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Just weeks after relocating his Hell’s Kitchen outpost to the Lower East Side, Clark Chung’s November 19 storefront suffered a devastating setback when a car crashed into it on Monday.
“Luckily no one was injured, however our store front and interior are in pieces,” the store owner wrote in an update on Instagram. “We are heartbroken to see everything we hand-picked and love lying in rubble.” The lifestyle and home goods store will remain closed until further notice.
Chung first opened November 19 on W49th St three years ago, after living in Hell’s Kitchen for about five years. He curated his shop with the same discerning and eclectic eye he brought to his own living space, which we featured earlier this year.
During the shutdown, Chung had to shift gears like so many other retailers and prioritize his online presence. “Our biggest challenge is trying to drive more traffic to our online shop,” he said. “Our main business has always been bricks and mortar, but since the shop has closed down temporarily, we need to focus on online, adding new items and creating more content.”
His lease expired mid-lockdown and since he had already moved to the Lower East Side with his husband, bringing November 19 to a new neighborhood made sense. Just a day before the car crash, November 19 was featured in a Vogue article about the changing landscape of Orchard Street, where the shop opened just below Hester Street on May 1.
“We fell in love with this block on Orchard Street and its rich history, community, and diversity,” said Chung. “There is a sense of excitement around here as new shops, restaurants, and cafés are popping up. This corner of the Lower East Side also feels special to us because of the mix of people who live and work in the area.”
Investigations into the accident are still ongoing. A Toyota Camry shattered the glass storefront on Monday afternoon just before 4pm. The driver — a 25-year-old man — remained at the scene and was reportedly not intoxicated.
Eleanor Turner has started a GoFundMe to help Clark and November 19 recover.
This is terrible. I hope this wasn’t a hate crime. What a lovely man.
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