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Entries in Closed for Business (164)


Royal Video Closes on Flatbush, Ken Thompson Campaign Office Moves In

Royal Video, which occupied the corner spot on Sixth and Flatbush for many years before moving into a smaller space further up the avenue, closed down as planed, and has been replaced by a campaign office for Brooklyn District Attorney candidate Ken Thompson.

Royal Video spent 20 years in its original location before moving to Flatbush Avenue opposite Seventh in 2007, and the space remained vacant for years until Woodland opened up there in May of last year. Its owners announced its closure last month, and now a temporary campaign office for Ken Thompson (there's another one on Fulton and Grand) has replaced it.

Thompson, a former Brooklyn federal prosecutor, is not to be confused with Bill Thompson, who's running for the Democratic mayoral nomination.


Jackie's Fifth Amendment to Close September 14th

It was only a few years ago when Park Slope had no lack of what you might call "old man bars," older drinking establishments that predate a time when anyone might have even considered bringing their toddler to one, that opened early and served no-frills drinks to no-frills people in a no-frills room. There was the great O'Connors, Timboo's, Smith's, Old Carriage Inn, Mooney's, and Jackie's Fifth Amendment, bars where time seemed to stand still and the regulars all knew each other's names. O'Connor's, Timboo's, and Mooney's are all gone or have been transformed into different bars, and it's been announced that Jackie's will be the next to go, on September 14th.

Jackie's has been a bar since most likely the 1940s, when it was called Costello's. During the 60s and 70s it was called Tyson's Tavern, then briefly called His & Hers. In the 1980s it was sold back to the previous owner's daughter, Jackie Costello, and she named it "Fifth Amendment" because nobody was required to give their last name or let whatever happened in the bar leave the bar, according to bartender Linda. Jackie was a beloved neighborhood fixture for many years, and could always be counted on to serve a free Thanksgiving and Christmas dinner to her more down-on-their luck patrons (this was a time when there were a lot more SROs in the neighborhood when there are today, needless to say).

Jackie Costello

After Jackie passed away in 2005, her husband, Harold, took over the bar with his friend Sammy. According to bartender Becky (who famously attempted to secede the bar from Park Slope last year), Harold, who's now pushing 70, has decided to retire and, according to Brooklyn Magazine, has sold the bar to the pharmacy next door, who will presumably expand into the corner space.

Drinking at a bar like Jackie's (or O'Connor's, or even McSorley's, for that matter) is a rather different experience from drinking at a modern bar, especially during the daylight hours and on a weekday. I'd recommend you drop into Jackie's at some point before it closes, to overhear regulars chatting, take in the stuccoed ceiling, padded bar, wood-paneled walls, long-unused back room, jukebox, and no-nonsense attitude, and pay respects to a dying breed.


First Street's South Brooklyn Pizza Posessed by City Marshal

The location near the corner of 7th Avenue and First Street of South Brooklyn Pizza, the pricey mini-chain of slice joints, was posessed last Wednesday by the City Marshal, and has yet to re-open. The landlord now has legal posession of the premises, and as opposed to the infamous yellow DOH closure sticker, this won't be so easy to remedy; odds are that rent hasn't been paid in quite some time, and the odds of it ever re-opening are probably quite slim.

The is the latest in a string of mismanaged businesses by owner and infamous area landlord James McGown; his reputation is so terrible that he was recently profiled in Crain's with the headline, "James McGown Buys, Bankrupts, and Bruises." In the piece, it's revealed that in the past 5 years he's faced $50,000 in fines for buildings he owns that are in disrepair, and has filed bankruptcy after bankruptcy, with nearly $15 million in unpaid debts.

McGown also owns Brooklyn Buschenschank in Carroll Gardens and the Cherry Tree bar on 4th Avenue (which filed for bankruptcy 4 years after he bought it but is still open); he bought Brooklyn's oldest bar, P.J. Hanley's, in 2005, and that closed earlier this year after it went bankrupt. It's since re-opened as a new bar called Goldenrod.

In August of last year, South Brooklyn Pizza filed for bankruptcy as well, but also remains (mostly) open. There are still several locations in the city, including one on 4th Avenue that's attached to Cherry Tree.

Many thanks to reader Erica for sending in the photo.


Va beh' Out, Broccolini In on Dean Street

Va beh', the little Italian cafe that opened in December of 2011 on Dean Street between Fifth and Flatbush Avenues, has closed. Here's the message that the owners, the husband and wife duo of Michele and Qiana Di Bari and their friend Andrea, posted to their website:

Quiana, Michele, and I would like to thank all of our loyal patrons for supporting this endeavor of ours.

It was one hell of a ride and we are so grateful to have been able to share this time with all of you.

A huge thank you to our committed team Greta, Remy (Remigio), Giada, Giovanna, Danny, Luigi, Carmine,
and many others, all of whom contributed to our success.

We have entrusted our beloved Va beh' to a dear colleague who we assure will deliver the same quality of dining and service.

My partners and I have moved on to explore new endeavors but will never forget this once in a lifetime experience.

Alla Prossima!

Quiana, Michele, and Andrea

The small restaurant, which featured lots of marble and a garage door-style front wall that opened up to the street, had a nice selection of cheese and salumi, crostini, antipasti, homemade pastas, and desserts. While it was a cute space and the food was generally regarded to be good, it was also in an awkward location (in the shadow of the Barclays Center but obscured by the former Triangle Sporting Goods building), and the seating was communal, which sometimes works but didn't in this small space. The owners earned a reputation for being welcoming and friendly, and not afraid to give away a glass of prosecco or two.

It appears based on Yelp reviews that the "dear colleague" has opened a new restaurant in the space called Broccolini, but when I've walked by and called there hasn't been anyone home. The decor is reportedly about the same, and the menu has done away with the crostini and includes items like lasagna and gorgonzola gnocchi with walnuts.

Photo: Yelp/ Andrea A.


Closed for Business: Health Aid Pharmacy, 291 Seventh Avenue

Health Aid, the small pharmacy on Seventh Avenue between 7th and 8th Streets, has closed. A large sign lets customers know that all prescriptions have been transferred to the big Rite Aid located a block up, on the corner of Fifth Street.

The no-frills pharmacy was located right near Methodist Hospital, which was lost likely good for business but no competition for the Rite Aid. Out of the handful of intependent pharmacies in the neighborhood this one certainly didn't stand out from the pack, even though the one Yelp review is glowing.

Still, it's never a good thing to see a small, independent business be completely swallowed by by a larger chain.

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