"The Empire strikes back at the burglar,” professed Richard Krasilovsky, owner of Empire Safe. As the name suggests, this family-run operation develops some of the world’s strongest safes. However, this was not always the case. When Richard’s Ukrainian family opened the business more than a century ago, they focused on machinery moving and rigging, and safes were one of many items that they were asked to move. It was later that they started selling the used safes that they removed from buildings. With time, the family split the company, and Empire Safe was established in 1949 by Richard’s father, Monroe, to specialize in security.
Growing up, Richard worked in the shop during summers but never thought he would end up as the next owner. Yet he took over in 1997, and under his watchful eye, Empire Safe has become involved in fascinating new projects. “I’m constantly working on creating more security solutions for my customers.” His most recent advancement was producing lighter-weight safes that can be installed on upper floors of buildings without requiring structural reinforcement.
When gold began trading as a commodity in the late 1970s, the jewelry industry became a major target for burglars. Richard partnered with manufacturers in England and Israel to create higher security safes to protect jewelers’ valuable merchandise. He even scaled down these safes for residential applications. Additionally, Richard helped develop the modular vault room industry, where vaults are made up of small panels that are manufactured in advance and then assembled onsite. These are used by banks, medical marijuana dispensaries, governments, museums, and other institutions across the globe. Overall, Empire Safe has supplied vaults for several hundred companies, including high-profile clients such as Tiffany, Cartier, Harry Winston, Bulgari, and DeBeers. “It’s wonderful to know that our products are well respected by so many.”
Jonathan Boyarsky, fourth generation owner, has found himself a terrific niche on 39th by being one of the only menswear shops to remain on the ground floor. Over the years, he watched as companies moved upstairs into offices in the garment district, or even overseas, but he chose to remain where people could easily spot him. Although he feels that he has remained "under the radar," at times, when people come in they are "ecstatic" with what he has to offer. His family began their men's clothing business on the Lower East side back in 1919. Over the years, members of the family spread out and opened related businesses offering either custom made shirts, suits or fabrics. At No. 257, Jonathan has combined it all. He describes it as "double dipping." They used to sell only the fabric and then send people elsewhere to have their clothing made. Today, within the three floors of space at Fabric Czar, customers can select from some of the finest cloths, and then meet first class tailor, Steven Tabak, of Beckenstein Bespoke, where their clothing is designed...and, everything is constructed on the premises. "We are one stop shopping, whatever a customer needs, we can make it for them." And for Jonathan, it is only about quality craftsmanship.
There are intriguing spaces sprinkled throughout the city that invite corporations to utilize their facilities, but stepping inside Offsite is a unique experience designed specifically for the business meeting clientele. The brainchild of Patrick Everett and Shawn Kessler, they have created a stunning turnkey facility where all day conferences can be held. Companies are invited to bring their employees together for a productive 9am-5pm meeting in the three levels of fully equipped space, which can then be flipped effortlessly into an appropriate venue for an evening event. The rooms are configured so that some forty people are able to sit around one gigantic table or be rearranged into smaller units. Attendees never have to feel confined to one space, as they can move around freely on each floor, dividing up into smaller breakout sessions, when necessary. The rooms are versatile and technology oriented, fully outfitted with AV equipment - as Patrick referred to it, "plug and play." Endless pens and pads, drinks and snacks, including large jars of enticing candy, are provided throughout the day. The partners have paid attention to every detail, taking into consideration exactly what they believe their clients will require, including a small executive office that allows for a private phone conversation and a myriad of white walls that are actually whiteboards. Offsite works with some of the terrific catering facilities in the area to provide top lunches and dinners for groups, and everything is served on their attractive dishes. While being given a tour, Patrick told me that he had been an event planner. When he discovered that there was something important missing in the corporate world, he found his niche. As he began to imagine the possibilities, he worked diligently on his concept with Shawn. Basically all one has to do is book the space, and the rock star team at Offsite will handle the rest.