2003-07-25 / Columnists

On The Beach

With Beverly Baxter
Dan Greenberg: Behind Clothes Doors
On The Beach With Beverly Baxter Dan Greenberg: Behind Clothes Doors

With Beverly Baxter
Dan Greenberg: Behind Clothes Doors

O.K., that special someone has just called to say he’s just gotten tickets to The Met and made reservations at your most favorite romantic restaurant—-tonite! You’re juggling a hectic schedule and you just didn’t have time to pick up that elegant little black dress at the cleaners. While your heart blurts out, "Yes I’d love to!", your mind agonizes over the question, "What will I wear?".

There isn’t time to drive out to the tony shops of Cedarhurst—and "The Plaza"—as in Brooklyn— is simply not an option. What’s a girl to do?

Sound familiar? Rockawayites, from the east to the west have long struggled with and have been denied viable choices in places to shop for clothes. Not since Liz, with her Classy Closet, has there been a decent place to buy clothes. And men and boys, well, you guys have been out of luck for quite some time!

Think about it. Your 14 year old daughter has just informed you she and her friends are taking the bus to Kings Plaza. You look for a rope and a chair to tie her to. Your son shops at Tommy Sena’s; but what if the occasion calls for something a little less surf and a little more polo?

Enter Dan Greenberg—Retailer extraordinaire! If you haven’t already heard, Greenberg has a wonderful plan that will both revitalize the south east portion of Beach 116 Street and provide a much needed business: a decent place to shop for clothes for the entire family—-under one roof!

"I have friends who live here and I’ve always enjoyed coming here; yet I have a "Retailer’s eye"; and what I’ve seen, or rather, what I haven’t seen, is a place where locals can shop for fine, but discounted, designer clothes." It was during his many visits to Rockaway that he noticed the majestic, yet neglected, Seaport building. "I looked into it several years ago; but the owners at that time did not want to sell it and their leasing terms were too exorbitant." Dan waited; and when the building was sold again, he approached its current owners and a lucrative deal was worked out.

"I talk to my friends and I hear their complaints. "There is simply no place to shop!" I live in the Five Towns and if I need a casual pair of Khakis or a Ralph Lauren cashmere sweater, I have several options of where to go. You don’t have that in Rockaway." Well, we will now!

The frustration has been all too familiar to us locals. How often I have run out after dinner, and have met many of you, at Roosevelt Field, Sheepshead Bay, or Cedarhurst. How enjoyable it would be to have a place to go on the spur of the moment and indulge one of my most favorite of sports: shopping!

Dan expects to open Classic Closeouts sometime in August—just in time for the school-shopping season. He has spent over a half a million dollars in renovations and expects to spend nearly a million dollars by the time construction is complete.

With many years experience as both a brick and mortar merchant and online Retailer ( he invites you to visit classiccloseouts.com), he has competitive sourcing which enables him to pass this tremendous buying power and savings on such designers as Ralph Lauren, Donna Karan, Tommy Hilfiger, etc....

Over the years, the Seaport building has been the recipient of many valiant efforts and transformations. It has been a movie theater, a skating rink; and after many years of dormancy, it was courageously restored into a majestic live theatre and cultural showplace boasting an artistic movement that was just beginning to be born. It housed a fine Pasta House, Accessory Shop; but then something went wrong....and its doors were shuttered. Its destiny seemed to be ordained and articulated in a pessimistic sign of the times: "Coming Soon... Absolutely Nothing".

Classic Closeouts will encompass fifteen thousand square feet of retail space on the ground floor. There will be parking for nearly forty cars on the south side of the building. According to Dan, it will be very much like a T.J. Maxx or a Marshall’s. There will be something for everyone. The second floor will eventually become prime office space providing open stunning ocean views. I have been throughout the entire building. It’s a magical place built by artisans of another era. It’s a massive brick structure with fifty foot ceilings on both floors, brass railings, original wood floors, and oh, that splendid sparkling 20’x10’ Austrian Crystal chandelier!

Since the building is zoned residential on the Beach 115 Street side, there are necessary zoning and permit issues that need to be resolved; and there is strong hope that our elected officials will be able to reconcile this in a timely matter so that we can all...shop ‘til we drop!

See you...On the Beach!

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