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With only a few days left in the year, it's time to look back on 2011 with the annual (five years running!) Racked Recap. This week, we'll be reliving our biggest and brightest (and saddest and darkest) moments, from the most excruciating lines to the best pop up shops. Up next: 2011's five most delayed store openings.
Tory Burch plywood via The Feast
Construction regularly defies the most informed predictions, so it's no surprise that New York is filled with past-due retail spaces just waiting to greet the public. And generally, the public is waiting just as impatiently. If a store makes our most-delayed radar, after all, it's because of all the anticipation floating around about its launch. Below, we've listed five stores that persevered against crazy conditions to open—or at least make progress—in 2011. Honorable mention goes to Union Market, still not quite live on Houston Street, and Céline, taking its sweet time uptown.
5. Jean-Michel Cazabat
The French shoe label put up signs outside its 350 Bleecker Street space in March announcing a spring opening. Then the months passed, and the flowers bloomed, and spring turned into summer turned into fall. Finally, in October, the boutique was revealed. And it was glorious.
Tucker designer Gaby Basora was all set to open a boutique in the West Village, but then there was a fire in the design studio. Luckily, Basora was left with plenty of printed tops and dresses to stock in the location she found as a replacement. The new space opened on West Broadway in Soho in early December.
3. Tory Burch
When Hurricane Irene threatened, we all battened down the hatches, or at least stockpiled Luna bars and complained a lot on Twitter. Most of us emerged unscathed from the storm, but the Tory Burch flagship on Madison Avenue wasn't so lucky. The label wound up pushing the launch back a week to repair the damage.
Irene wasn't the only disaster that delayed the Italian lingerie brand's opening in Soho. Right after contractors poured the cement floor, New York was hit by a heat wave that caused the still-drying cement to swell and crack. And when the fire door arrived, it weighed 1,000 pounds—which was a problem, because it was supposed to weigh 100. But the label remained undaunted, and the gleaming Lafayette Street space opened in November.
1. Whole Foods Gowanus
At this point, Whole Foods been delayed so many times that we should probably retire its metaphorical jersey. The grocer has been trying to open in Gowanus for seven years now, but between environmental hazards and a skeptical zoning board, it just can't get off the ground. But late last November, the company released an actual rendering, and throughout 2011 it's been tangling with community boards—which counts as actual progress, even if it might be frustrating. Maybe 2012 will be its lucky year.
· All Racked 2011 Recaps [Racked NY]