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Entries in Storefronts (1183)


Closed for Business: Fresh Bite, 168 5th Avenue

Eight months after opening on the Fifth Avenue and Degraw Street, the corner deli Fresh Bite has closed.

The shop was clean and had a decent selection of baked goods and sandwiches, but never attracted much of a clientele. Whereas other nearby bodegas, like 5th Ave Market on Berkeley, for example, sell as many items as can possibly be packed into the space, Fresh Bite stocked a relatively small number of healthy and gourmet items, and I imagine it was awfully tough to sell enough Boar's Head sandwiches and steam table hot foods to make rent.

With no shortage of corner delis in the immediate area, we can officially say that adding another one into the mix wasn't a good idea.


Barber Shop Coming to 242 5th Avenue

The two storefronts that were previously home to ill-fated sandwich shop Ollie & Ry (and before that Bageltique) on Fifth Avenue between Carroll and President both have new tenants lined up. A healthy cafe called Seed should be opening in the southern storefront any day now, and signage has gone up at the northern one, for a barber shop.

Called Imperial Barber Shop, it looks like it'll offer $16 haircuts. Not too exciting, but it'll provide some competition for Benny's (between St. Johns and Lincoln) and George's (between Warren and St. Marks) among guys looking for an inexpensive haircut on this stretch of the avenue.


Apartment Buildings, Pedestrian "Piazza" with Shops and Restaurants in the Works for Fifth Avenue Key Food Site

The Key Food on Fifth Avenue and Sterling place is a city anomaly: A top of the line, full-scale, 36,000 square-foot supermarket, complete with a huge parking lot, right in the middle of a thriving neighborhood. It's a valuable and affordable resource not just for Park Slopers but for all Brooklynites, but it appears as if it was simply too good to last: plans are in place to tear the structure down and replace it with shops and apartment buildings, and Wednesday night the community was able to have its say during a public meeting with developer Avery Hall Investments.

The current plans to replace the Key Food (which was constructed in the mid-1980s after an extensive campaign for a full supermarket in the rapidly-gentrifying neighborhood) involve two residential buildings: a six-story tall building to the north and a five-story building to the south, with a pedestrian-only Butler Street being re-built between them. Along this pedestrian walkway will be shops and restaurants, and it will open up into a large piazza.

Incongruity with the neighborhood aside, the fact that initial plans only call for a food market about one-fifth the size of the existing one was one of the major issues discussed last night, according to Curbed. While "the developer assured residents that he was willing to consider more [square feet]," according to the site, the odds are very high that whatever replaces Key Food will be much gloser to a small grocery store than the increasingly suburban-style supermarket that's there today.

While there's still a ways to go before the plan is put into motion, it might happen sooner rather than later: It was revealed Wednesday night that the developer has already entered into contract with the supermarket, which owns the property, and construction can begin as soon as next year.


Is Cubana Cafe Closed for Good?

By all accounts, Cubana Cafe, the popular six year old Cuban restaurant on the corner of Sixth Avenue and St. Marks Place, looks like it's closed for good. The windows are covered over in black plastic, the signage has been taken down, and there hasn't been any activity inside in well over a month. But when the restaurant closed down just before the holidays, signs in the windows indicated that it was only closing for some renovations and would be re-opening soon, and the restaurant's Yelp page mentions (oddly specifically) that it'll be reopening on February 20. The website is still up and the phone like is still connected.

The restaurant's Smith Street location closed for nearly four months last year before re-opening with a new chef and brunch menu, so there's a chance that this could all still be going according to plan. An email sent to the owners hasn't been replied to and an employee at the Smith Street location didn't know if it would be reopening, so it looks like we'll just have to wait and see with this one.


Construction Underway on Union Market, SoulCycle Coming to 342 Flatbush Avenue

The promised revitalization of the stretch of Flatbush Avenue between Sterling Place and Grand Army Plaza hasn't quite been all it was cracked up to be back when Franny's opened in April 2013; whole buildings on that block have been vacant for years. But the impending addition of a Union Market and SoulCycle to the stretch was very welcome news when was first announced by Commerical Observer in September, and activity inside the space last week seems to indicate that work is underway. 

This will be the fifth location of Union Market; there are two additional locations in Park Slope (at Sixth and Union and Seventh Avenue near 13th Street), one in Cobble Hill, and another on East Houston Street in Manhattan. It'll be opening in the existing building, and pricey spinning studio SoulCycle will be opening its third Brooklyn location on a to-be-built second floor.

The building, which was fornerly a dialysis center and has been used as a pop-up Halloween costume shop in recent years, is actually a lot larger than it appears to be from the outside; it continues all the way to St. Johns Place. No word on whether this new incarnation will resemble the site's previous occupant.