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Metro-North Railroad to Bring New Tenants and Improvements to Bronxville Station PDF Print Email

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By Carol Bartold, Senior Reporter     

Jul. 10, 2019: After more than two years of seeking proposals for commercial tenants to occupy Bronxville Station, the Metropolitan Transportation Authority (MTA) announced in early June that two leases have been approved. Xarupa LLC has leased the entire 2,595-square-foot station interior space and The Coiffure Clique will occupy a 239-square-foot space, with its own dedicated entry, at the southwest corner of the building.

Xarupa LLC will reconfigure the station interior into an improved commuter waiting area as well as a café that will serve coffee on the go as well as morning meals. The plan also calls for a bar and lounge area to occupy 819 square feet in the building’s northern end that will be open during evening hours.

The Coiffure Clique will offer high-quality hair styling, blowouts, and hair coloring, as well as have products for sale.

Although the MTA has not finalized a construction schedule, both businesses are scheduled to open in early 2020.

Under the terms of the lease, the new tenants will add over $200,000 in improvements to the building. Xarupa LLC will create a new seating area in the station’s waiting room, upgrade restrooms, paint the building interior, and install new fixtures. The Coiffure Clique has agreed to upgrade a restroom and install laminate flooring and shelving in its space.

According to a Metro-North Railroad spokesperson, the manned ticket window will remain open during construction and after the tenant opens for business.

Sudhil Patel, owner of the coffee concession and newsstand that has been a fixture at the station since 1986, notified the Metropolitan Transportation Authority that he would close his business at the end of June. Although his lease on the space expired in 2016, he was granted a holdover month-to-month lease until Metro-North Railroad accepted a proposal for a new tenant.

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Waiting area of current Bronxville station. Photo by A. Warner.

Bronxville Station is owned and operated by Metro-North Railroad, a subsidiary of the Metropolitan Transportation Authority. As such, modification to the building is not subject to local village laws and regulations. The railroad has been designated as the construction and permitting agency. All design and permitting will be approved by that agency rather than the Village of Bronxville’s planning board or building department. The agency has, however, offered to meet with Village Administrator Jim Palmer to review the reconfiguration concept.

“Every week, about 9,500 customers use the Bronxville Station,” said Catherine Rinaldi, president of Metro-North Railroad. “Bringing new tenants to the station will not only improve the commute for these customers but will also help enhance the community’s quality of life.”

Pictured at top:  Bronxville Metro-North Railroad station in late April.

Photo by A. Warner







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Bronxville Life & Style: Great Local Mother's Day Gifts PDF Print Email
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By Karen Talbot

May 8, 2019:  Mother's Day is around the corner.  Below is information about great local places where you can get a Mother's Day gift that will make mom smile!


 
 
 
Toney Toni and The Gang
Special Trunk Show 
With Great Gifts for Mother's Day

 
 
 
 
Many Ways To Celebrate Mom
This Mother's Day May 12th
 
What better way to say "Thanks for being you" than with a POSH Gift Card. They do not expire and can be redeemed for any service or retail product. Get yours here
 
POSH Mother's Day Packages
 
A Day To Relax:  Give Mom a day to rejuvenate and relax with a variety of services including facials, massages, body treatments, and more. Included in these special packages are treatments featuring our delicious new retail line, Farmhouse Fresh. All of their products come straight from U.S. farms, where the ingredients are harvested, washed, and extracted within hours to ensure vitamins are at their peak.

Hydrafacial Treatment:  For our Mom's looking to brighten up their skin this Spring, look no further than our ultra popular Hydrafacial treatment. This patented technology infuses the skin with antioxidants as it extracts and hydrates. 
 
Silky Smooth Skin:  Pair any Eminence facial with Dermaplaning to get silky smooth skin that soaks up serum and masks. 
 
SunFX Spray Tan Series:  For the most natural looking glow on the go, a SunFX Spray Tan Series will ensure Mom can pop in anytime for a quick pick me up. Series of 5 or 10 are available.
 
Stop by POSH today for everything you'll need to make Mom smile this Mother's Day. 
 
Hours are Tuesday through Thursday 9-6, Friday 9-8, Saturday 8-6, and Sunday 9-2. For more details on products and services visit www.poshbronxville.com
 
 
 
 
We want to take a moment to wish all mothers a most special
Happy Mother's Day!

Give your Special Mom the Gift of Fitness with
3 Personal Training Sessions for Only
$149

Limit 1
New Member Only

 
 
 
 
 
 
14 Studio Arcade
(914) 337-9356
 
 
 
Luxurious and Thoughtful Gifts
For Mother's Day

Click Here To Shop 20% Off With Code Mom19
Offer expires Thursday, May 9th

 

Note:  This content is sponsored by the participating companies

Top photo:  Pexels.com

 
The Next Chapter for Womrath Bookshop PDF Print Email

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“Womrath Bookshops and Libraries, Inc.

Announce The Opening

of their

BRONXVILLE SHOP

at

73 Pondfield Road

JANUARY 6TH

Under the management of

Mrs. Harold Van Buskirk

and

Mrs. Weston B. Hillard

Womrath Bookshop & Libraries, Inc.

Shops in White Plains and Larchmont – 37 Shops in Greater New York


By Susan Miele     

Apr. 3, 2019:  So read the ad in the Bronxville Review-Press on January 6, 1938, at which time Willis Parkview Hairdressers, at 141 Parkway Road, advertised the “smartest permanent of the year” at a special rate of $5; Bellis Pharmacy, at 116 Pondfield Road, promoted itself as “the store of personality”; and Kensington Plaza Garages—with locations at 3 Kensington Road, 47 Palmer Road, and 7 Pondfield Road—offered “for modern convenience, let us install an automatic windshield wiper and defroster” for your vehicle. Local theaters showed photoplays, and articles recounted who hosted whom for a luncheon at the Hotel Gramatan.

Womrath has changed hands (and locations) only a few times in the past 81 years, with Gene and Wanda Sgarlata at the helm since 1984 and their predecessor, Dan Gross, in charge for 36 years. Now it’s time to pass the Womrath torch to fresh bibliophilic blood, as the Sgarlatas are seeking a buyer to lead the next era in Bronxville bookselling. In retirement, they plan to spend time with the grandchild who will soon be born in London.

Even at its inception, Womrath offered more than just book sales; it also promoted “used books, novelties, bridge prizes, and gifts.” The Womrath chain offered books not only for sale but also for rent at a daily rate calculated by pagination. Book rentals stopped only about 20 years ago, Gene estimates, particularly owing to the proliferation of lengthier books, whose heftier page counts made completion of a book take longer than a per-diem price would justify.

Eight decades after the opening of Womrath, retailing books still requires finesse, but the Sgarlatas’ nimbleness has kept Womrath current, including adoption of the sale of downloadable books for e-readers.

It was on December 1, 1984, that the Sgarlatas took ownership, during peak holiday-shopping season. They were dismayed to find how bare the shelves were and set to work ordering. Dan Gross was dubious about their extravagance.

“We had a great Christmas,” Wanda remembered.

“And we learned a lot about what our customers wanted,” Gene added.

Previously, they worked at a bookstore at the Cross County Shopping Center, where Gene was manager. There, customers typically made their purchases and left, not stopping for chit-chat with the staff or establishing a relationship. Not so in Bronxville.

Bronxville proved to be, then as now, the perfect place for a bookstore, Gene remarked. “People here are smart, well-educated, well-read.” Wanda added, “and very polite, good customers. The kids, too. Everyone. We’ve loved our time here.”

Customers and staff enjoy a symbiotic relationship, both benefiting from the other’s input about books. Those who frequent the shop have probably heard Gene and Wanda discussing books at length with their customers. Strangers exchange opinions and recommendations, even making purchases based on a conversation that was merely overheard. People linger and connect.

About 20 years ago, the Sgarlatas took over the vacant space next to the original store to create what is now the children’s room. This department is particularly strong, they report, as local parents invest in their children’s enrichment and education. “Parents often don’t buy just one thing but four or five things.”

“Kids are reading more these days,” Wanda observed, referring particularly to “middle readers.” “There’s a lot more available to them--so many choices of subject, style, genre. They’re interested in a lot more now, including nonfiction and newer literature. We love when they go into that kids’ room. You can hear the chatter. And in the summer or the spring, when the door is open, we hear, ‘Let’s go to the bookstore,’ and we’re so happy.”

Especially on weekends, the kids’ room is hopping, she added. “We need to straighten up the area at least twice a day.”

“I love picking out books for kids and finding the right book,” Wanda said.

“Our job is to get the right book into the person’s hand,” Gene added.

The Sgarlatas agree that Womrath fulfills the needs of the village and plays an important role in the community. In addition to general sales, Womrath now sells to local schools in Bronxville and Mount Vernon, offering an institutional discount. This is a relatively recent development in recognition of the importance of supporting a local bookstore.

According to Ray Geselbracht, Bronxville Village historian, there were as many as three bookshops in Bronxville in 1942 and five in 1965.

“Where we live in Armonk, there are no toy stores, there are no bookstores. It’s all restaurants and banks. I need to drive 15 minutes to White Plains to buy anything,” Wanda lamented. Gene scoffed at that time estimate. “By the time you park, it’s more like half an hour,” he added.

The Sgarlatas characterize their business as successful, noting that they’ve never been in the red. “We can return what we don’t sell,” Gene explained. “We’ve had publishers say, ‘You must know what you’re doing because your returns aren’t ridiculous.’” Indeed, the Sgarlatas make selections based on their knowledge of their customers’ interests and will order books at a customer’s request.

Plans are already under way for Womrath’s annual “Where’s Waldo?” event in July, when a cardboard image of the Where’s Waldo book character is hidden in some twenty participating stores for children to find on a scavenger hunt. The month-long event culminates in an in-store party, with games, refreshments, and plenty of prizes. Beyond the fun time for children, participating stores stand to benefit from increased foot traffic.

“More events and social media are needed,” Wanda advised. Both she and Gene acknowledged that those are hats better worn by someone other than themselves. “And you need to have a love of books and reading,” Gene added. “It’s an avocation.”

Almost every week, someone calls Womrath Bookshop to ask, “Where are you located?” People who aren’t familiar with Bronxville make the shop a destination to get the book they want.

Photo by A. Warner

 
Hot Phiitness, Coals, and Beer Noggin Featured on NY Live: See Video PDF Print Email

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By Staff


Feb. 20, 2019:  On February 12, New York Live, the daily lifestyle show of 4 New York, came to Bronxville and visited hot phiitness, Coals, and Beer Noggin. The show’s co-host, Sara Gore, interviewed  Frannie Boyd Rochat, the owner of hot phiitness, and took a class. Rochat said that “she is thankful to the community for being so supportive and willing to try this brand-new exercise.”

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Sarah Gore (L) with Frannie Boyd Rochat; photo provided by hot phiitness.

The show’s host then went to Coals, which she described as one of her favorite places because it has “super-thin-crust pizza,” and “even though you are eating pizza, it feels like it’s not heavy.” 

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Coals in Bronxville.

She ended her time in Bronxville at Beer Noggin, where she did a tasting of different beers and brought two different kinds home with her. 

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Beer Noggin in Bronxville.

Click here to see the video segment.

Photos by A. Warner with the exception of one noted.

 


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Towers Hairstyling, a Bronxville Mainstay, to Close PDF Print Email

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By Susan Miele


Jan. 30, 2019:  When Tommy Musarra took over Towers Hairstyling in the 1980s, downtown Bronxville was a different scene. In those pre-Internet days, residents more typically ran their errands in town and did their spending locally. The shop’s immediate neighbors—Continental 109 and LaGravinese Jewelers—had also been long established by then, but most of the other businesses have turned over many times since.

Fortunately for barbers, haircutting can’t be done online, and business has remained relatively steady over the decades, including since Tommy’s son Jimmy took over after completing beauty and barber school. But the end of an era has come and the shop is scheduled to close on February 1.

The elder Musarra, Tommy, cut hair as long as he could. He left the business a couple years ago and is now living in a nursing home. His son Jimmy has been running the business but is now ready to retire to his home in Putnam Valley. 

Fond memories of his time in Bronxville will follow Jimmy into retirement. “A bunch of us used to get together after work for food and B.S.,” he reminisced about his Pondfield Road neighbors. He also remembers when the movie Stepmom was filming in Bronxville. “I waved to Julia Roberts, and she kissed me on the cheek! I told her I would never wash that spot again.” He parked his car near the school during filming and reports spotting it when he saw the movie.

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The shop occupies a storefront in Bronxville Towers, the building’s board of directors serving as landlord and currently headed by Randy Ellison. Jimmy Musarra raves about his landlord, the entire board, and even the building’s superintendents. “They have been very good to me. Very good to me. All of them. I never had a single problem with any of them.” His gratitude for their ongoing kindness, combined with the bittersweet end of this era, chokes Jimmy up.

“We’re sorry to see Jimmy go,” Randy Ellison said. “It was a pleasure knowing James and Tommy.” The board hosted a farewell party at the barber shop on Saturday, January 26, to wish him well.

Pictured at top: Jimmy Musarra.

Photos by N. Bower






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