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Monday
Feb172014

Closed for Business: The Walk-In Cookbook, 72 7th Avenue

The Walk-In Cookbook, the experimental gourmet shop that opened last August on Seventh Avenue between Lincoln and Berkeley, closed down today. Owner Filip Nuytemans sent an email around to their mailing list announcing the closure a couple hours ago; here's that it said:

We have enjoyed providing you with our recipe offering hoping to have brought something new and different to your dinner table.  Unfortunately, we are unable to make our concept work in brick and mortar and we are closing the store today.  We would like to thank you for your support, it has been a pleasure getting to know many of you.  Our best wishes to you and your families for a great 2014.
The Walk-In Cookbook Team

The shop took a unique approach to cooking a meal: they provided you with the recipe and all the ingredients needed to cook a meal from scratch, down to the teaspoon. The ingredients for about 15 rotating meals, from fish tacos to green chicken curry, were available at any time, along with a handful of pantry staples.

It was a good idea, but never really found a niche in the neighborhood, and not many predicated that it would even stick around as long as it did considering the fact that it was usually empty. Those looking to cook a meal can usually find everything they need by going to the supermarket, and the fact that shopping here would result in no waste wasn't enough to change people's habits.

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Reader Comments (29)

What? I can't believe this placed closed! It was always so packed, and such a novel idea. I can't even count the number of times I went there to buy all the ingredients needed to make some kind of meal that would cost several more dollars if ordered in a restaurant! And this way I didn't have to worry about what to do with leftover cooking stuff and where to store all of it!

February 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDave

the lighting was painful, I didn't want to spend any time in there

February 17, 2014 | Unregistered Commentergerry

Joes pizza on 7th and Carroll also looks like they closed too

February 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterDani

The kind of thing that sounds interesting on paper but that someone should have really talked the owners out of before putting down the money they've undoubtedly lost. Just too cutesy and unpractical for its own good.

Anyone remember the doggie bakery which occupied the space Sky Ice is at now? Same idea. No one needed doggie biscotti either.

I wish them the best, though, and hope the losses weren't too much.

February 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTed Nelson

It seems like this concept would do better in a place like Murray Hill. Young professionals who don't want to spend time at the supermarket figuring out ingredients. Park Slope has too many folks willing to spend time buying cheaper food (or Fresh Direct).

In any case, it needed to be cheaper than takeout, which it really wasn't. The food was as expensive as a restaurant without paying a tip.

February 17, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterScott

The nasty, unsupportive HPS commenters killed it. You all the claim you're about a better PS.? For shame!

February 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLibby

I told you it was a dumb idea and no one was ever in there.

February 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTim

I agree with Scott. This is a good concept, but not the right neighborhood. I find that more people cook here than in many areas of Manhattan. During Thanksgiving day, I'm at the gym listening the two guys talking about spatchcocking their turkeys!

February 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTortilla

I, too, predicted, but did not cause, the failure of this concept.

Please tell me what goes on in the heads of entrepreneurs who risk their savings and borrow from banks to open such ventures without an ounce of due diligence.

February 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMarty Markowitz

The few hundred or so people who read this blog and the handful who comment did not cause this business to go under. The IDEA of such an idiotic business is what killed it. Had the owners actually read the comments here the day the place opened, they would have seen what a bad idea it was. You may think nothing of the people who comment here, Libby but WE are the people who support (or do not support) these businesses.

They should have made it a gourmet food store like Bklyn Larder. They would have raked in money hand over fist.

February 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIna

This concept could work if meals cost less and if they weren't running a brick and mortar.

February 18, 2014 | Unregistered Commenternormality

It's called Blue Apron. It already exists, normality.

February 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIna

I blame Ina

February 18, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjbob

http://www.blueapron.com/

And it's much cheaper than Walk in Cookbook and they deliver to your door.

February 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIna

I like Blue Apron, but it does not sell ready-to-eat meals like Brooklyn Larder. I've always been surprised that there isn't a place that can sell high-quality picnic-ready food near the park in this neighborhood.

February 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLarry Lockhorn

Larry,

There is blue apron foods on Union Street and then there is Blue Apron with the link I posted above. They are not the same company, to my knowledge. Blue Apron Foods on Union is mostly a cheese store with other gourmet foods and Blue Apron with the link above is a place that delivers meals ready to prepare like Walk in Cookbook.

Blue Apron on Union is great, but their selection is very limited. I wish it was more like Bklyn Larder which is why I wish Walk in Cookbook realized their store was attracting no customers and were able to be flexible. It was fairly obvious by anyone who ever checked it out that it was doomed. Sad given the amount of money they must have spent. I don't even want to know what the penalty must be for breaking a lease like that. They were only open for 6 months.

February 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterIna

BRING BACK LA TAQUERIA!

February 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEd

@Larry,

Russos is right by the park and its still one of the long time gems of Park Slope, with excellent prepared foods, sandwiches and italian specialties.

February 18, 2014 | Unregistered Commenterjbob

Russo's is 15 blocks from where we're talking about.

Many, many people travel along Union Street by foot to Prospect Park, especially on Saturdays with the Greenmarket at Grand Army Plaza. It would be nice to have a place that has a big selection of picnic type foods on 7th Avenue in the North Slope. There are very few corners in Park Slope busier than Union and 7th, yet there are 2 stores for rent there for over 2 years and now Walk in Cookbook a block away. Someone please take one of these and make it a Brooklyn Larder type place with sandwiches, prepared foods, salads, etc!

February 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterEd

I know about Blue Apron. Thanks Ina.

February 18, 2014 | Unregistered Commenternormality

I predict this place with close within a month.

February 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterMarg

These restaurant-attached markets do quite well. It'd be interesting for, say, the owners of Rose Water to get in on that. Al Di La begat Lincoln Station, and 606 R&D is also opening their own Larder-type place. A good idea for 7th and Union. Blue Apron doesn't seem to meet that need.

While I miss La Taq, Rachel's on 5th is an abomination that has soiled the good name of that former juggernaut bigtime.

February 18, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterTed Nelson

Thanks, Ed, I couldn't have said it better. I also don't think the prepared food from Russo's is particularly fresh (here I envy Kensington, with Brancaccio's Fine Foods on Fort Hamilton Parkway).

February 19, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterLarry Lockhorn

Speaking of Russo's, those who have not tried Gather really should. I liked them from day one but they have evolved and gotten it together. The prepared food is of the highest quality and delicious. There have been complaints of it being overpriced but, seriously, you get what you pay for and, again, it is outstanding food made with outstanding ingredients.

February 20, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterPeggy

They should have cooked the food themselves and offered prepared foods, something the neighborhood is sorely lacking.

February 24, 2014 | Unregistered CommenterNoelle

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