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Entries in Closed for Business (161)


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.


Casa Ventura, Loli's Taqueria on The Market

It's been a sad state of affairs for years on the corner of Seventh Avenue and Third Street, as one restaurant after another has tried to give it a go and failed. The most recent occupant of the space, Casa Ventura, opened with much hoopla and generally good reviews a little over a year ago, and even though it was run by well-intentioned locals, it's been closed more often than not lately, and has been placed on the market for a monthly rent of $9,500 (the listing actually uses photos that I took during their opening party and included in the article linked to above). It also mentions that it's back on the market after a previous deal fell through.

Several of Casa Ventura's owners opened Loli's Taqueria just about a month ago, and that space is already on the market as well. Even though it was generally well-liked and inexpensive,  the off-the-main-drag location of Sixth Avenue and 7th Street didn't do it any favors, and it's also only been open very sporadically lately. It's on the market for a rent of about $4,000 per month.

While there's no such thing as a "cursed" space, it's certainly been incredibly challenging to find a winner for either of these two storefronts.



Closed for Business: Lululemon Athletica, 472 Bergen Street

Lululemon, the Vancouver-based high-end athletic clothing shop on the stretch of Bergen Street between Fifth and Flatbush and the brand's only Brooklyn location, closed down last weekend.

The yoga gear "showroom" (smaller than most of its other 200-plus locations), was one of the first shops to move onto this block--which is owned by neighborhood uber-landlord Michael Pintchik--after its full-scale renovation into a high-profile, high-rent retail stretch. It's joined by Bark, Bergen Street Comics, a bike shop, a couple clothing stores (including a maternity shop), Babeland, and Sun in Bloom. Pintchik has always been selective in his choice of tenants, and this stretch is as diverse as any.

Storefront space on this portion of the block doesn't open up too often, so it'll be interesting to see what comes into this space next. As for Lululemon, there are eight other locations in Manhattan, and they'll soon be opening a location much further down the street, on the corner of Bergan and Smith.


Closed for Business: SweetWolf's, 492 Sixth Avenue

SweetWolf's, the modern American restaurant that opened with much buzz on the corner of Sixth Avenue and 12th Street in November 2011, closed down for good on May 31. The restaurant confirmed the closure via a brief Facebook post:

"It is with regret and some sadness that I say to you SweetWolf's closed June 1. Short but memorable run, but I want to thank everyone who supported, and enjoyed this little neighborhood joint. Love Park Slope, I hope I was able to add a little character, and good times for those who came and checked us out."

The restaurant featured classic American comfort food, much of which was cooked in a custom-built 700-degree wood-burning brick oven. It had a lengthy and expensive buildout, and offered a menu of simply prepared dishes like roast chicken breast with radishes, shallot, fingerling potatoes and orange rosemary pan sauce, a very solid bacon fat-infused wagyu beef burger with sweet chili onions, aged gouda, and duck fat fries, and several dishes like barbecue pulled tempeh and gluten free mac and cheese geared torward those with dietary restrictions (indeed, they crowdsourced menu item suggestions via Facebook). The goal was to be the ultimate neighborhood restaurant. 

Even though the food was widely regarded as being worthwhile, it had an off-the-beaten path location that didn't do it any favors, and the communal table-style layout was a bit awkward. It got a reputation for being pricey early on, even though over time the average entree pride dropped from about $25 to closer to $15. Co-Owner Tim Judge, who opened the restaurant with Eric Wolf, also left the restaurant last year. 

Forty Weight Coffee Roasters, which operated the restaurant as a coffee shop in the mornings, also left about two months ago. Their coffee is still available at several bars and cafes, however, including Supercollider, which opened recently on Fouth Avenue between 17th and 18th Streets.

Photo via South Slope News

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