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Brooklyn Fish Camp is For Sale

Brooklyn Fish Camp, the outpost of the West Village's Mary's Fish Camp on Fifth Avenue between St. Josh's and Lincoln, is officially for sale. I tracked down this Craigslist posting, which lists the turn-key restaurant for $275,000 key money and a rent of $6,333 per month.

Fish Camp is well-known in the neighborhood and never seems to be empty, but it also has a well-earned reputation for being overpriced. The quality of the food has always been high-quality, but the overhead appears to be way too high for a simple seafood restaurant.

These types of restaurants appear to be double-edged swords: serve high-quality seafood and you don't turn a profit, because you can't fill the house, because it's too expensive. Try to save money by buying lower-quality seafood (ahem), and even though the price is lower, you can't turn a profit, because you can't fill the house, because the food is low-quality.

And even though the rent is quite high, the space is charming, it's got a great outdoor area, it's a perfect (if high-competition) location, and it really is turn-key. Keep in mind, though, that just because a restaurant is for sale doesn't mean that it's closing any time soon. It does mean, though, that the restaurant is in trouble.

Photo: Maggie Frank

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Reader Comments (18)


Would like to see the Crab Spot (LET THE CRAB ARGUMENTS BEGIN) put Fish Camp out of its misery.... Just sayin.

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJust Shlopin

Great reporting as always!

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFan

$32 or more for a lobster roll that's inferior to the $16 Red Hook Lobster Pound roll was insulting but now I can that their overhead drove their prices sky high. I doubt there's another restaurant possibility that will succeed in that space with overhead like that.

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterDisco Stain

Yep, went here a few times. food was good, but grossly overpriced and I found the service to be pretty slow. If I want lobster, I go to Red Hook Lobster Pound, love their lobster rolls and they are way cheaper.

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterParkSlopePerson

I actually love Brooklyn Fish Camp, and don't really think $15-30 for a fish entree is expensive (and I'm surprised anyone would?). You can barely go into a fish market and buy 1-2 pieces for under that amount, let alone have someone else cook it for you. Sometimes I wonder if the people commenting on this blog about prices actually live in Brooklyn, because groceries here are crazy expensive.

Red Hook Lobster pound is great - agree. But they also specialize in lobster rolls, therefore have a limited menu, and buy their lobster in bulk, which means they get it cheaper. It's a different story when you're buying multiple types of fish, etc. And there's a huge glut of lobster, so while lobster prices are collapsing, the end consumer prices are staying the same.

Regardless - I hope Brooklyn Fish Camp stays put and we get to continue to enjoy their fish tacos! Or else I'll just continuing going to Mary's in WV.

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSterling Placer

Is selling your restaurant via Craigslist the way to go? This does not seem the most business-savvy move to me.

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterBen K.

People who are comparing Brooklyn Fish Camp to Red Hook Lobster pound don't seem to understand the concept of a restaurant. At Brooklyn Fish Camp you get waiter service, a place to sit, food options beyond lobster, choices or beer and wine, etc. Also - Fish Camp is steps from my house compared to a car/taxi drive to Red Hook. More expensive? Absolutely. Worth the money? Open for debate. Comprable to a retail store in Red Hook with some picnic benches and two menu options? No.

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterReal Parksloper

To me, waiter service, and poor waiter service at that, is not worth double the price of an item. And, yes, Red Hook Lobster Pound only has lobster and shrimp, but,, I was just talking about the lobster here.

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterParkSlopePerson

@ Real Parksloper: & ParkSlopePerson

ParkSlopePerson has a point.

I think this comparison began with Fish Camp's Achilles heel which is "Overpricing".

Which brings to the table the comparison of Red Hook Lobster Pound (RHLP) for its better quality and value in regards to Lobster.

Should RHLP expand their menu? "HELL NO!" in my opinion.

Does RHLP have Fish camp beat in regards to Lobster? By a MILE!!

But that's where the comparisons end.

Fish Camp has its own niche and if they would just lower the prices, they'd get more customers...

I refuse to get financially ass-raped in my own backyard.

I'll go to Manhattan for that.

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJust Shlopin

Better not go to Blue Ribbon for fried chicken then!

I had never been here, though tempted a few times.

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFelton

Soon to be another empty storefront on 5th Avenue. Judging by the number of vacancies and failed businesses here one can see that this so called economic recovery is still rather tenuous.

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTheodore

Real Parksloper hits the nail on the head with every point.

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSlopeLifer

Let's get this straight, so everyone here can understand...

Half the restaurants, minimum, in Park Slope are for sale. If you want to know the real deal, become friends with a restaurant owner. They'll give you the actual dirt. Spaces you wouldn't believe are up for grabs are offered up to the more successful restaurant owners on a daily basis here.

If something reaches the point where Dan's writing about it, we are far beyond that point.

Hopefully even someone living on 15th and 8th can understand this.

February 14, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterSLOPE WARZ

Brooklyn Fish Camp and RHLP cannot be compared. I really hope this is not true about Brooklyn FIsh Camp because I think it's an incredible restaurant. The new Chef has some amazing specials and the staff is great. They must be good to their employee's because I've seen the same faces in that place for the last 7 years. I think the prices could come down a bit because we are in Brooklyn but being a cook myself I do not think paying $15-$30 for fresh seafood is bad. I think a $16 lobster roll from RHLP is great for the customer but to be honest I have no idea how they are making money...the cost of lobsters and the labor involved are high. Good for them and Good luck to fish camp. I hope nobody buys the place because it's one of the few restaurants on 5th ave worth eating at.

February 16, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterfiggy

South Slope checking in with complete comprehension (although I'm not too sure why Slope Warz is commenting on a restaurant whose back yard is practically in Gowanus). This is actually a loss for the neighborhood, and those complaining about cost or comparing it to that awful place in Red Hook, probably live in a boat house along the canal.

February 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMan of both Slopes

The restaurant has been taken off of the market. Fish Camp is here to stay.

February 17, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterLol

Oh the canal (Gowanus)... That's where Fish Camp gets its catch...

Yeah, gonna pay $30~50 for that... Yuuummmy! Man of both Slopes.

RHLP rocks! And I''ll support them as long as they're around...... And the Crab Spot.

February 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJust Shlopin'

Too bad chef Mendy is no .longer turning out weekly Tuesday trout specials at 200 5th. Used to eat there every week and never had trout prepared the same way twice and all of them were stellar. Guy was a magician.

February 18, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMr. RE

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