He added that Merrick lost a handful of businesses over the winter, but, he said, “We have new stores that have come in.” He cited Merrick Bicycles, on Merrick Avenue, and Dessert City Café, on Merrick Road, as examples.
Boris and Yana Abramovich, who have lived in Merrick for 14 years and have three children in local schools, opened Dessert City Café last week, after long careers in high-end interior and exterior renovation in New York City. The couple, who have worked in Miami and the Hamptons in addition to the city, designed and renovated the modern-chic shop with an eclectic mix of themes, including American, French and Italian influences. Their children –– Justin, Chloe and Joshua –– each contributed their ideas to the store design and the menu.
“We wanted to bring something to Merrick that was not here,” said Yana. “We did not want to compete with anything that was already here. We’ll keep changing the menu so no one gets bored.”
Dessert City Café offers gourmet cakes, cookies, candies and sodas, in addition to crepes and Belgian waffles prepared on the spot. Yana said there’s a little something for everyone, from children looking for loose candy sold by the pound, to teenagers wanting a spot to hang out after school, to evening diners in search of hard-to-find confections after a meal in town.
Nicholas James Bistro, a 19-year staple of the Merrick Road dining scene, went under this winter, but its owner, Kevin Liebov, and his staff have found a new home at the Savoy Tavern, on Merrick Avenue in downtown Merrick.
Liebov said that business was steady at Nicholas James over the winter, but the eatery closed because of “the economics of the lease.” He declined to elaborate.
Liebov is now executive chef of the Savoy. The owner “knew about me, my reputation, my clientele, my catering,” he said. “He thought it would be a no-brainer to bring me here.” With Liebov came his wait staff, kitchen crew and bartenders.
“The weather has been horrible,” he said. “That’s been a huge obstacle. We’ve closed so many lunches. From a business standpoint, that messes us up.”