Zee’s Pet Shop Hangs On, For Now

zeesNatalie Rinn A “Sale” sign over the front door was nowhere to be seen this week.

Around the corner from where Life Cafe’s fate hangs in the balance, a pet store has come back from the brink of closure, at least for the time being.

Last October, The Local reported that Zee’s Pet Shop and Supply, facing Tompkins Square Park on Avenue B, had fallen victim to an unmanageable rent hike. But yesterday, several “going out of business” signs that had been posted on the store’s front – along with sale tags attached to almost every piece of merchandise inside – were nowhere to be seen.

The store’s owner, Zee, who again declined to give a last name, was tight-lipped about the deal he had struck with his landlord, but confirmed the business would remain open. “I’m staying. As of today, I’m staying,” he said from behind the counter.

“The owner was so mad when he saw your article,” said the shopkeeper, referring to The Local’s report that a sign in his window sought a hair or nail salon for the storefront at 155 Avenue B. “But he is a nice man.”  

The landlord, Timothy Sanders, said he has been working with Zee to allow him to stay, but said the pet-store owner has had a hard time making the rent. “I never wanted him to leave the space,” he said. “At this point I’m trying to get him to stay here as long as he’s able to pay his rent.”

“I’ve been very patient and lenient with him and I like him very much,” said Mr. Sanders, who claimed that he had a month-to-month agreement with his tenant.

“He’s there for another month at least,” the landlord said. “I would encourage people to go support him and his business.”