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New Businesses in the Five Towns, October

Resale store and restaurant reopen in new locations, and Red Mango comes to the area.

Five Towners can unclutter their closets and make some money by taking their gently used designer clothing and accessories to The Emperor’s Old Clothes consignment shop, at its new location at 570 Central Ave. in Cedarhurst.

About two months ago, partners Beth Honig and Debi Rudensky temporarily took over the storefront vacated by Central Electronics Boutique, hoping that even a short stay on bustling Central Avenue would give a boost to their 12-year enterprise. Business was so good that they decided to stay put and permanently move their business from their previous location on Pearsall Avenue.

“It wasn’t a deliberate decision,” Honig said. “We originally did it as a pop-up store, and we were only supposed to be there for two weeks. But it was so exciting to be here, and people really wanted us to stay, so we made a very quick and good decision to move out of Pearsall.” 

The shop accepts gently worn garments, purses, shoes and other accessories from top designers such as Louis Vuitton, Gucci, Prada, Dior and Jimmy Choo. The owners set an initial selling price, based on the popularity and condition of the items, and post them on eBay, which is how the bulk of the inventory is sold. A small percentage of their stock is purchased directly at their retail store. Sellers receive up to 60 percent of the purchase price, with the remaining balance left as the store’s commission.

Yogurt, by the ounce

Scott Buda opened his second Red Mango frozen yogurt store in Hewlett two weeks ago, just eight months after establishing his first location in Long Beach.

The store has a help-yourself setup, where customers can fill their cups with an assortment of yogurt flavors and wet or dry toppings. Two of the shop’s specialties are the “nutty potion number 9,” which is yogurt blended with Nutella hazelnut spread, and the red velvet, which includes pieces of cupcake and cream cheese frosting. Buda calls both of these treats phenomenal.

Other products include smoothies, parfaits and a variety of rich iced coffee drinks that are enhanced by the use of yogurt instead of milk.

The national chain claims that it’s the only place of its kind to offer yogurt that is all-natural, low in calories, certified gluten-free, kosher and contains advanced probiotics.

“I’m also a pharmacist, and I grew up [in the Five Towns], so I really wanted to bring a healthy treat to people from my hometown,” Buda said. “We’re the only 100 percent natural frozen yogurt place around. Most of the other places use milk, powder and other fillers.”

Sushi place upgrades

The owners of Xaga Sushi decided to move their popular, yet cramped, business to a much larger and elegant storefront on the same block on Broadway in Hewlett.

According Tom Li, one of the partners, the new location is nearly three times the size of the original, which is now being occupied by Buda’s Red Mango. Li said that even though the previous location did have seating, take-out service was dominant. The new restaurant has two dining rooms and a sushi bar, decked out in modern décor, as well as a lounge area, which Li is very enthusiastic about.

“A big change is that before we only had beer and wine. Now we have a full bar,” he said. “Now we can also carry a lot more sake than before, which is popular.” 

House favorites include two sushi dishes — toro carpaccio, tuna topped with caviar, and the spicy tuna cracker. Although the restaurant’s specialty is sushi, the menu has a large selection of Asian fusion entrees and appetizers. 

The owners originally opened up in Hewlett about four years ago, and then established a second location in Merrick two years later.

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