This 1809 building "probably always had a shop on the ground floor," according to its New York City Landmark designation. When that protected status was granted, in 1966, the building's upper, residential stories still featured their original Federal-style details, but in a century-and-a-half of use, the street level had been extensively modified by a succession of commercial tenants.
The most obvious additions are a neon sign, likely installed with the arrival of Leonard Hecht's namesake business, Hecht Liquors, in 1941, and the hand-painted lettering on the windows. The liquor store, which was still in fine fettle in 1968, remained a going concern for about a half-century. In the early 1990s the Hecht family, who owned the building, closed their retail business and signed up a tenant, the Liquor Store Bar; after a decade's worth of cocktails (and about two years of vacancy), in 2008 the ground floor became home to a location of clothier J. Crew.
Capitalizing on the rich history of a earlier business, and carrying forward a legacy of place, is hardly uncommon in the city. (See this similar example from Bushwick.) Here in Tribeca, not one but two successor businesses inherited character from Hecht Liquors; the men's shop still wears that mantle.
J. Crew Men's Shop at the Liquor Store
235 West Broadway (also known as 2 White St.), Manhattan