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Tuesday
Nov222011

Christie's Jamaican Patties to Close Next Month

 

This is a big week for openings and closings, and this one hits especially hard: Christie's, the hole-in-the wall restaurant that's been serving up some of the best Jamaican patties in the city for the past 45 years, will be closing by 2012 thanks to a landlord that wants higher rents due to the incoming Barclay's center.

“She’s trying to kick me out,” owner Paul Hayes told the Brooklyn Paper. “I don’t think it’s worth the stress; it’s killing me. I’ve had so many sleepless nights.”

The landlord, Lina Feng, is notorious in the area for raising rents in anticipation of the arena, and took a lot of heat within the past several years for kicking out Royal Video on Sixth and Flatbush and bringing on board its yet-to-open replacement, Prime Six Restaurant. 

Christie's opened across the street, on Flatbush Avenue near Sterling Place, and moved into its current location in 2006. The tiny stand is best known for its flaky, scratchmade suet-crusted beef and chicken patties, and its (slightly) healthier vegetable patties, all delicately spiced and incredibly inexpensive (at $2.25, its basically the cheapest meal around, especially when tucked inside fresh-baked coco bread). Also on offer are giant coconut turnovers and other baked goods, and heaping platters of traditional Jamaican stews such as curried goat, jerk chicken, and oxtail.

Christie's is a true New York original, and it's a shame that because of changes in eating habits and demographics they've been behind on their rent for the past couple months, giving Feng more of an excuse to boot them out (when Hayes tried to pay it back, Feng apparently give him a bill for 20K in taxes and late fees, and is suing).

Hayes is considering opening elsewhere, and I hope he does. These things may be about the unhealthiest food items on the planet, but they're made with love and are damn tasty. I'll be sad to see it go.

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Reader Comments (25)

So sad. That Lina Feng is a piece of work.

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterparkslopefoodie

:(

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterGen

What a shame :(

Where will I get my patties, oxtail, and curried goat for Jamaican picnics at the park? :(

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterNever Satisfied

That's a shame! And people like her (the landlord) suck!

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterparkslopeperson

I've said it before and I'll say it again: the arena will lead to a hollowing out of much of the vibrancy and flavor of Park Slope, leaving it as bland and cold as much of Manhattan and Brooklyn Heights.

Prices will rise and the people who made the neighborhood so desirable in the first place will leave to find greener pastures. They'll enjoy their time in a new found oasis until the money steamrolls in again at which point the cycle will continue.

Enjoy your last few months/years of Park Slope everyone!

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterparksloper

Lets all go there and buy stuff....

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterChicken Underwear

I don't agree at all with Park Sloper, especially since this business isn't even technically in Park Slope, it's in Prospect Heights.

But I agree that Flatbush will change. Thank god, as it's been a hodgepodge of vacant storefronts for the best part of 30 years.

Does the opening of BKLYN Larder, Uncle Barry's Bar, 67 Burger and the new farm to table place coming to Park and Flatbush signify the "hollowing out" of Park Slope you are referring to? Because to me, Flatbush Avenue is making a beautiful comeback from a deserted, gross strip to a more vibrant one filled with many interesting restaurants and stores.

The arena will have no affect on 7th Avenue and doubtful it will have much of an affect on 5th Avenue below the named streets. The affects we have seen so far on Flatbush have been an improvement in retail, and a soon to be renovation including wider sidwalks, more trees and benches and renovated triangles. If that's the price we have to pay for gentrification caused by the arena, I hope we see a lot more of it.

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterparkslopefoodie

And btw, if you ask ANY Park Slope resident why they moved to the neighborhood, the top reasons are ALWAYS:
1. The architecture
2. The park
3. The schools
4. The community feeling.

NEVER have I heard someone say they moved to the neighborhood to be close to Christie's Jamaican Patties or the Park Slope Stationary store (or any store or restaurant for that matter).

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterparkslopefoodie

Brooklyn aint what it used to be. And parkslopefoodie is one of the reasons why.

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterSomeguy

Besides not being able to spell, I guess Parkslopefoodie is enjoying improvments such as continued empty storefronts along one side of Flatbush, bizzare, doomed-to-fail businessess such as the what-the-hell-is-that-dress Versailles, and restaurants such as Kulushkat, that are scraping by as they await what they think to be the arena deluge.

It's going to be F-U-N once the throngs hit Barclays Center for that worthless basketball team and that hypocrite Jay-Z.

Buy patties in droves and freeze them. Christie's will be DEARLY missed.

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMick

Kulushkat serves great food.

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/12/dining/reviews/kulushkat-nyc-restaurant-review.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=kulushkat&st=cse

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterparkslopefoodie

Sorry to hear about Christie's but the patties at Little Miss Muffin N Her Stuffin' (Park Place) are better. The neighborhood gets blander by the minute, but Little Miss M. is very nice.

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteronemorefoldedsunset

These comments are all a reflection that the community feel that parkslopefoodie refers to is changing. There has been a great divide created by the coming stadium. Just attend any community board meeting and listen to the words being used between neighbors. As a resident of this fine borough and community for over 35 years I am saddened by the growing loss of community. Clearly there are many who do not know what it means to sustain a business in one community for 45 years. All of the businesses spoken about by parkslopefoodie provide one single service food and alcohol. Our schools are overcrowded, there is no growth of civil services (ie police, sanitation etc) to service the growing population and in particular business. Broaden the think tank and demand more from gentrification not just another burger joint. How many burgers does it take to educate your child?

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterconcerned citizen

I agree with everything parkslopefoodie has said. he/she is just stating the obvious reality of the situation. I just think people in Park Slope don't really want Jamaican patties. They are unhealthy and are not the taste of the current residents. That's just the truth. It doesn't mean I didn't like them (I did) but a place like that was clearly teetering on the verge of no longer being a successful venture here. I don't think it had much of anything to do with the arena. There's no reason to make a huge point about gentrification on the matter. As for Flatbush, i think it looks better every day. I lived here 20 years ago when it was looking pretty bad compared to today. Does that make me a snob or something? I like the new businesses, and I didn't have much use for many of the ones closing, Christie's not withstanding.

I think the new people in Brooklyn are so judgemental. Why are you jumping all over someone for having a different viewpoint? It's exactly what's going on in politics right now. Parkslopefoodie seems to care about the community and just because it isn't exactly how you care about the community doesn't mean it's any better or worse. everyone needs to open their minds a little bit.

November 22, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterbk4life

bk4life: Christie's has been an institution for years. Lack of sales isn't what's driving its closing. Lack of paid rent due to rent increases is.

This isn't about the new businesses, and it isn't even about Ratner. It's about landlords trying to make money off the arena forcing beloved institutions such as Christie's to go under.

Kulushkat does serve great food, have nothing to do with the conversation, and weren't exactly faring too great as of a couple of months ago, even with the huge press they were getting.

November 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMick

Healthy Nibbles does serve a great patty, but it's definitely a different animal than Christie's. No one on this planet matches Christie's coco bread as well.

November 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterMick

To assume that the presence of the arena will have no effect on 7th Ave and minimal effect on 5th Ave is wishful thinking. 20,000 people converging on an area will have a dramatic impact on all adjacent areas. 7th Ave is about .4 miles away, 5th Ave obviously less so.

With the increase in rents comes the inevitable chain store invasion. That will indeed change the character of the neighborhood and will indeed change the spirit beyond all recognition.

November 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterAgee

Why will there be 20,000 people when there are 14,000 seats?

2 people per seat?

November 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlimestone

From the people I know who are commerical brokers, they say that the spaces in Park Slope are far too small for chains to be interested. The neighborhood is very wealthy and if chains were going to come, they would have already. Spaces are just too small.

what makes you think someone wants to come to a basketball game and then go shopping at a chain store after? Most people go home or go eat somewhere. Maybe a few more chain restaurants to come, but most of the large national chains don't want the 1500 sf spaces that are the norm on 7th and 5th avenues. Flatbush, maybe. But that won't change the character of the neighborhoods.

November 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlimestone

As an example in the northern part of Park Slope, La Taqueria closed and the owner jacked up the rent to almost 20K for the entire space. Now, the former owner of Ozzie's is opening a coffee shop in one half and a make your own pottery place is opening in the other half. I see no cause for concern here as that was a prime example of somewhere you'd think a chain might only be able to afford, but the space was much too small and here were are with two brand new mom and pops opening.

The crying wolf stuff by the NIMBY's has really gone off the deep end with the closing of Christie's. Sorry to see it go, but i talked to the guy and he said business has been going downhill.

November 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterlimestone

The pretend hatred of chains is so stupid. You all shop at chains and you know it. You just like to tell people that you only shop at mom and pop stores. Take a look in the mirror and try to figure out why you liken chain stores to the devil. Maybe because you want to seem like you're better than the rest of the world (who love chains) but you're a New Yorker and you're better than everyone else because you don't shop at Walmart.

NOT

November 23, 2011 | Unregistered Commenterpheights

I just used mapquest to see how far the new arena really is from the first available space on 7th which is retail (lincoln and 7th). It is .7 miles.
No one is going to walk .7 miles before or after a game to eat or shop at an alleged chain store which doesn't exist yet. .7 miles is a very long walk.
Have you seen how much those tickets cost anyway? The people who can afford to see these basketball games must be loaded. If chains do come in on Flatbush (I'm sure they will) they will probably be of the high end variety. The ones that are already coming in look like much higher end than what was already there. The boxes/suites in the arena are like 20K or something nuts. Because it's trendy Brooklyn in 2011, this is like boutique basketball or something.

November 23, 2011 | Unregistered CommenterOnthepark

Barclay's Center capacity:
Basketball 18,000
Concerts 19,000
Hockey 14,000


.7 miles is the distance from the arena to 7th Ave and President St. It's not "a very long walk" unless one is in some way physically challenged. People walk that distance to the subway every day; I bet even a few folks who can afford the price of tickets to Nets games do it.

Re: chain stores not interested in smaller units—see Dunkin Donuts moving into the former Tonio's space. Who's to say some chains won't adapt?

November 26, 2011 | Unregistered Commenteragee

Bring on more chains! Hopefully they will be smarter than 99% of mom and pops in Park Slope which have terrible hours, terrible customer service and merchandise fit for 80 year old grannies! Hey guess what Park Slope businesses...maybe if you stay open past 7pm, you won't go out of business in 6 months!! imagine that. There's a reason why chains thrive, because yes...they ADAPT to their customers. The mom and pops in PS do the opposite. Sit there in their empty stores not adapting at all.

November 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersterlingplace

And by the way, it's complete asinine to assume that park slope is going to stay 100% mom and pop like Martha's Vineyard or something. This is Brooklyn dude, some chains ain't gunna kill you. There is plenty of room for everyone....5th avenue, 7th avenue, flatbush, parts of 6th Avenue. Do you really think a couple Dunkin Donuts is the end of times? what were you hoping for in that space? Another crapshow boutique selling $100 onesies?

November 27, 2011 | Unregistered Commentersterlingplace

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