NYC's First COVID Supply Store Closes As Pandemic Ebbs

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MIDTOWN MANHATTAN, NY — In what is likely the happiest business closure story of the past year, the city's first coronavirus supply store is shutting down amid a change in the pandemic's course.

The shop, CV-19 Essentials, opened in September on West 35th Street near Herald Square, billing itself as the first business in New York specializing in virus safety.

Store shelves were stocked with face masks, cell phone sanitizers, plexiglass dividers, UV lights, air purifiers and more.

It was conceived by Tony Park, who owns the nearby Korean barbecue restaurant Samwon Garden as well as Angelina Bakery. Park got into the virus supply business when he began including masks and sanitizer with each to-go order placed at his restaurant in the pandemic's early days.

The store's timing proved auspicious, opening weeks before virus cases surged in the city last fall. Eight months later, however, New York's fortunes have improved, with the positivity rate dropping as low as 1.78 percent by Friday.

As a result, Park is closing down CV-19 Essentials on Friday, a representative said. It will be replaced by a new location of Angelina Bakery.

"CV-19 Essentials served New York City at a critical moment in the pandemic, and we will always be proud of this," Park said in a statement.

"The location was originally intended as a restaurant that was going to open during the pandemic," Park added. "Now is finally the right moment for us to resume on that course. We will be opening a third location of our café 1."