Archive for the 'Business' Category

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CKO Kickboxing is coming to 2615 East 17th Street, just off Jerome Avenue.

The fitness franchise originated in Hoboken, New Jersey, in 1997 and has since opened in more than 40 locations, mostly throughout the metro area. This will be their fifth location in Brooklyn.

The business takes over the long-empty space, which is below condominium units and a second floor office space used by AHRC, a center for adults with developmental disabilities.

There’s no word on opening date yet and no equipment has been installed, but the business’ website says it’s “coming soon.”

Welcome to the neighborhood, CKO!

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Sagdiana, a three-year-old Uzbek restaurant at 2612 East 14th Street, has given way to Azerbaijan House.

An employee of the new restaurant told us yesterday that the business changed hands about a month ago. They’ve built a website and are still working on their menu, but have a temporary roster of Azeri offerings.

Azerbaijain House is also somewhat distinct – while the number of Uzbek restaurants in Southern Brooklyn swells dramatically, there are only a handful of Azeri restaurants. Still, the employee said they would keep a number of Uzbek offerings on the menu.

Azeri cuisine is similar to Uzbek, both being nations of the Caucasus region and important stops along the Silk Road. They do have their regional differences, especially their takes on plov, of which Azeris boast of more than 40 different recipes (though the temporary menu offers only one). [Update: informed readers have pointed out that I know nothing.]

Good luck to Azerbaijan House, as well as to the former owners of Sagdiana!

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Sheepshead Bay Road’s Global Wholesale Market may reopen two years after it sold its last apple, as the building is currently undergoing major renovations.

The building at 1414 Sheepshead Bay Road sat silently since the business’ closure in September 2012, nearly a decade after it first opened. But, as any straphanger using the Sheepshead Bay Road subway station has noticed, workers have been on the roof installing new steel support beams.

Photo by Eugene Zhukovsky

Photo by Eugene Zhukovsky

According to paperwork filed with the Department of Buildings, it’s a renovation of an “existing supermarket” with plans to replace the storefronts, reinforce the roof (via the steel columns), and excavate beneath the building to create a cellar.

In terms of usable space created by the new cellar, the building is expanding from 18,350 square feet to 21,600, the maximum allowed by zoning.

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That’s not all. The oddly-shaped lot currently has storefront space on East 14th Street, adjacent to CVS’ parking lot. This will be torn down, according to the plans, and replaced with an 18-car parking lot.

The plot diagram submitted to the Department of Buildings. It will remain a one-story supermarket, but they're adding parking and digging out a basement.

The plot diagram submitted to the Department of Buildings. It will remain a one-story supermarket, but they’re adding parking and digging out a basement.

There’s no word on when the work will be done. The owners – the same as under Global Wholesale Market, according to the paperwork – were not available to comment when we called.

Apparently they’ve gotten into a bit of trouble, though:

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A Department of Buildings spokesperson confirmed that the Stop Work Order is still active, and was issued on September 29 because some demolition and the installation of the structural steel was being done without permits. The only work they’re currently allowed to do is back-fill behind the building, and by hand only. The spokesperson noted that any other work witnessed at the site should be reported immediately to 311.

While we’re sure that will slow down the work, we’re still happy to see this space being put back to use. We’ll keep you posted if we hear back about an opening date.

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Atlas’ current storefront on 18th Avenue (Photo by Anna Gustafson)

Gravesend is about to get a new butcher in Atlas Meat Market, an acclaimed Kensington business that is moving to Avenue X in early November.

The news comes via our sister site, Ditmas Park Corner, which writes that shop is leaving its 4311 18th Avenue location and taking over 387 Avenue X, which was most recently the call base for Prestige Car Service.

Since its opening just last year, the business has built up a loyal following in that neighborhood for quality cuts and knowledge of meat.

Ditmas Park Corner previously profiled the business, writing that owner Andrey Nevelskiy, a Borough Park resident, learned his trade during a 15-year stint in the Meatpacking District from seasoned veterans with more than 50 years of experience. As that neighborhood began to give way to gentrification and the fashion industry, he sought to revive the profession in Brooklyn.

“I know meat very well,” Andrey says, pointing to a board on the Kensington shop’s wall that spells out customers’ options for meat, a list far too dauntingly long to list in its entirety but which includes chuck roast, ribs, sirloin steak, brisket, hamburger meat, and so on. “I know every muscle, everything about it. I can give advice on anything we sell, whether you want to cook for 15 minutes or you want to cook for two hours.”

…“I live in this neighborhood, and I never saw a butcher shop like this,” Andrey says, explaining why he and [co-owner David Khanateyev] wanted to open their business in the area. “The whole point of this place is fresh meat. I cut the meat in front of the customer, so they can see it’s fresh. I can marinate the meat, and I’ll put it on in front of the customer.”

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Local businesses in Sheepshead Bay don’t often go all out with holiday decorations, unfortunately. The exception is Coffee Spot Cafe at 1617 Jerome Avenue, which usually has something up for every major holiday. And this year you could say they’re Putin up a hell of a show. Eh? Ehhh?

The business put up a a rather creepy window decal of Russian President Vladimir Putin, complete with vampiric fangs and pointed ears. “Happy Halloween To The World,” the vampire-in-chief declares, presumably before annexing it and sucking it dry, or something.

The store went all out on the inside, as well, with decorations dangling all about. Tall people beware, you might have to bow your head not to get whacked by a fuzzy spider.

Threats to the vertically endowed aside, we’re glad to see this local business getting into the holiday spirits. Happy Halloween, Coffee Spot and President Putin!

Thanks to Lenny M. for the heads up.

 

Photo by Erica Sherman

Photo by Erica Sherman

Passersby have stopped to ogle adorable pups and cute kitties in the storefront windows of Puppy City for more than half a century. But the long-time neighborhood staple, and the place where the now ubiquitous “Wee-Wee Pad” was invented, unceremoniously closed its doors for good earlier this month.

“For rent” signs were posted at the 2539 Ocean Avenue storefront approximately two weeks ago. The store’s website declares in bold letters, “Closed – After over 50 years of service Puppy City has closed its doors,” and offers little explanation. The website and phone number now forward to that of Ozone Park-based Puppy Paws, and neighbors shrug their shoulders when asked what happened.

What happened was a combination of age and rent, according to Puppy Paws’ owner Boris.

“[Puppy City owner Kenny Simon] was getting up there in age,” said Boris. “And the store was there for 50 years. You can only imagine how much his rent went up during that time.”

Allen Simon (Source: TV Land via Pets Advisor)

Allen Simon (Source: TV Land via Pets Advisor)

Boris, a Sheepshead Bay native who worked at Puppy City for approximately a decade, said he hoped to take the reins of the operation, but the landlord wouldn’t work with him.

“The new landlord didn’t want to budge because he thinks he has a landmark,” he said. “We wanted to purchase it, but not at the rent he wanted, so we chose to rather purchase the domain, the phone number, and the contents of the store.”

It was a lackluster end to a business with a pedigree in the industry. Once a small chain throughout the borough, the Ocean Avenue location was its first and last. And from that basement at 2539 Ocean Avenue, one of the best-selling products in pet history was devised: the wee-wee pad.

Puppy City was opened by Allen Simon, a former carpet installation business operator, in the 1960s. He tinkered with potential products in the basement of the store, first developing a cologne for canines before striking it big in the 1970s with the Wee-Wee pad.

Back then, pet owners used newspapers until their pets were housebroken, but the former carpet maven noticed how urine soaked through the paper.

“I said this is ridiculous; I’ll make my own pad,” Simon told Pet Advisor in 2010, and he did so by using a thicker, more absorbent material lined with plastic to prevent floor damage.

He passed Puppy City to his brother, Kenny, and launched Four Paws, a pet product company that now rakes in more than $30 million in sales annually. The Wee-Wee Pad remains the number one selling product, beloved even by celebrity trainer Cesar Milan. The Wee-Wee Pad was featured on CNBC’s The Big Idea and Simon was profiled on the Joan Rivers show How’d You Get So Rich?.

His brother kept Puppy City’s doors open for another 40 years, committed to local pet owners. He could not be reached for comment for this article.

Local restaurants participated in the event's launch and tasting last week at Borough Hall (Source: Kathryn Kirk/Brooklyn BP's Office)

Local restaurants participated in the event’s launch and tasting last week at Borough Hall (Source: Kathryn Kirk/Brooklyn BP’s Office)

The 11th annual Dine in Brooklyn event is set to kick off next Monday, and with $25 prix fixe dinners offered at more than 150 restaurants across the borough, foodies can pack their pie-holes with cuisines from every part of one of the nation’s most culinary diverse counties.

Over eight days beginning next week, diners can get $15 lunch and $25 dinner deals at more than 150 restaurants. The exact dates blackout restaurants’ most busy days, but those willing to go for weekday food fun will find the deals at the restaurants from Monday, October 20, to Thursday, October 23, and again from Monday, October 27, to Thursday, October 30.

A mere $25 covers prix fixe dinner menus, and most of the restaurants will offer two-for-$15 lunch menus.

Organized by the Brooklyn Borough President’s office, the event is about exposing neighbors to their local restaurants and supporting one of the borough’s most prodigious industries.

“Dine In Brooklyn celebrates the five-star flavors that make Brooklyn a ‘must-taste’ destination,” said Borough President Eric Adams in a press release. “Our restaurants fuel our borough’s economic engine, and this event is an opportunity to support their continued growth while encouraging diners to discover – or rediscover – their favorite Brooklyn dish. Most importantly, Dine In Brooklyn fosters the connections and memories that make ‘One Brooklyn’ like no place else on the globe.”

The number of Southern Brooklyn restaurants participating in 2014 has swelled a great deal from years past, with dozens now on the list. Just a few of our favorites:

  • il Fornetto (Sheepshead Bay)
  • Mill Basin Deli (Mill Basin)
  • New Ruan’s Restaurant (Bensonhurst)
  • Clemente’s Maryland Crab House (Sheepshead Bay)
  • L&B Spumoni Gardens (Gravesend)
  • Oleandr Restaurant (Brighton Beach)
  • Theresa’s Place (Dyker Heights)
  • Anatolian Gyro (Sheepshead Bay)
  • Peggy O’Neill’s (Coney Island)
  • Mama Rao Cucina Italiana (Dyker Heights)
  • Buckley’s (Marine Park)

Really, though, that’s just a sliver of the long list of truly local restaurants offering the deal, many of which we hope to try. Check out the full list here.

Which restaurants do you hope to get a taste of during Dine in Brooklyn?

Photo by Victoria K.

Photo by Victoria K.

Ocean Warehouse Liquors & Wine is setting up shop at 2965 Ocean Avenue, just north of Avenue Z.

The new business put signs up a week or two ago, but hasn’t yet rolled up its gates to customers. It replaces Kamron, a relatively short-lived Eastern European market, which itself replaces Ocean Bagels. That business took over the spot when Bagel Boy moved to its current location near the subway station.

Na zda-ró-vye, Ocean Warehouse!

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Photo via Brooklyn Kite Festival

This is the last weekend of the summer you can visit Governor’s Island, and they’re sending off the season with a bang — their first-ever Brooklyn Kite Festival takes flight this Saturday, September 27 from 11am-4pm, and it should be a beautiful day to enjoy outside with the family!

Brooklyn ARTery, which has a seasonal store on the island and a permanent shop in Ditmas Park, has joined forces with the Brooklyn Kite Fest to host the event, which will give kite-enthusiasts the chance to to build, fly, and admire kites of all kinds while taking advantage of Governors Island’s gusty waterfronts and Parade Grounds.

While you’re there, you can also check out some of the other great stuff still available to see on the island, including Hammock Grove, a 3D video portrait installation, food vendors, and more.

You can catch the ferry to the island from Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pier 6 — find a schedule and directions here.

Photo via Brooklyn Kite Festival

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It looks like Emmons Avenue is about to get a new beauty salon, with Pearl Beauty Salon and Spa slated to open inside Loehmann’s Seaport Plaza.

Signs went up in the last few weeks, but the windows at the 2027 Emmons Avenue storefront remain papered over.

When it opens, it will leave just one vacant storefront on the basement level of the plaza, being the spot previously occupied by Sweika. The basement level was devastated during Superstorm Sandy, with water left sitting in the below-street-level space for days after the storm. The owner of the plaza is looking to add an additional floor of office space, saying he needs the extra revenue to compensate for losses during the storm.

Welcome to the neighborhood, Pearl, and best of luck!

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