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Matted LIC to shut down Vernon Boulevard store after 15 years

File Photo/Queens Post

May 10, 2024 By Queens Post News Team

Matted LIC, a gallery and frame shop that has operated on Vernon Boulevard for 15 years, is set to close its doors at its current location at the end of the month. 

The store, which offers custom and readymade framing and a wide range of artisan products such as clothes, bags, and jewelry, first opened its doors in Queens 53 years ago and moved to its current location at 46-36 Vernon Blvd. in 2009. 

However, owner Donna Drimer said it was no longer viable to operate the business on Vernon Boulevard after rents increased for the second time in two years. 

Drimer added that she has framing contracts with the city that she must complete before June 3 and said she will move out of the Vernon Boulevard location once they are done. 

She is currently looking for a new home for Matted LIC but said she has experienced significant problems with availability and the cost of rent in the area. 

“Somebody offered us a space half the size of what I have for 20 percent more than what I’m currently paying,” Drimer said. “Apart from that, there’s nothing else. There’s absolutely nothing else.” 

Drimer said she would take a space in the Plaxall Gallery to carry out her corporate contracts in the future but would be unable to operate a retail space there. 

At present, Matted LIC sells a variety of high-quality artisan products, including clothes, accessories, jewelry, and houseware. 

Drimer said she is “very frustrated” to lose the location on Vernon Boulevard and said she hopes to find a new home in the coming months. 

“I did not expect to go out this way. I would love to have work for another 10 years,” Drimer said. “At this point, I don’t see anything opening in Long Island City. At least not the Vernon Boulevard area.” 

Drimer said the footfall on Vernon Boulevard does not justify the rising rents in the area, adding that it is becoming impossible for small businesses to remain viable. She said she brought a number of corporate accounts with her when she moved from Matted’s original home in Union Turnpike 15 years ago, allowing her to remain afloat. 

“If I didn’t have so many corporate accounts and clientele that still came to me from Northeast Queens, I doubt I could have made it,” she said. “The rents are disproportionate to the traffic of the neighborhood.

“It’s a horrible shame because it’s a great neighborhood.” 

Drimer said there are very few retail stores along her stretch of Vernon Boulevard due to the high cost of renting in the area, which makes it difficult to attract customers from outside of the Long Island City community. 

“Retail begets retail. If you don’t have other retail businesses around you, you have to be the focus.” 

Furthermore, she said it is hard for local residents to support her business because of the high cost of rents and mortgages in LIC. 

“People are paying a serious amount of rent or mortgage, so it’s really hard to go out to shop.” 

She said she is actively exploring other neighborhoods in Queens and North Brooklyn, stating that she recently received a call about a space in Greenpoint. 

However, she said she is not hopeful of finding a new space unless someone reaches out to help her. 

In the meantime, Drimer is holding a clearance sale at the Vernon Boulevard location, offering 50 percent off all clothing, 40 percent off all glassware, 10 percent off jewelry, and 25 percent off all toys. 

There are also discounts on Matted’s framed art, book, and gourmet food selections. 

 

email the author: news@queenspost.com
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