When a reader wrote in to tell us Alphabets was closing its original location on Avenue A we wondered where we’d get our mustache-shaped cookie cutters. But Linda Heidinger, who’s had the store for nearly three decades, put us at ease.
Last year, when new ownership brought increased rents to the building, Heidinger planned ahead by opening a second East Village Alphabets, down the street at 64 Avenue A.
“I would not have opened a second location in the neighborhood if we had been able to stay in our original location,” Heidinger said. Now everything’s half off (except for packaged t-shirts) through the end of next weekend at 115 Avenue A, between 7th Street and St. Marks Place.
The only thing the new store won’t have space for is the women’s clothing (aside from the 100+ styles of slapsticky tees that represent the core of Alphabets’ business). Not that womenswear doesn’t sell well: Heidinger is considering a future Alphabets store that would carry only that, though she doesn’t have a particular location in mind.
This is the fourth time Heidinger, who also owns Lancelotti Housewares at 66 Avenue A, has had to say goodbye to an Alphabets because of a rent increase: she previously shuttered stores in Long Island, on the Upper West Side and in the West Village.
“As long as we can afford to be in business, we’ll be in business,” she said. “Although it probably won’t be forever. And also I’m getting old.”