Archive for the tag 'businesses'

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.

Polina Groman and her husband Elliot. Source: SpinGreen via Forbes.

Polina Groman and her husband Elliot. Source: SpinGreen via Forbes.

While the city is in the middle of grappling with the explosion of for-profit, often shady, clothing donation bin companies, one Sheepshead Bay-based company is getting recognition for doing it right.

SpinGreen, based at 1733 Sheepshead Bay Road, was profiled by Forbes magazine yesterday for their work in the space, challenging the growing notion that the bins are nothing but a nuisance.

SpinGreen manufactures, distributes, and maintains bins for both indoor and outdoor use that are rust, graffiti, and bedbug proof. While it is illegal to place these containers on public land, [owner Polina] Groman, 34 and originally from Ukraine, works with private property owners. For example, Trump Village, a complex in Brooklyn with about 3,500 residents, hosts a bin.

… The partnership requires little work for property owners since the bins have a weight sensor technology and GPS tracking that ensures the containers never overfill, and SpinGreen also has a 24/7 customer service line in case of emergency. Each owner is also provided with $2 million liability insurance.

Groman and SpinGreen are constantly battling the negative perception clothing bins are gaining. Community leaders and neighbors have been blasting the bins for adding squalor to the streets, and for their illegal placement on public property. Some of the operators also appear to imply the “donations” are going to a charitable cause, when in reality they’re being sold overseas.

The controversy has led one City Council member to introduce a bill that would get the bins tossed from public lands and the operators fined, while having legal bin operators register with the city and provide data on collections. That bill has overwhelming support and is likely to pass following hearings next month.

SpinGreen is combating this by working with reputable charities, donating all wearable items (about 10 percent of its haul) to partners instead of selling it overseas. The remains are sold to recyclers who process it for reuse in materials like industrial wiping rags or furniture padding. A portion of the proceeds of those sales go back to the property owners who host the bins, and a portion goes to charity, the owner told Forbes.

For Groman, the biggest challenge she faces isn’t the unscrupulous competition, it’s simply getting people to understand the positive impact of recycling. More than 13 million tons of textiles goes to U.S. landfills every year, with Americans recycling only about eight percent. Groman hopes to change that.

 Groman was inspired to launch an educational component to her business — an effort that would contribute to establishing a good social enterprise reputation and also increase her customer base. She said she sees education and awareness, not competition, as her biggest challenge. “Not everybody recycles cans. That’s the reality. But you know that blue bin is for recycling,” Groman said. She created a nonprofit called the Barefoot Foundation that provides free after-school programs on recycling for local schools and foundations.

dunkin-donuts

Dunkin’ Donuts will soon open at 273 Avenue X, replacing an independent coffee house with a franchise.

The storefront, at the corner of Stryker Street and a block shy of McDonald Avenue, is the former home of Amori Baci,, a nice Italian cafe that served gelato and crepes in addition to standard coffee house fare. Amori Baci opened in 2011, but we’re not sure when it shuttered.

Dunkin’ Donuts appears to be making moves in the area. Another location is popping up on Neptune Avenue in Brighton Beach, as well as on Cropsey Avenue in Bath Beach. Those are the ones we know about, and their website lists dozens of existing locations in the area. With the latest additions, it’s nearly at the point where you’ll be able to find a D-n-D within five blocks of any spot in the neighborhood.

We’re not so sure that’s a good thing. What do you think?

sweet-island-1

Sweet Island, a bonafide candy store, is now open at 1214 Avenue U.

The owners told us they opened up shop about a month ago, and the place seems like a slightly Eastern European twist on the candy shops of my youth. They’ve got the staple candies, including collectible M&M dispensers and such, but they also carry some imported candies and Eastern European baked sweets.

They also have ice cream, milkshakes, cakes, coffee and regular, not sweet snacks.

It replaces IMJ Kosher Market.

Good luck, Sweet Island!

mandees-1

Mandee’s to the rescue? More like turn tail and run.

The long-lived Brighton Beach Avenue location of Mandee is having a storewide sale as it gets set to close its doors for good. Its parent company, Big M, is retreating from the neighborhood following bankruptcy proceedings last year that it said were spurred on by Superstorm Sandy.

Signs at the location are calling it an end of lease sale. An employee of the store told Sheepshead Bites that the 713 Brighton Beach Avenue storefront would shutter in late October, a decision that will leave 20 to 25 people without jobs, she said. Employees have been directed to steer customers to their Sheepshead Bay location on Nostrand Avenue and Avenue U.

Big M, which also owns Annie Sez, filed for bankruptcy in January 2013, saying that Superstorm Sandy forced company stores in New York and New Jersey to close and that business had not been able to recover from the impact. The company was in the midst of a turnaround and restructuring when the storm hit, according to Bloomberg News.

At the time of the filing, the New Jersey-based company operated 129 stores in eight states, including 84 Mandee locations. It was founded by brothers Leon, Max and Bernard Mandelbaum in 1948 and remains a family-owned business.

Photo by John H.

Photo by John H.

Tipsters let us know that Pizza D’Amore is preparing to open up shop at 3003 Avenue U, the former storefront of Pizzeria Del Corso and Sammie’s Pizza.

It’s the latest outpost for the pizzeria, which also has locations in Mill Basin and Bensonhurst’s Ceasar’s Bay. The storefront is being fully renovated and the exterior got a major facelift.

The previous tenant, Sammie’s Pizza and Restaurant, opened in 2011 and closed up shop some time ago after failing to make much of a mark in the neighborhood. And, to be fair, they had big shoes to fill after taking the spot over from Pizzeria Del Corso, run by pizza prodigy Nino Coniglio.

We’ve heard good things about Pizza D’Amore, though, and readers of our sister site Bensonhurst Bean nominated it as one of that neighborhood’s best slices.

Best of luck to the new owners, and we look forward to grabbing a bite soon!

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