You may have driven right by CR Galleries when you turned from Route 4 onto Grand Avenue in Englewood, without knowing what you missed. The store, located at 393 Grand Avenue and formerly known as China Royale, is a spacious showroom of brand name fine china, crystal, flatware and hostess gifts priced at least 20% below retail.
CR Galleries (www.chinaroyale.com) has been in Englewood since 1984, when owner Shlomo Tsadok moved to the area from Brooklyn. The store, now co-owned with Ann Moyal, carries top brands like Lenox, Waterford, Versace, Annieglass and Kate Spade. There are shelves of exquisite bowls, vases, platters and frames, and you can get a lovely gift for as little as $20. Brides are encouraged to open a wedding registry here and give their families and friends more buying power. Customers shopping for a wedding gift from a registry at another store can get it here for a better price.
The unrivaled collection of china patterns tells only part of the story. “We have the knowledge of products and resources for obtaining styles that aren’t on display,” said Shlomo, citing the example of a customer who was interested in a high-end line of pots and pans from Italy. He researched the products, contacted the company and placed an order. Shlomo can also suggest products that blend in with the china you have. “We’ve been in business a long time; we may even have your pattern in stock.” Another customer had been searching far and wide for replacements for a Rosenthal china set she inherited, and finally found them at CR Galleries.
Customers who shop at CR Galleries come back, not just out of loyalty but for the good prices and personal service missing at department stores. “I was looking for a present and saw something in the showroom I liked,” said Reba Wulkan of Englewood. “Shlomo suggested something else that was even better. Plus, he not only wrapped it, he’ll deliver it. Very easy for me.”
Babette Basista of Tenafly began shopping at China Royale 31 years ago, and has followed the store as it moved. She bought a china set when she was first married and still shops there for gifts. “Shlomo is always a pleasure to deal with; he gets me whatever I need and want in a timely manner. It’s a nice local place to shop.”
Susan Druck has been shopping at CR Galleries since she and her husband Phil moved to Englewood 25 years ago. “You can’t beat the prices and they are lovely people to deal with,” she said. Her son had his wedding registry at CR Galleries and her daughter has one there now. “Even if the prices were the same as department stores, I would shop there because they are so good to work with. And since the prices are better, you can’t lose!”
Shlomo said his personal service, including free gift wrapping and free shipping for items over $100, differentiates him from Amazon and other retailers. CR Galleries ships all over the world using recycled packing materials at no extra cost. Many visiting Israelis take advantage of CR Galleries’ lower prices to buy here and send home.
Like fashion and art, there are trends in color, design and construction of fine china, crystal and flatware. Shlomo said that in the late ’90s and early 2000s there was a retreat from elaborate designs to very simple gold and platinum; now patterns are coming back.
“People weren’t interested in a lot of activity on their plate,” Shlomo observed, “but lately, designers are going into more colors and patterns and there’s more interest in the classic patterns that used to dominate the market.”
Flatware is seeing an evolution beyond silver. Shlomo said that iridescent and gold-plated flatware are attracting attention. Companies have also caught on that people want the look and style of fine china with less maintenance. To meet that need, Lenox is introducing dishwasher- and microwave-safe gold-rimmed dinnerware.
Whether you’re opening a wedding registry, buying a gift or looking to add to your own collection of china, crystal or flatware, visit CR Galleries at 393 Grand Avenue, Englewood. Call 800-666-9885 or 201-568-1005, or email [email protected].