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The smell of chicken heroes, cheese sticks and sliders has been scrubbed from the Orchard Street space that had housed ill-fated, poorly-named restaurant/sports bar Big John. But the storefront does not sit empty. It's been annexed by Dov Charney's rapidly-expanding cotton t-shirt empire American Apparel. We first heard word that the clothing chain had its eye on 199 Orchard less than a week ago, and as these photos taken by a trusted Racked correspondent show, Dov and Co. have moved quickly to stock their newly-acquired space with brightly-colored hoodies, tanks, sweats, legwarmers, short shorts, oversize sunglasses and other wardrobe essentials.
Asked for comment on American Apparel's expansion, a longtime Lower East Side resident said: "I'm agog. The fact that they could so effortlessly double their floorspace? What if they decided to double it again?" The mind reels.