A Mars Bar Neighbor To Close, Too

110614_davis_locksmith_070Joshua Davis Joe’s Locksmith, a business in the same cluster of buildings as Mars Bar, will shut its doors June 30. Above: Joe Filini Jr., son of the store’s founder, says “We always knew it was gonna happen.”

As the Mars Bar keeps the public guessing as to when it will close its doors, Joe’s Locksmith confirmed yesterday that June 30 will be its last day of business. Though unlike the Mars Bar, which has no immediate plans to reopen, Joe’s Locksmith expects to relocate to Brooklyn within the next two months.

The Local caught up with Joe Filini Jr., son of the store’s founder Joe Filini, Sr., to reflect on his time in the East Village and discuss his future in Brooklyn.

“In a sense we always knew it was gonna happen,” said the younger Mr. Filini. “It was just a matter of time of when it was gonna happen. My father’s been hearing about it for years and years and years.”

Joe’s Locksmith opened 33 years ago and originally operated as a radiator service shop. The store survived ups and down in the neighborhood, but now must relocate because the building is being torn down and replaced by a 12-story luxury building.

The younger Mr. Filini grew up one block away on East Second Street and started working in the store at the age of nine. He says he always liked the community but described his distaste for the recent “commercialization” of the neighborhood.

110614_davis_locksmith_170Joshua Davis “It’s totally different now,” says Mr. Filini.

“It’s totally different now,” he said. “Everything is upscale, too upscale. There is no more ‘neighborhood,’ this is actually all commercial. There’s no way that a mom and pop business can really survive.”

Though not a fan of the development in his neighborhood, the younger Mr. Filini insists that he is not bothered by the changes and instead sees an opportunity for the future.

“I look at it as a new adventure,” he said. “Granted I will lose the customers here…but maybe I can give somebody else a chance to realize who I am, and let them find out how I make keys.”

And as for the quality of his keys, a longtime customer and East Village resident Joan Doscher said, “When you get keys from him they last forever. It’s just sad.”

Joe’s Locksmith plans on relocating to 86th Street in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn in “about two months,” said the younger Mr. Filini.