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Entries in Scoops (361)


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


"Shang Hai Spa" Coming to Rita Knox Realty Space on Fifth

It's only been about a month since Rita Knox Realty closed down after 27 years on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Carroll Street, but the space has already been rented, and construction has begun on the next tenant, Shang Hai Spa.

The metal gate was half-up yesterday, revealing the name via frosted glass. No more information is forthcoming for now, but judging by the name, there are only a couple possibilities as to what we can expect.


Mandala Tibetan Store Closed for Renovations

When I noticed that the windows of Mandala Tibetan Store, the shop that's held down the corner of Seventh Avenue and Lincoln Place since November 2007, had been covered over, I was admittedly afraid that it had closed for good. It's such an offbeat store that I assumed that the increasing rents had finally caught up with it. But fear not: owner Zumki Lama assured me that it will be opening back up within three weeks, as she's only knocking down a wall to allow for a little more floor space.

Lama runs the shop along with her brother Kunga, and the money brought in by this and the sister shop on St. Marks Place in the Village (which opened ten years prior) allowed her to bring her entire family over from Tibet.

Their assortment of authentic Tibetan merchandise, produced in India and Nepal due to trade restrictions, is quite intriguing, and makes for a unique shopping experience. Clothing, rugs, antiques, jewelry, decorative items and fabrics, and spiritual items are all unlike anything else in the area, and Kunga, who is usually the one behind the counter, can tell you the backstory and significance of any item in the shop.

Even tough the styles of clothing and jewelry sold there never had the mass appeal of some of the neighborhood's other boutiques, centered on Fifth, the merchandise has one quality that the others don't: uniqueness. And while there are countless examples of businesses being "closed for renovations" that are in fact closed for good, I think we can rest assured that this one will re-open, and when it does it'll look better than ever.


Closed for Business: Sun Bo Bo, 451 Fifth Avenue

Sun Bo Bo, the Chinese restaurant that's held down its storefront on Fifth Avenue between 10th and 11th Streets for at least fifteen years, closed up shop recently. While the phone line seems to still be working, it's been closed for quite a while now and the interior appears to be in the process of being dismantled.

Its Yelp reviews make clear this this wasn't a run of the mill Chinese restaurant, even though it might have appeared to be; apparently they used white meat chicken, the food wasn't too greasy, portions were huge, it was run by a father and son, and even the won ton soup stood above the pack.


Body Unique Moving into Arias Park Slope

Body Unique, the fitness studio that opened almost exactly a year ago on Fifth Avenue between Fifth and Sixth Streets, will be moving at the end of February to a new home at 150 Fourth Avenue, between Butler and Douglass, in part of the ground floor retail space of the new 12-story, 95-unit Arias Park Slope.

According to a Body Unique representative, the reason for the move was "ongoing issues with the building and the landlord's lack of response to the issues." When they re-open in March, they'll continue to offer services including personal and semi-private training, boot camps, and fitness programs for kids and teens.

The Arias already has a fitness center, and other amenities in the building include a putting green, a rooftop terrace with fire pits, a dining area, and private cabanas. The building opened in April 2011, and rents range from $2,538 to $4,740 per month. The ground floor has about 6,000 square feet of retail space, a rarity among new construction on the avenue.