Thursday, December 22, 2011

Spice Terminal To Close

Rendering of what would have been
the Spice Terminal's new stall
The cupboards are getting barer and barer at the Spice Terminal, and not just because bakers are grabbing spices for their Christmas cookies and cakes.

The long-time proprietor of the Spice Terminal, Al Starzi, died about a year and a half ago. With the stall scheduled to move to a space under the market office later this winter as part of the Avenue D redesign project Starzi's family decided to shut down at the end of next month. Once the decision to close was made they stopped restocking the shelves.

The Spice Terminal has been my go-to vendor for all sorts of seasonings, nuts, condiments and other special items for the nearly 30 years I've been a market regular. If I recall correctly, it was originally located on the Filbert Street side of the market before moving to center court with the mid-1980s renovation completed in connection with construction of the Pennsylvania Convention Center.

With the closing of the business the only vendor with a reasonable selection of similar merchandise in one space will be Jonathan Best, though some selected items are available at Salumeria, Kauffman's Lancaster County Produce, Iovine Brothers Produce and other stalls. It's possible these and other merchants may expand their offerings to take up the slack. The Spice Terminal also offered a decent selection of whole bean coffees as a competitor to Old City Coffee.

RTM GM Paul Steinke would love to see someone continue the business, but that appears unlikely.

Some of the Spice Terminal space will accommodate the relocated Flying Monkey Bakery, which will also take over Spataro's space when they move across the aisle where DiNic's now holds the fort. DiNic's hopes to open in mid to late-January in the former Harry Ochs stall. The remainder of the Spice Terminal space off center court is scheduled to be occupied by an as yet undetermined new merchant.

Talks are continuing with Valley Shepherd Creamery to occupy space along the back wall of Avenue D. The New Jersey cheese-maker recently opened its new store in Brooklyn's Park Slope neighborhood concurrent with the closing of its outlet in Manhattan.

In the past Steinke said he has a waiting list of potential vendors waiting to open businesses at the RTM. A major reason for the Avenue D project is to create more leaseable space.

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