The Aldo at 84th and Broadway has sat empty for a few years now; the shelves still standing, but barren of shoes. In fact, Baked by Melissa was the only retail presence between 84th and 85th streets after Victoria’s Secret closed in November 2021 – that is, until Playa Bowls opened in March 2022.
But in recent weeks, there have been lights on and even movement within the former shoe store, and today there is a fully stocked and open for business Variazioni at 2321 Broadway. This is the third Upper West Side outpost for the fashion retailer – or rather, the third currently open.
Variazioni stores may be known best for their signs touting huge discounts due to impending closures. And while their shops often seem to be caught in a perpetual state of almost-closing for years, there have been those that have actually closed. In fact, fake “going out of business” sales are illegal – so maybe they really are just taking a good while to wrap things up. (On the other hand, Variazioni is no stranger to shady operations; having been sued for knock-off Burberry products in both 2009 and 2010.)
For the time being, the new Variazioni has yet to erect a “now open” sign, so hopefully it will be a while before they’re advertising a closing sale. As of February 13 at noon, there’s still an Aldo sign hanging over one part of the building, and on the corner there’s even the remnants of a Coach logo etched into stone – a relic left over from 2013.
And if one were to enter the former Coach, former Aldo, now Variazioni? They would find an assortment of handbags, a variety of coats, sweaters, and other winter/spring clothing – all with tags that reflect a significantly discounted price. Now, if the fabled Panera finally opens in the empty Victoria’s Secret, the stretch between 84th and 85th streets may finally be full again – at least, as long as everything stays open.