The suburban staple 7-Eleven has made no secret of its plans to expand its footprint in the New York City market, but somehow we're still a little startled by the possibility of pimply-faced cashiers slinging Slurpees on the Bowery. We guess it was inevitable once Kmart moved onto Astor Place (remember when that was controversial?) but still!
EVGrieve today has some pictures snapped through a window in the oft-empty Bowery retail space inside 52 East 4th Street that seem to clearly show plans with a 7-Eleven logo all over it. Hmmm, right? A rep for 7-Eleven tells us they are "checking with our real estate team and will get back to you as soon as I get the info" but warns that they "don't respond to rumor or speculation." We'll let you know when/if the store there is confirmed. Update: 7-Eleven has confirmed to us that they are going to be moving into 351 Bowery telling us that they are leasing the space, construction has already begun and that they hope to be open to the public on October 5.
Slurpees on the Bowery really don't seem like such a surprise, as the strip there is increasingly becoming the city's new hotel corridor. Between the Cooper, the Bowery and the upcoming hotel in the old Salvation Army building (next door to the maybe 7-Eleven) all those tourists are going to need a familiar snack, and the other large deli on the block is the awful and over-priced Steve's on the Bowery, on the West side of the avenue closer to Bond. And also, there is now a Subway across the street.
Further playing devil's advocate, we can even come up with a few reasons why this wouldn't be the worst news ever: For one, the space in question has been having a rough time finding a stable tenant and an empty storefront is worse than a chain (we still miss the restaurant supply store that used to be there). Two, who doesn't love a good dual-chambered Slurpee paired with hot dog-flavored potato chips? And third (and we're stretching here), Citibank customers now won't have to walk as far to avoid ATM fees? On the other hand—to put this into context people who like to freak out about the death of the East Village will understand—soon enough there could very well be a 7-Eleven within throwing distance of the late-CBGB's.