Ammar Hazem stocked some drinks at his River Avenue variety shop. He’s ready to take care of Yankees fans now that the home opener has arrived. Hazem and his friends who were former Uber drivers from Harlem took a leap of faith, signed a lease, and opened their store in December when many other stores were closing for good.
Their hope? If they build it, fans will come. “We are really eager to see our fans, to get the public back,” he said.
Studies showed about one-third of mom-and-pop shops have closed their doors for good due to the pandemic.
Under the rumble of the No. 4 train, Alex Sundakis, a street vendor, has weathered a long COVID year, hoping spring ball brings a bumper crop of street shoppers.
From the Yankee Tavern to Billy’s Sports Bar, to Stan’s on River Avenue, local mom and pop businesses are hungry for customers ready to spend and bring a bit of the humble and normalcy back to the Bronx.