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Tuesday
Jan222013

Closed for Business: Five Guys, 164 Park Place

Nearly a year and a half since opening, and about two months since being put up for rent, the Flatbush Avenue outpost of Five Guys, the rapidly expanding national burger chain, has closed. The phone line has been disconnected and signage has been taken down.

While Five Guys is generally quite popular, and this is a high traffic location (both pedestrian and auto), I never saw many people in there, and its giant dining room was never more than half-full. With a probable recent rent increase (hence the "For Rent" sign), it's apparent that corporate just made the executive decision to pull the plug.

Another likely influence upon its closure, in my opinion, is the opening of the Barclays Center. Two years ago, this location would have appeared to be a cash cow for several reasons: proximity to the arena (and those walking to and from events from their parking spots), proximity to the subway (and those passing by on their way home from work), and proximity to the thousands of people who live within walking distance in Park Slope, Prospect Heights, and Fort Greene.

Unfortunately, they also had several elements working against them: a square footage (and therefore, most likely, a rent) that was far too large, a mostly ambivalent neighborhood, and (most tellingly) an arena-geared presumed clientele that never materialized.

As it's quite likely that the space has already been rented, it probably won't be long before we know what its replacement will be. As the For Rent sign has come down from the space formerly occupied by New Happy Taco next door, something tells me that this block will look a lot different a few months from now.

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Reader Comments (33)

Park Slope Stationers died for a year and a half of this shit. That's the biggest tragedy of them all here. I

In other cities, or in areas where fast food quick fixes serve a purpose for rushed workers (like across the street from a hospital, for instance), Five Guys might qualify as good enough. That shit didn't fly on that block, not when you can get a vastly better burger walking a few blocks in just about any direction. Good riddance.

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrooklyn Brawler

I hear the brand new subway on 7th Ave near Union is on the verge too with a 60K build-out, astronomical rent and almost zero customers.

I am happy to see these greedy landlords get their karma bringing in things the neighborhood does not want.

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbk4life

Bawlor:

Park Slope Stationers died because people don't use stationary supplies like they used to. And they certainly don't need 5K square feet to do it in. That's like lamenting the loss of the Blockbusters and the Typewriter....people use computers now and a lot less paper products.

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterliza

come on chipotle!

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterguaca flacka

Hope somebody cleans up the pile of discarded hamburger meat and French fries that was sitting on the sidewalk this morning.

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdbb

YEEAAHHHH!!!

Good riddance....

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJust Shlopin

I seriously doubt a rent increase was a factor - any retail tenant who isnt a moron signs at least a 10 year lease (usually with options).

I seriously doubt this was a "corporate store" or a "corporate decision" - 5 guys are a franchise. If it was a corporate store the parent would be liable for the rent for the full lease term (unless they had some sort of out-clause- rare but not unheard of). Most likely a franchisee (who either has no personal assets or signed with no personal guarantee) realized it was a lousy location.

Not sure why you all think that national chains reflect 'greedy landlords'? Landlords will rent to best tenant - national chains often pay LOWER rent - but because of their backing makes selling and financing underlying property easier. Not sure that this reflects "greed" as opposed to the same business decisions everyone rationale follows,

One last consideration, this location is actually pretty FAR from the arena. Its not visable and most people arent going to walk that far pre or post event simply for a hamburger (driving is not an option) - It is entirely possible that the franchisee (or corporate if that is a factor here) will open closer to arena. Not sure how they could get out of lease (unless for rent was really a sublease sign) but I would not at all be shocked if 5 guys opens much closer to arena soon.

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterbrklynmind

Worst burger I've ever had. Even the free peanuts weren't enough to make me return. I've experienced better ambiance at the DMV. Horrible. Chipotle will make a killing here.

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDisco Stain

Well Park Slope is getting a Shake Shack soon so no need to worry about where to get your burger fix. Out with the old (and gross) and in the with new (and delicious).

Five Guys is garbage food, just like Subway and all the rest. Glad to see the neighborhood speak with its wallet.

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterhans

Can we get a Dos Toros?

Wat say?

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFaros Fawcett

I actually question whether that location would be good for food at all. I could imagine retail doing well there. Imagine a Baby Gap there. It'd print it's own money.

A coffee shop for folks walking towards the Q would work well at the New Happy Taco location.

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrooklyn Brawler

Park Slope is getting a Shake Shack? Where?

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJbob

"Danny Meyer burgers-and-fries joint Shake Shack plans to soon move into prime Flatbush Avenue real estate across the street from the 18,200-seat arena, sources said."

My guess is the former Triangle Sports:

http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/brooklyn/klyn_feast_break_0sLwPOSYCzHnssaLc0cpUO

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterhans

Too far to walk for most people from the Barclays and no place to park for the drivers I would imagine.

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterKen b

It's actually kinda hilarious. All the anti-AY people said Barclays would bring the chains and what it's actually doing is the total opposite....Flatbush is filling up with high quality mom and pops while the chains are closing.

Barclays has excellent food INSIDE the arena so very few people are going outside for it. If they are, they are staying much closer to the arena and all the crying wolf about the traffic and the noise that would come to Park Slope has not transpired at all.

Ken, 80% of arena goers are taking mass transportation. They are not coming by car. Don't listen to Norman Oder, he doesn't have a clue.

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEd

While we're shutting that block down, does anyone still shop at the American Apparel that's there?

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJeff

Hey. What's up with that funny new pizza joint where the electronics place used to be on 5th between 9th and 10th?

Last week a friend commented they didn't answer their phone for a delivery. Today I walked by and the glass was papered over.

Is love to know.

January 22, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterCyclone Rider

Arguably, their already is a Five Guys closer to the arena at 1 Flatbush Ave.

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterdac

Ed

BS. I live on 6th on what used to be relatively quiet by NYC standards(I was always a bit surprised how quiet it was for an avenue). Because of the increased traffic on event nights everyone driving now uses it as an alternative to 5th and 7th. Traffic backs up from flatbush almost to union. Im not in love with the idling black cars at every hydrant spot either.

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered Commentered dont know

First good riddance to this awful chain. Like the author said the storefront was perpetually empty.

CAN WE PLEASE SHUT DOWN THAT CRAP WINE STORE NEXT TO IT? Park Slope Wines IS the worst wine store on earth. More of a place for an AM nip than anything nice. Awful.

That crappy chinese restaurant - awful.

American Apparel - awful.

Just turn it all into a Panera Bread and call it a day, good use of 15k sq ft.

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNo Park Pl

Yeah, shut down any place in Park Slope that's affordable to working class people. That wine store has been there way before gentrification. I stopped by Five Guys yesterday and found it closed. It's true that it didn't see to attract a lot of business. But the burgers were good and affordable, and the employees were very friendly. I will miss them.

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrooklynG

BrooklynG It's quite pathetic how these park slope elites will lament about all the chains and woe to the Mom and Pops then attack said Mom and Pop places they don't agree with. Brooklyn can do without No Park Pl.

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEC1234

Thank you, EC1234. Right on.

January 23, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrooklynG

The wine store is just fine. I use it all the time. No, it's not Astor Wines, but it's perfectly reasonable for an inexpensive bottle.

Lots of folks are taking public transportation to the arena, but it has still made for noticeable issues for locals and parking, even right up to where our departed Five Guys was located at.

The American Apparel looks somewhat underused, but there are people shopping at it. I can imagine that the entire chain, not just that location, is not long for this earth. They weren't the next Gap. Oh well.

I'm all for Crunch taking over the entire block, save for the pizza joint, Natural Land, the wine shop, and the homeless grill.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrooklyn Brawler

EC1234: The mom-and-pop hypocrisy you see on here is most likely trolling. I'm not opposed to either mom and pop or chain stores. I just want the best mix that serves the widest variety of people in this neighborhood.

I'm personally not a fan of Five Guys at all, but I will honestly admit to being a burger snob and that playing a huge role in that. I don't want every business that doesn't plaster ARTISAN and ORGANIC on its front sign, though, to go.

January 24, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBrooklyn Brawler

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