The Canal St. Newsstand is one of Manhattan’s most lovable convenience stores. It’s smaller than a studio apartment and is located on a fairly quiet block at 52 Canal Street (at the base of the budding OrBeCaBroo micro-microneighborhood). And yet among its obligatory cans of Spam and Easy Cheese, you’ll find an idiosyncratic array of goodies — pints of Van Leeuwen ice cream; squeezable bottles of Kewpie mayo; Spanish olive-oil crackers; Fentimen’s soda; a variety of instant curries, rices, and noodles; and Japanese bean-paste treats resembling mini-hamburgers.
Owner Lily Fong tells us that since she opened in 2006, her stock has constantly changed with customer requests: “One of our customers suggested Orgain and I’m like, ‘What the heck is this?’” But she has dutifully started carrying the Muscle Milk alternative. And now the place is doing growlers. The jugs will be $4, and initially at least, fills will be $9.99. After the first three selections (Sixpoint Sweet Action, Kelso IPA, and Allagash White) are tapped out, they’ll be rotated out for others. The Chinatown growler revolution continues!