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After 30 Years in Midtown, This Bodega Owner Still Likes His Job

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We gave the same ten-question survey to bodega owners and staffers all around the city in order to come up with a snapshot of corner-store life in different neighborhoods. What does an egg and cheese sandwich cost in midtown versus in Williamsburg? Who has the craziest customers? Tune in each day for answers from a new area. Yesterday's bodega was in the East Village. Next up: Midtown.

Sunrise Delicatessen is located just a few steps away from the Times Square subway station at Seventh Avenue between 40th and 41st Streets. One of the only real New-York–style bodegas in the area, Sunrise is also definitely one of the best. We interviewed the store owner, Gus, who was very friendly and has almost thirty years of experience under his belt.

1) Where are you from?
Originally, I'm from Greece. Patras, Greece.

2) How long have you been running this store?
Almost 30 years, a long time.

3) What are the store hours, and how many hours do you personally work?
I work six days a week, about 10 hours a day. We are open 24 hours a day, seven days a week.

4) What's your most popular item, in general? Does it change depending on the time of day?
We have a lot of different paninis that are popular, also spinach pie, but it depends on the time of the day.

5) Do shoppers ever ask you to carry items that you're not currently selling? What's the most popular kind of request? What's the funniest?
Not really, whatever we have we sell.

6) How much do you charge for cigarettes? What about for an egg and cheese sandwich?
We don't have cigarettes. An egg and cheese sandwich is $3.

7) Were you open during Hurricane Irene? If so, was it worth it?
No, we were not open during Hurricane Irene.

8) How do you keep entertained at work? Do you have a favorite TV show or radio station?
I like to work. It feels good. We don't have a TV at work, but I like watching Lost.

9) What do you think of Michael Bloomberg?
I like him; he's good for New York.

10) Tell us your favorite story of something that happened at work—something funny or heartwarming.
I've been here for 30 years, of course there have been crazy things. I don't know of anything specific. Many years ago, the neighborhood was much much different. We had drug dealers, but this was many years ago. We get a lot of tourists because of Times Square and people who work in the area.
· Survey Says: Beer Is Most Popular At This East Village Bodega [Racked NY]
· All Bodega Week 2012 posts [Racked NY]