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Tuesday
Aug192014

Liquor License Denied for Amaro Wine & Spirits on Fifth, Again

 

Back in January, local resident Steven Fromhart rented the space on Fifth Avenue between First and Garfield that was last home to boutique Lucia with the intention of opening a unique wine and spirits store with an emphasis on digestifs and aperitifs. Surprisingly, however, his liquor license was denied by the State Liquor Authority, on the grounds that the shop would be too close to Red, White, and Bubbly (between President and Union) and Picada y Vino (between 3rd and 4th). Fromhart challenged the decision, but it was upheld by the SLA, and the space will be put back on the market. 

In an email, Fromhart makes it clear that the potential competition played an active role in the proceedings:

"The owners of Red White & Bubbly and Picada y Vino returned with their lawyer to maintain their opposition on the grounds that Park Slope would not be served by a competitor due to the neighborhood’s 'starter family,' 'budget-minded' demographics, zero population growth, and no new significant residential and commercial development since 2008 (when Picada y Vino was established). The chairman of the SLA agreed, saying that he did not want to see 5th Avenue become a "liquor row."

He continues:

"The SLA Board members stated that their official ruling was based on Amaro Spirits & Wine being too close to both of these opposing stores. The fact that the two distances were further than certain other stores are to each other on 5th Avenue (and 7th Avenue) had no bearing. The Board also did not comment on rigorous, vetted data presented regarding the true nature of residential and commercial development in Park Slope, its household demographics, and the fact that Park Slope currently has less stores per capita than Prospect Heights, Boerum Hill/Downtown, Fort Greene, Carroll Gardens, and Williamsburg. The uniqueness of the store's business concept and product base, also contested by the two opposing stores, was acknowledged by the Board."

Fromhart concludes by saying that he's working with the landlords "to find a new tenant for the storefront who will offer something unique and marketable to the neighborhood while maintaining its charm and character."

Interesting.

Monday
Aug182014

Seventh Avenue's Subway on the Market for $7,975/Month

It's been a little less thn two years since an outpost of Subway opened (with very little fanfare) on Seventh between Berkeley and Union in the space that was previously the longtime home of Leaf and Bean, and I don't think anybody would argue that it was a success. It was empty most of the time, and now it's a certifiable failure: the space has been put on the market.

The 1,100 square-foot space is up for lease for $7,975 per month, which is actually on the low end for comparable spaces in the area. The Yogo Monster space, for example, is up for $10,500, and the Walk-In Cookbook space is leasing for $9,500.

Hopefully the (slightly) lower rent will attract a tenant that's able to take better advantage of the Art Deco-inspired storefront, and do a little better job at connecting with the neighborhood. It appears as if it will remain in business until it's rented, so fingers crossed that the lower asking price produces quick results (and possibly inspires some other local landlords to make their asking prices more reasonable).

Thursday
Aug142014

Boing Boing to Close, Owner Heading to Haiti

Boing Boing, the maternity shop that has been "at your cervix" on the corner of Sixth Avenue and Union Street since 1996, will be closing soon, according to an email sent by founder and owner Karen Paperno, who has decided to explore other options. It appears as if her first move will involve a trip to Haiti that she's started an Indiegogo campaign for.

The first shop in America to focus exclusively on breastfeeding and babywearing, Boing Boing is still one the top spots in the borough not only for necessary supplies (everything from the country's largest selection of nursing bras to pumps, books, and baby toys and clothes), but for expertise. Paperno is incredibly knowledgeable on every aspect of maternity, and in fact started up one of the first mother's groups in the community.

Paperno has been invited by a baby sling company to travel to Haiti to give maternity advice, promote breastfeeding, and distribute slings, and she's raising $8,000 to "cover Insurance, Immunization, tickets, luggage, cost of living, shipping & donating goods from the shop, camera and cell for documentation, costs of closing the shop, safety measures, etc." Excess funds will go continue her "mission and outreach to isolated and needy communities."

No word on when exactly the shop will close, or what she plans on doing after returning from Haiti. You can follow her progress on Facebook; she's currently raised more than $800.

Tuesday
Aug122014

Open for Business: Shake Shack, 170 Flatbush Avenue

                                                                                                           Shake Shack

About a month after Shake Shack revealed its newly-restored facade and familiar signage on Flatbush between Dean and Pacific, the third Brooklyn location of Danny Meyer's super-popular burger chain opened on Sunday.

The restaurant, which is located directly across from the Barclays Center, is constructed largely with recycled and sustainable materials, including energy-efficient equipment, lumber certified by the Forest Stewardship Council, and tabletops made from reclaimed bowling alley lanes. There's also free wifi, a handful of televisions, outdoor seating, and a custom mural by Brooklyn street artist SP.ONE.

                                                                                                    Park Slope Stoop

This is the first Shake Shack to open since the company announced on Friday that they were reverting back to their original pre-frozen crinkle-cut fries, and indeed there are no handcut fries in sight. Like all other Shake Shack locations, the menu offers a handful of new concretes that are custom-tailored to the area:

Nothin’ But NETS (unique to this location): Chocolate and vanilla custard blended with marshmallow sauce, crispy crunchies and chocolate sprinkles.

Fudge-eddabouitit (from the Downtown Brooklyn location): Chocolate custard blended with fudge sauce, Baked chocolate cloud cookies and Mast Brothers Shack-blend dark chocolate chunks, topped with chocolate sprinkles.

Brooklyn Pie oh My (from the DUMBO location): Vanilla custard blended with a slice of seasonal pie from Four & Twenty Blackbirds.

The Flatbush Avenue Shake Shack is open daily from 11am - 11pm.

Shake Shack, 170 Flatbush Avenue Brooklyn NY 11217. Phone: 347-442-7711.

Monday
Aug112014

Butter Lane Cupcakes Closing at End of the Month

Butter Lane, the Brooklyn location of the East Village-based cupcake shop that opened in April 2011 on Seventh Avenue between 4th and 5th Streets, will be closing down at the end of the month, according to a notice on display at the shop.

An employee confirmed the closure, but was unable to provide a reason as to why. She did make sure to note that the original location, on East 7th Street, will be remaining open. Rumor has it that another bakery may be opening in the space.

Along with the bankruptcy of Crumbs, this could be another sign that the Cupcake Bubble is bursting. If you're looking for a cupcake to satisfy your fix after the closure, however, I recommend Buttermilk Bakeshop.