A Waverly Place smoke store sign returns to view

Oren’s Daily Roast departed from 28 (or 31, depending on the source) Waverly Place before 2019, so we can’t blame the closure of this coffee place across from Washington Square Park on Covid.

But the fact that a new occupant for the ground-floor space in this lovely 1930 apartment building hasn’t moved in yet might be coronavirus-related. (It’s not the best time to open a business, unfortunately.)

In the meantime, the faded lettering of a previous tenant’s sign has come back into view—the Waverly Smoke Shop.

The name has an old New York ring to it; I can imagine cigar store Native American statues guarding the door. (Alas, I don’t see any in this 1940 tax photo of the corner of the building.)

But the shop existed until at least 1991, when the New York Daily News noted that the store had become popular because it carried the NYU tank top Ellen Barkin’s character wore in the movie Switch.

Now, if only I could make out the faded outline of the store sign next door. It looks like “Eing—” and then I just can’t figure out the letters.

[Third image: NYC Department of Records and Information Services]

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12 Responses to “A Waverly Place smoke store sign returns to view”

  1. dncnyc Says:

    Lingerie?

  2. beth Says:

    that’s so cool to find that old lettering, I hope the mystery gets solved

  3. Beth Says:

    The faded letters look like “lingerie” to me. Not smoke shop-related. Maybe from an earlier shop?

  4. HWY101 Says:

    Is the sign SINGER, perhaps sewing machines??

    Heather Hellman Principal

    >

  5. countrypaul Says:

    Definitely “Singer.” Perhaps a sewing machine image or Singer logo to the right?

  6. Nancy Anderson Says:

    Eing, perhaps the first part of the last name “Eingber”. Ingber is a common last name in NYC, so the Waverly Place ignorance could be an alternate spelling

  7. judith sokoloff Says:

    Maybe it spells lingerie.

    Judith

    On Mon, Sep 28, 2020, 3:04 AM Ephemeral New York wrote:

    > ephemeralnewyork posted: “Oren’s Daily Roast departed from 28 (or 31, > depending on the source) Waverly Place before 2019, so we can’t blame the > closure of this coffee place across from Washington Square Park on Covid. > But the fact that a new occupant for the ground-floor space in” >

  8. judith sokoloff Says:

    Maybe it spells Lingerie.

  9. ephemeralnewyork Says:

    I thought it spelled “Singer” as well, but I definitely like the idea that a lingerie shop was next door to the smoke shop!

  10. Virginia Says:

    Maybe it says “ZINGER”?

  11. Tom B Says:

    The endless uncovering of old store front signs brings back NYC romantic nostalgia past. I wonder what will be said 100 years from now when they uncover old Starbuck’s, Duane Reade and Banking signs?

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