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NYC stores with no signs feed curiosity

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

When people in Bushwick want a Green Machine juice blend, they visit Leticia Castillo's Owl Juice Pub. But first they must find the Owl.

"We been doing fine without a sign," Castillo said.

Castillo's business partner oversees the design side of the business. She spent a lot of time decorating the inside of the cafe but chose to wait for some inspiration to add a sign out front. The shop opened two years ago.

"She doesn't believe in being flashy," Castillo says. "She likes to work from the inside out.

In the same neighborhood, we find another bustling business sporting a blank marquee. Barcey's Coffee opened at its location on Saint Nicholas Avenue four years ago, but owner Christine Guillen could name no strategy behind her lack of signage.

"I probably forgot," she said.

On the Lower East Side, the Experimental Cocktail Club leaves its marquee blank and curtains its widows. Just around the corner at the end of Freeman Alley is another sign-less restaurant.

"Freeman's has a name now," Jon Callahan says. "People look down the alley and they kind of see something going on down there and they like that. It perks their interest."

Callahan is director of sales at Freeman's restaurant and men's store and barber shop. He also failed to supply an intriguing reason for his label-less alley.

"The truth is: We just never got around to it," he said.

Not every sign-less business just forgets or waits for inspiration to throw up a marquee. Some presumably avoid sticking a nametag on their storefront to avoid or attract a certain kind of customer.

"People ask sometimes like, 'Where's the sign?'" Guillen says.

"It's basically word of mouth," Castillo says.

From juice bars and coffee shops in Brooklyn to restaurants and speakeasies in Manhattan, we find businesses standing out by blending in.

The Owl Juice Pub's most loyal customers tasted their first Green Machine by chance.

"They always come in and say: 'What are you?'" Castillo said.


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