In today’s heartbreaking irony, First Avenue’s urban wear institution Burkina, known for its T-shirts saluting the East Village and LES, is closing its doors on Monday. Previously located at 177 East Houston for fifteen years, the shop relocated to its current outpost due to the expansion of the restaurant Preserve 24. Now Burkina is packing up its T-shirts for good, even the ones boasting slogans like “Certified Money Maker” and “Fuck You Pay Me.”
This wasn’t, however, a classic case of “The Rent is Too Damn High.” Not entirely, anyway. “They didn’t raise the rent,” owner Amed Sankara says. “As a matter of fact, last year they reduced the rent!” Sankara and his landlord had such a good relationship the rent was lowered in an effort to keep the store in business. Ultimately, Sankara blames that relentless tyrant, the economy. Though he may one day seek out a new location, for now the King of New York (T-shirts) is taking a breather.
If you wish to make it onto Burkina’s customer slideshow, pop by and pick up an “I Survived New York Excessive Ticketing and Fines” tee before it’s too late.