The East Village, which already has enough chain stores and restaurants to span 16 blocks, will get yet another flyover fixture in the next days.
The forthcoming location of Checkers — at 225 First Avenue, near East 14th Street — was packed with red-shirted employees this afternoon, presumably there for training. A worker who was tweaking the storefront, which for 45 years belonged to the Gabay’s Outlet clothing store till it moved to 195 Avenue A, told us the place was aiming to open Monday.
Meanwhile, next door at 227 First Avenue, a brand-new E-Smoke Shop is selling dozens of varieties of bongs, which is exactly what we’d have to hit in order to crave a Checkers burger. While bodegas doubling as vape stores have become commonplace these days, this newcomer is really taking things up a notch: we counted over 200 hookahs when we stepped into the luxuriously carpeted space. It also sells a wide variety of cigars and accoutrement, e-liquid, hookah replacement parts, and an array of traditional glass pipes that’s relatively modest compared to the head shops over on St. Marks.