Have you ever been to a store at the mall that tried to recreate a feeling of urban, or even country design in order to make you feel like the showroom that you were walking through somehow transformed you to a different place entirely? Was it effective? Did you really feel like you were in SoHo or Denver? When you walked back out into the mallway did you feel like the experience was ‘real’. Mall stores, and chain stores in general, spend a lot of time and money attempting to recreate what urban commercial districts like Hertel already have. Take, for example, the stunning (and very real) storefront that Modern Nostalgia now calls home (see back story). Modern Nostalgia has hit a homerun on Hertel.
Not only did the fashion boutique more than double its size from its incubator Allentown location, the store’s owners found built-in rustic and contemporary charm just waiting for them to snap up. Between the wood floors, the kiosk-style window displays, the industrial skylights and the built-in counters left behind from previous businesses (including Buster Brown’s tile entranceway), the 1400 sq.’ space has loads of charm and is spacious enough to actually compete with the malls (plus it’s a lot cheaper). “Hertel is transforming into an Elmwood Avenue,” co-owner Brianne Klejdys told me. “We originally looked at opening on Elmwood but could not afford the skyrocketing rents. Thankfully we decided to (originally) open in Allentown – we loved our location there, but we needed room to grow. We never looked at Elmwood Avenue again because of the bad experience that we had with landlords who actually believe that the storefronts command NYC rents… it was a real turnoff. Elmwood is great, but it’s not the only choice anymore. Now we’re here on Hertel and loving it. Our business is fantastic and our customers actually thank us for being here! Our weekend sales are phenomenal – people in the neighborhood get up early, go to church (on Sundays), walk their dogs, grab a coffee and then go shopping… just how a real city shopping district should be.”
Co-owner Nikki Polasik agreed that Hertel was full of surprises (meet the girls). “We had a lot of out-of-town-shoppers in Allentown and probably won’t have as much of that over here mainly because we’re not as close to the hotels. We’re on Hertel for the neighborhood and to show the Buffalonians who only shop at malls and chains that they can find lines such as Spiewak, Preloved, Sweet Romeo, Creme Fraiche and Corey Lynn Calter in a street setting with lots of other shops, cafes and restaurants. Pretty soon we’ll have a Spot Coffee on Hertel – we’re already swamped on the weekends, so it will be interesting to see how business grows.” Brianne and Nikki feel that they are helping to establish Hertel as a shopper’s destination that will offer healthy competition to Elmwood. They’ve landed in a location that adjoins BABYroom, and it’s also on the same block as ‘room’ (formerly on Elmwood). The block has become a one-stop-shop destination that, if you have not been to Hertel in a while, is transformational of mind, body and spirit. I came away with a completely different vibe regarding the street and where it is heading. I highly suggest taking a shopping excursion to this part of the city.
1376 Hertel Avenue
Buffalo, NY 14216-2825