Archive for the tag 'businesses'

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 reigns 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.

This is a paid announcement from Dance & Art Academy in Sheepshead Bay:

dance-art

The above is a paid announcement by Dance & Art Academy in Sheepshead Bay. Sheepshead Bites has not verified the claims made in this advertisement. If you own a business and would like to announce a special offer to tens of thousands of locals, e-mail us at advertising [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

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?

pearl

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!

kastattoo

Ink-lovers take note, KasTattoo, formerly of Coney Island Avenue, has been resurrected in a new storefront  on Avenue Z, half a mile away from their previous location.

The new location, at 2103 Avenue Z, opened less than a month ago. It replaces the offices of ZRealty Services.

The owner, Kas Vilkas, wrote to tell us to say that “everybody’s welcome.”

His previous location at 2631 Coney Island Avenue opened in 2009. It shuttered in 2012, and was replaced by Tattoo Kulture.

Welcome back, KasTattoo, and good luck!

vivibubbletea

ViVi Bubble Tea, a franchise serving tapioca-ball-filled beverages, is setting up shop at 1501 Avenue U.

Signs went up at the location last week, and it replaces Boss Dental. It will be one of several places on Avenue U where one can get bubble tea, including Kung Fu Tea across the street.

ViVi is a growing franchise, with more than two dozen stores in the metro area. They most recently opened a shop on Bensonhurst’s Bay Parkway.

The Avenue U spot will be the third location in Brooklyn.

According to the franchise’s Facebook page, the store was scheduled to have a soft opening and was serving customers this past Saturday. The above photo was taken on Wednesday, and we haven’t yet confirmed whether they’ve opened or not.

Has anybody been to any of ViVi’s locations? What’d you think?

shisha

Shisha Lounge at 2711 Avenue U has closed for good after less than a year in business.

It looks like the business shuttered a month or so ago, and “For rent” signs are now up at the location. The Egyptian hookah lounge and restaurant opened in December 2013, promising “the best shisha you’ve ever had” on their website. Prices on both food and hookah were below what many in the area charge, yet it seemed the restaurant couldn’t get a foothold.

Best of luck to its owners on their future endeavors!

summerstroll-19

Whereas the first Sheepshead Summer Stroll ushered in the summer in June, this second one, held this past Sunday, capped off the season.

Hosted by Empower Sheepshead and the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce, and sponsored by Sheepshead Bites, Assemblyman Steven Cymbrowitz, and the Kings Bay Y, the Sheepshead Summer Stroll closes down Sheepshead Bay Road to traffic and allows businesses to turn their storefronts inside-out for shopping, dining and entertaining – and a bunch of family friendly activities.

Take our photo tour of the Summer Stroll.

This is a paid announcement from Learn and Explore Early Childhood Center of Excellence:

learn-explore

A message from Learn and Explore’s education director, Izabella Marchuk:

Welcome to the Learn and Explore Child Care program. As a parent of three precious children, I know what it means to entrust your child’s care and nurturing to others. Choosing an educational program for your child is one of the most important decisions you will ever make. As a result, I sought to create a learning environment with a single vision in mind – providing a personal journey of knowledge and experiences for a young child.

I have worked in the education space for more than 12 years as a Special Education teacher, academic enrichment provider, and an Education Director. These professional experiences, coupled with a Masters Degree in Early Childhood Education, laid the groundwork for the creation of Learn and Explore – a high-quality, safe, and accessible early childhood center of excellence. By developing and enhancing the foundational abilities and skills of the “whole child”, we are able to promote knowledgeable, compassionate, empowered, and socially and emotionally intelligent learners.

The commitment we have towards the care of your child is reflected in every aspect of our facility. The physical layout, décor, the curriculum, and the selection of staff have been approached with enthusiasm, expertise, and profound care. The result is a high-quality learning environment that meets the needs of our children, parents, and community.

Thank you for taking the time to get to know more about our program. I would love to meet your family and welcome all of you into our family. Please feel free to contact me personally with any questions or call to set up an appointment. Introducing you to Learn and Explore would be my pleasure.

Sincerely,
Izabella Marchuk
Education Director
Learn and Explore

Learn and Explore, 330 Neptune Avenue, (718) 513-3600, info@learnandexplore1.com and follow on Facebook.

The above is a paid announcement by Learn and Explore. Sheepshead Bites has not verified the claims made in this advertisement. If you own a business and would like to announce a special offer to tens of thousands of locals, e-mail us at advertising [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

sheepsheadstroll-33

A contestant at the June competition.

Get ready! Get set! Get gluttonous!

Sheepshead Bay’s staple deli, Jimmy’s Famous Heros (1786 Sheepshead Bay Road), is looking for competitors for a sandwich eating contest to take place this Sunday at the Sheepshead Summer Stroll.

Owner Victor Spadaro said he was looking to crown a new chow champ after a four-way tie broke out earlier this year during the first Summer Stroll.

And there will be cash prizes. The person who crams the most sandwiches into his or her ravenous maw in just a few short minutes will win $100 cash. Second place will take home $50, while third place will get $25.

There are 20 seats to fill at the contest this weekend, and it’s open to men and women aged 21 and up. There is no entry fee and water and sandwiches will be provided by Jimmy’s.

The competition was one of the banner events at the first Sheepshead Summer Stroll in June, and it’s looking to be even larger this time around with a dedicated stage. The Stroll will see Sheepshead Bay Road packed with games, giveaways, live entertainment and food from local restaurants on Sunday, September 7, from noon to 5 p.m. The event takes place from Emmons Avenue to East 15th Street, turning the entire walk from the subway to the water into an action-packed pedestrian mall.

To register as a contestant in Sunday’s eating competition, call the store during business hours at (718) 648-8001. The registration deadline is Friday, September 5.

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