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Huge Check Cashing Place on Flatbush Closing, Moving Two Doors Down

If there's one business on Flatbush Avenue that's always seemed a little incongruous with its facade, it's been the Checks & More, between Sixth and Bergen. With its two story-high entryway, flanked by huge Doric columns, and ornately decorated upper floors, the building has always seemed suited for something grander than a check cashing place. Well, it won't be a Checks & More any longer; it's moving into the space last occupied by a prosthetics shop two storefronts down (at left), and the space is now for rent, and will be available vacant in January.

The building originally looked like the surrounding buildings, but at some point (most likely in the 20s or 30s) it was transformed into its present state, and has been occupied by a bank or similar establishment ever since.

Buyers have the option of purchasing just the main level or the main and second floors, and the space is touted as an "ideal location for flagship retail, bank, restaurant or bar." If the buyer takes both floors, they can boast 20 foot high ceilings and a second-floor terrace, with 6,000 square feet in total.

Rumor has it that Apple has been shopping around in the neighborhood for a storefront. This is about as good as they're going to get.


Open for Business: Nuteria, 82 5th Avenue

The business originally known as Nutelleria, which has been in the works for the past couple months on Fifth between St. Marks and Warren, opened last weekend with a new name: Nuteria.

It's a small shop with counter service and just a couple tables, and the decor is mostly exposed brick and jars of Nutella. The original signage has been taken down because of the name change, but another one is probably on the way. The name change certainly didn't come as any surprise; the owners were apparently the last ones to realize that it's not exactly legal to name a restaurant after a trademarked food product.

In keeping with the theme, just about every menu item contains Nutella in one form or another. Crepes, waffles, croissants, toast, panini, pound cake, and peanut butter sandwiches all come loaded with the Italian chocolate hazelnut spread, and add-ons include fruit, nuts, and Nutella whipped cream. If you like, they'll also sell you a spoonful right out of the jar for a buck. Coffee, espresso, and cappuccino are also for sale, as well as Nutella hot chocolate. There's no website or social media presence yet, and the one Yelp review wasn't exactly positive.

The legality of this place is still questionable, but for now it's a cute and unique to Brooklyn homage to an undoubtedly delicious and versatile product. Heck, any place that sells Nutella by the spoonful is all right in my book.


Chip Shop on the Market for $9,300/Month

Chip Shop, on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Sixth Street, is on the market for $9,300 per month. An "Available" sign has gone up in the front window, and an ad has gone up on Craigslist advertising the "Prime Park Slope Storefront."

"This great double wide corner space is in the heart of Park Slope right on 5th Ave," the ad, placed by Ideal Properties' Patrick Russell, reads. "The location cannot be beat and it is a great size as well. Call today to check it out." The rate is about average for the neighborhood these days.

Chip Shop has been a popular spot for those looking for something a little different since opening in 2001, and it's one of the few full-on British restaurants in the city. Their traditional British fare like fish and chips, shepherd's pie, and bangers and mash are undeniably tasty, and are also undeniably unhealthy, which certainly keeps plenty of people away. But it's also popular with younger couples, groups, and families with young children, and is a quirky, fun, and most importantly, unique restaurant in a neighborhood that certainly needs them.

Many thanks to readers for sending in the photo and listing link.


Brooklyn Lyceum in Foreclosure, Being Auctioned Today

The Brooklyn Lyceum, the quirky performance space and former public bathhouse on Fourth and President, has gone into foreclosure and it's on the docket to be sold at auction later today.

There's been a multimillion-dollar lien on the property, and the troubled space's current owner, Eric Richmond, had filed several appeals and taken other steps to try to delay or otherwise prevent the foreclosure and had held the auction off for more than a year. Bankruptcy court has ruled against him every time, however, and unless Richmond is able to fork over more than $5 million (something which would have already happened were it going to), nothing will stop the auction at 2:30 this afternoon.

According to the official documentation, the lien is for $5.05 million, and the Lyceum will be sold to the highest bidder. The next owner of the building will obviously have a big impact on its future, and events in the space have already been planned for later this year. Stay tuned for updates.


Calexico (Finally) Gets Liquor License, Celebrating This Weekend

It's been eight long, torturous months since Calexico, an offshoot of the popular Manhattan-based Cal-Mex mini-chain, opened with much fanfare on Fifth between First and Garfield. Why torturous? Because the bar area, full of so much potential, was sitting there woefully underused due to the fact that the city hadn't yet bestowed upon it a liquor license. Well last week they finally received it, and this weekend they're celebrating.

From tonight through Sunday, the restaurant will be offering two-for-one specials on Margaritas and beer. Margaritas come both on the rocks and frozen, and in flavors including blood orange and jalapeno mint. Specialty cocktails include the Tequila Mockingbird, with basil-infused tequila, watermelon, jalapeno, agave, and lime juice, and micheladas, beers, wines, and plenty of tequilas are also available.

So nearly 2 and a half years since the owners first announced that they'd be moving into the space, they've finally come full circle. Congrats, team!

Photo via Instagram

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