NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — A grassroots event was held Saturday to save an East Village institution.

Gem Spa lost its tobacco and lottery license, leading to a big slump in sales.

RELATED STORY: Beloved East Village Egg Cream Shop Finding New Ways To Stay Afloat After Losing Vital Revenue

Now, the shop that’s been serving egg creams at the same place on St. Marks Place for more than 80 years is hoping local support can save the spot.

“It’s an important part of East Village history and the Patel family has been running it since the ’80s. They’re struggling right now, and we want to make sure it doesn’t turn into another bank or another chain store,” said Jeremiah Moss, author of the book “Vanishing New York: How a Great City Lost Its Soul.”

Saturday’s so-called “Cash Mob” event encouraged New Yorkers to spend some money and spread the word on social media.