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Wednesday
Mar112015

"Perfect Potato" Coming to 172 Fifth Avenue

A new restaurant called Perfect Potato is in the works at 172 Fifth Avenue, between Degraw and Sackett. With the motto "French fries for everyone!," it certainly seems like it'll be a welcome addition to those who are fans of fries.

Signage has gone up in the storefront's doorway, and photos posted to the Facebook page reveal that constuction, while still in its very early stages, seems to be progressing nicely.

"Gourmet Belgian fries with a wide range of unique sauces, delicious varieties of poutine, baked potatoes, all natural ice cream shakes and sodas" will be on offer, the owners posted.

Thankfully, it looks like this spot will be a lot more Pommes Frites than Potatopia.

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Reader Comments (30)

I highly doubt there is enough of a market for a french fry store in Park Slope.

Another stupid Park Slope idea.

March 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterTim

One can always depend upon the readers and commenters on HPS to criticize another persons enterprise. I'm sort of intrigued by the idea, having tried and enjoyed Pommes Frites in the East Village.

My question, as before, pertains to the economics of such a venture. We all know how rents along both Fifth and Seventh Ave. have skyrocketed, forcing many businesses to shutter. Let's assume, for the moment, that storefront rents have exceeded $100 psf and that this joint will measure somewhere between 500 and 1000 sf. Let's further assume they'll charge $5 and up for a cone full of frites. How many cones of frites must they sell to break even? I'm guessing that a hundred a day simply won't cut the mayo. Entrepreneurs such as this one are courageous and deserve our support, particularly if their idea is unique and their product of good quality.

March 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMarty Markowitz

Im with Marty-you cant complain about the lack of unique businesses in PS and then turnaround and complain when a unique one ones in. This is not a foreign concept for a store. Pomee Frites in the east village did plenty well with arguably higher rents. As long as there are bars in the vicinity they'll do fine.

March 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJbob

@Jbob; there are bars in the area but there is not much in the way of bar crowds

March 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterjbobPRIME

Hey jbobPRIME - get a life and stop stealing my name!

March 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterJbobPRIME

sorry buddy; i was jbobPRIME way before you were...we both know that is true.

March 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterjbobPRIME

Opening Pommes Frittes on 2nd Ave in the middle of the East Village and opening one 8 blocks south from Barclays in sleepy Park Slope are 2 very different things.

What nightlife do you see on this stretch of 5th Avenue?

200 5th already sells French fries.

There's one thing to support neighborhood business, it's quite another to be totally delusional about what can and can not work. These people are sinking probably tens of thousands of dollars into a business which I can tell you right now isn't going to be around in 2 years. It just won't. Maybe down in South South slope where there are 5 or 6 bars in the span of a couple blocks, but on Sackett and 5th Avenue, it's a dead zone of boutiques that close at 7pm and restaurants that do their business and close at 10 or 11pm. There are no drunk crowds looking for junk food on this strip at any hour, even on the weekend. It's too far south to capture any of the Barclays arena folks as they barely go a few blocks away.

They will go to Shake Shack across the street from Barclays not 8 blocks away to get some fries from some place no one has ever heard of.

March 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSean

I mean I love Belgian fries so I will definitely check it out - but not often enough to pay their rent...

March 11, 2015 | Unregistered Commenterflank

Eating french fries more than as a special treat every couple months is horrible for you and most people in Park Slope know that. Otherwise, we wouldn't have so many gyms, a new Pure Barre on that very block and greenmarkets and health food galore.

These people simply chose the WRONG spot for such a business. Open it directly across from the arena or at Citifield, but if you REALLY think there are enough Park Sloper craving fries on a regular enough basis to justify the 7k in rent this place asks a month, you're really kidding yourself.

March 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

It's like having two lawyers in the same room....you get three opinions.
Ahh, the pleasure of the comments section of HPS.

March 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMarty Markowitz

Stop taking it so seriously, Marty. You don't like a comment, skip it and move on.

But to constantly make it seem as though your opinion is the right one and all the rest are those silly other commenters makes you seem so closed-minded.

It's called freedom of speech. If you can't chat about what you think on a little known neighborhood blog without the Blog police coming on and attempting to shame everyone (SO Park Slope of you, btw!) then where can you talk about how a French Fry store here is a BAD IDEA.

If it succeeds, it will do so on its own merit. Our comments here do not determine the fate of Park Slope small business, believe it or not.

March 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

I will say that I walk by "The Nutella Store" every day multiple times and I have yet to see a customer inside.

So what I'm saying is that maybe these specialty "one item" type places can't make a go of it in a high rent district. Especially a high rent district known for their hippy dippy vegan organic juice presses.

It would be like opening up a store selling plastic bags in Berkeley, California. It's just not a wise move.

March 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLisa

Marty - rents along 5th ave are around $75-$90 per sq ft. On 7th your looking at 120-150.

5th ave is considerably cheeper then 7th.....even though the gap is closing.

About 10 years ago 5th was around $40 per sq foot while 7th hit 100.

March 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterPark slope landlord

I love fries, I hope they have beer too. Time to CARBO-LOAD!!!

March 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterNever Satisfied

@Lisa: It's called irony. In fact, I don't take it at all seriously. On my list of the 100 most important things in life, the HPS comments section is number 343,188.

March 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterMarty Markowitz

I like French fries and wish them luck. I'll certainly be going there.

March 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterDonna Hey!

http://www.livestrong.com/article/514874-the-effects-of-french-fries-on-your-body/

http://www.healthambition.com/french-fries-most-unhealthy-foods/

One of the 5 worst foods you can eat:

Potatoes are bad enough when consumed in their raw state, as their simple sugars are rapidly converted to glucose that raises insulin levels and can devastate your health. But when they are cooked in trans fat at high temperatures, all sorts of interesting and very unpleasant things occur.

Anything that is fried, even vegetables, has the issue of trans fat and the potent cancer-causing substance acrylamide. Animal studies have shown that exposure to acrylamide increases the risk of several types of cancer, and the International Agency for Research on Cancer considers acrylamide a "probable human carcinogen." It has also been linked to nerve damage and other neurotoxic effects, including neurological problems in workers handling the substance. While this chemical can be formed in many foods when they're heated to a temperature above 120 degrees Celsius (248 degrees Fahrenheit), French fries and potato chips are the biggest offenders.

Foods that are fried in vegetable oils like canola, soybean, safflower, corn, and other seed and nut oils are particularly problematic. These polyunsaturated fats easily become rancid when exposed to oxygen and produce large amounts of damaging free radicals in the body. They are also very susceptible to heat-induced damage from cooking. What is not commonly known is that these oils can actually cause aging, clotting, inflammation, cancer, and weight gain.

Furthermore, in the US, canola, soybean, and corn oils are made primarily from genetically engineered crops, which come with their own set of health risks.

It is theoretically possible to create a more "healthy" French fry if you cook it in a healthy fat like virgin coconut oil. Due to its high saturated fat content, coconut oil is extremely stable and is not damaged by the high temperatures of cooking. This is why coconut oil should be the only oil you use to cook with.

I am fond of telling patients that one French fry is worse for your health than one cigarette, so you may want to consider this before you order your next "Biggie."

March 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/life/health-and-fitness/why-french-fries-are-even-worse-than-you-thought/article625572/

Why French fries are even worse than you thought

The researchers tracked the weight and lifestyle habits of 120,877 men and women in three large, ongoing medical studies every four years, over two decades. All were healthy and none were obese at the start of the study.

On average, participants gained 3.35 pounds during each four-year period. That added up to a weight gain of almost 17 pounds over the 20-year period.

When lifestyle changes associated with weight gain were evaluated, the findings were similar in all three studies.

People who regularly ate French fries, potato chips, mashed potatoes, processed meat, meat, sugary drinks, sweets and refined grains were more likely to gain weight.

The food that contributed to weight gain the most: French fries. One daily serving led to a 3.3-pound gain over four years. For potato chips, one daily serving led to an additional 1.7 pounds over four years. That's compared to sugary drinks, which added one pound every four years.

March 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSarah

Yeah, this doesn't sound like a winner; any chance these hare-brained ideas are really experiments for some other purpose, like the pop place on Union near 7th? Can people with money really be so stupid?

March 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSlopeSteven

SlopeSteven,

People's Pops actually does great business and have a number of locations at the High Line, in Chelsea Market, 7th Avenue, Brooklyn Flea, Smorgasborg and East Village.

When they started in 2009 (yes, they've already been around for 6 years) they were making $5000 a week from a single location. They now have multiple locations and are in dozens of stores.

That's actually an example of a niche business that has done very well for itself. But it's also made from all natural, organic ingredients and is a seasonal treat without all the calories. The location on 7th Avenue (I live on the same block) is always packed on days over 80 degrees. They are coming back for their 3rd year in that location this spring.

The Mexican Hot chocolate place that takes the space in the winter also does good business. It's a great model renting the storefront to 2 different seasonal businesses.

This french fries place is just dumb though. Maybe open it in Midtown for the tourists, but here? No way, not going to last.

March 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

Liz, how can that pop place, or its winter partner be making money? Do they have a special rent deal? The "math" for the potato place would seem to be similar for the pop place, no?

March 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterSlopeSteven

SlopeSteven,

They clearly make money or else they wouldn't come back year after year.

They probably make each one for 30-40 cents and sell them for $2.50. It's a big markup for a popcicle. There are days when Celebrate Brooklyn Concerts are happening where there is a line out the door. Similarly on hot days or Saturdays with people heading to and from the park and Greenmarket.

It's a great product, I enjoy them myself probably once a week. Better than an ice cream or doughnut or some other really fattening treat.

You are forgetting the 18,000 members of the Park Slope Food Co-op who go up and down Union who LOVE these organic fruit type deserts. The amount of foot traffic on Union and 7th is probably the busiest corner (or one of the busiest) in the entire neighborhood.

So let's say they're paying 4-5K a month for that tiny space for 6 months and they are raking in 5K a week and there's only 1 employee working at a time and it totally makes sense. Multiply that times 5 other locations (i'm sure the Brooklyn Flear, Smorgasborg and High Line locations make BANK) and it's pretty easy to see how these business is doing just fine.

March 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

The difference is that I don't believe French Fries are similar to all natural with hunks of fruity popcicles. I would have french fries maybe twice a year, whereas I would have no problem having a People's pop multiple times a week.

I just don't think this particular neighborhood is going to embrace french fries given that they are literally one of the worst foods you can eat. Once in a while, maybe. Regularly, I hope not. No wonder our health care premiums go up every year with the boasting on here about LOVING french fries. Do you all not realize how horrible those things are?

March 11, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

Everyone's an expert!

March 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterHank

My track record is pretty good on these things Hank. I predicted Walk in Cookbokk wouldn't last (it closed after 6 months) I predicted The subway on 7th and Berkeley was a horrible idea (it closed after 18 months), I predict Ted Cheeburger Cheeburger wouldn't last and it didn't and I PREDICT that Nutella place will close because there is never a soul in there.

Some of us DO know what we're talking about! If the neighborhood doesn't enjoy these places they simply will not make it.

March 12, 2015 | Unregistered CommenterLiz

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