Square Dance in Amagansett

Swing your partner
Jolie Parcher was at work on the former G.H. Bass & Co. shoe outlet space at Amagansett Square with help from Jaime Escalante in preparation for her yoga center’s move across the square this spring. Morgan McGivern

Changes are afoot in Amagansett’s commercial district. At Amagansett Square, Crossroads Music, which closed at the end of 2015 to the dismay of South Fork musicians, was not the only store to vacate its premises in recent months. The G.H. Bass & Co. shoe outlet, at the south end of the property, closed around the same time, as did Miankoma, a boutique adjacent to the Bass store. And Sylvester & Co. at Home, an outpost of the business its owner describes as a modern general store with locations in Sag Harbor and Savannah, Ga., will vacate its Main Street location today. 

Across Main Street, Ille Arts has moved into one half of the former LaCarrubba’s clothing store, with the Lazy Point boutique set to occupy the other half of the newly divided space around April 15. 

But landlords abhor a vacancy like nature abhors a vacuum, and some of the recently vacated structures on the square will not be empty for long. Tomorrow, Mandala Yoga Center for Healing Arts, which offers classes and training in teaching and aromatherapy and is at present located near the southeast corner of the square, will move to the former Bass outlet, which offers considerably more space. And Cavaniola’s Gourmet, a cheese shop, wine cellar, and specialty-foods kitchen in Sag Harbor, will expand to the former Miankoma, a move expected by mid-May. 

For Jolie Parcher, who founded Mandala Yoga Center 15 years ago, the larger space offered by the former Bass outlet will allow an expanded range of classes and retail space, which in turn allowed the name change to Mandala Yoga Center for Healing Arts. “I wanted to be able to offer certification programs in yoga, Ayurvedic lifestyle, kids’ yoga, and have a kids’ class while I have parents in class,” Ms. Parcher said last week. “I’m an Ayurvedic practitioner, and there are a lot of goodies that go with that for daily self-care. I am an aromatherapist, and want to offer training but have always been squishing them into bad hours.” 

In the larger space, she said, she will be able to stock asked-for items such as shawls and meditation cushions. “The idea was to spread our wings a bit,” she said. “The square is hopping, and rents were starting to go up. They’re a very fair and good landlord, but I didn’t feel I could make rent if I wasn’t able to add programs, and at good times.” 

A representative of Brooklyn NY Holdings, which represents Randy Lerner, the entrepreneur who owns the square and other properties in Amagansett, did not reply to an email seeking comment. 

“I’ve always wanted to be in that square,” said Michael Cavaniola, who opened his cheese shop in 2004, the wine cellar in 2006, and the kitchen in 2008. He made regular inquiries, he said, eventually learning that the space housing Miankoma would become available. 

Mr. Cavaniola plans to keep the shop at Amagansett Square open year round. The focus will remain on cheese, he said, along with best-selling products from the kitchen and beer from New York State microbreweries. “With that,” he said, “we’ll be offering different events to pair cheeses with beers.”

Coincidentally, Michael Clark, who owned Crossroads Music, is now employed at Cavaniola’s in Sag Harbor. “It’s almost like it was meant to be,” Mr. Cavaniola said. 

Mr. Clark, who formerly worked at a supermarket, said on Tuesday that Cavaniola’s cheese is “on a whole different level.” 

Lynda Sylvester expressed a degree of disappointment over leaving the square but emphasized a positive outlook. She is exploring opening more stores, including in New York City. Her Sag Harbor location, which has existed for 26 years, has been renovated, she said last week. “It will be more focused on the home, and will hopefully deliver a lot of new pieces of furniture and art,” she said. “I’m reinventing my perception of what I feel the American general store is. . . . I’m focusing on the talent part of the company, the proprietary part, developing a lot more products, and stepping out of the fray, so to speak. I’m making a lot of unique things, trying to be inspired, supporting other artisans, and getting out of the level of commerce where people have to respond to Internet competition and the other things that go on in retail.” 

“I’m taking a couple of months to regroup, but I’m certainly not done,” Ms. Sylvester said. “I’m possibly more inspired, and I have best staff I’ve ever had.” 

No word yet on who will lease the space she is vacating in Amagansett. The former Crossroads Music space also remains without a tenant as of this week.