kinds of styles for a varied range of ages have made this small business a sound success year after year. The employees are helpful, professional, and ready to attend customers based on their individual style preferences. It’s a also great place to go for those who’ve suffered a recent foot injury and are in need of finding a new comfortable shoe. From walking shoes, dress shoes, sneakers to slippers and everything in between, Harry’s Shoes has got it.
Acker Merrall & Condit
160 W 72nd St
Acker Merrall & Condit has been serving Upper West Siders with a vast selection of wines for nearly two centuries. The oldest wine shop in America originally started as a package store in 1820 and survived the Prohibition Era by selling groceries. From rare wines to fine European imports, it’s very likely you’ll find the wine you are looking for at Acker. This small business has thrived over the years due to it’s expert customer service and excellent selection of wines. The space used is inside is a clear throwback to old New York and has an authentic vibe. Customers can sign up for their “Wine Every Month Club” in which they can have specially selected wines delivered to them. The wines are categorized depending by grape or country. There are high-end bottles coming from regions as diverse as Burgundy, California, Spain, Argentina, and even Australia!
The Town Shop
Since it’s inception in 1936, this Upper West Side small business has been run by the same family. The iconic women’s clothing store specializes in bra fittings and is one of the most popular lingerie stores in the city. Each item on stock here receives The Town Shop Seal of Approval and is hand-picked by their house expert buyer. All sizes and styles are available as well as robes and other accessories from high-end brands such as Wacoal, Chantelle, Natori, and PrimaDonna. The Town Shop has been featured on many magazines and was named as one of “The Best of New York” by New York Magazine. The professional staff has mastered the art of fitting and supply each customer with the one-on-one attention as needed.