Archive for the tag 'cherry hill gourmet market'

Cherry Hill Gourmet Market at Lundys in Sheepshead Bay

Photo by Ray Johnson

The city’s Landmarks Preservation Committee approved an application by the owners of Cherry Hill Gourmet Market to legalize a series of alterations they made to the landmarked Lundy’s building during an August 2 hearing, tying no strings to the landlord despite outrage from community leaders.

The hearing reviewed Cherry Hill Gourmet Market’s (1901 Emmons Avenue) alterations, which include several changes made during the property’s renovation two years ago to convert it from a restaurant space to a market. Preservationists hoped that the owner, David Isaev, would be forced to pay to undo changes and restore it into compliance, but the committee gave the greenlight to all the changes, including the most contentious ones – the installation of a large external air conditioning unit adjacent to the back wall, and changes to the sidewalk.

Now Bay Improvement Group President Steve Barrison is slamming the decision, calling it a disgrace and saying it weakens landmark preservation laws citywide.

Read Barrison’s strongly-worded letter regarding the LPC decision.

Cherry Hill Gourmet Market at Lundys in Sheepshead Bay

Photo by Ray Johnson

New York City’s Landmarks Preservation Committee announced late last week that they’re going forward with a public hearing tomorrow, August 2, regarding violations at the landmarked Lundy’s building by Cherry Hill Gourmet Market, outraging local activists who say they’re being left out of the process.

The hearing will review Cherry Hill Gourmet Market’s (1901 Emmons Avenue) move to legalize alterations to the building currently in violation of the property’s landmark status. The alterations include several changes made during the property’s renovation two years ago to convert it from a restaurant space to a market, including signs in the windows, a large external air conditioning unit adjacent to the back wall, changes to the sidewalk and parts of the building removed for the installation of awnings. If the move fails to garner approval from the LPC, the business owner – David Isaev – could be required to pay to undo the changes and restore it to compliance.

But after waiting nearly two years to challenge the legalization attempt, at least one local group is saying the LPC’s short notice cuts out the community.

“This is an outrage. This is the first we hear of a hearing,” said Bay Improvement Group President Steve Barrison, whose civic group helped fight for Lundy’s landmark status in 1989 and has helped take care of the property during its neglected years. “Our members have called 311 to complain [about the violations] for over a year. I have called to LPC and never received a call back. I have emailed LPC and never received a response.”

Find out what’s at stake, and the entire Lundy’s-Cherry Hill back story.

Welcome back to The Bite, Sheepshead Bites’ weekly column where we explore the foodstuffs of Sheepshead Bay. Each week we’ll check out a different offering from one of the many restaurants, delis, food carts, bakeries, butchers, fish mongers, or grocers in our neighborhood. If it’s edible, we’ll take a bite.

Usually, we here at The Bite try to avoid controversy, but it seems to find us anyway. So this week I decided to embrace the controversial, and headed out to Cherry Hill Market to throw myself in the midsts of one of the neighborhood’s biggest, most heated controversies.

And by that, I mean I picked up one of the more contentious dishes in Russian/Ukrainian cuisine: Chicken Kiev. Oh, what controversy did you think I was talking about?!

Read our take on Cherry Hill’s Chicken Kiev, and a bit of the conflicting histories behind the dish.

Is the landmarked Lundy’s building better off as a grocery store? That’s the way Crain’s New York makes it sound.

An article published over the weekend takes a look at Cherry Hill Gourmet Market nearly a year after its grand opening. What they found is a thriving business that they say locals need more than another restaurant. And maybe they’re right, which could have powerful implications on the Sheepshead Bay Special Zoning District, the law that determines what kind of businesses can operate on the Emmons Avenue waterfront.

Keep reading to see what Crain’s had to say, and my take on what Cherry Hill’s success means for Sheepshead Bay.

Photo by Ray Johnson

Meet Layne Mosler, a “food pilgrim” and blogger over at Taxi Gourmet. Mosler is on a never-ending journey to seek out the city’s top cuisine, as dictated by those who know New York the best: taxi drivers.

In an article for the food culture newsletter Tasting Table, Mosler rounded up what she and taxi drivers consider the yummiest bowls of soup. On the list? Sheepshead Bay’s Cherry Hill Restaurant and Gourmet Market at the old Lundy’s building (1901 Emmons Avenue).

She writes:

The borscht and the fish soup–with big chunks of salmon, leeks, carrots and scallions–are worth a sit-down at this Russian super-deli in Brighton Beach. If you want to skip the upstairs café, takeout highlights include potato-battered chicken stuffed with mushrooms, stewed cabbage and ‘Caucasian’ salad with roasted eggplant, tomato and cilantro.

That’s right, Sheepshead Bay is apparently now an extension of Brighton Beach. We’ll give her a pass… this time.

Markowitz Visits Cherry Hill Lundys for Grand Opening

Neighbors, local politicians, and Hollywood celebrities packed into the landmarked Lundy’s building as its latest tenant, Cherry Hill Gourmet Market, celebrated its grand opening on Thursday. Cherry Hill management catered to a crowd of nearly a thousand with mountains of food prepared in its own kitchen.

In attendance was Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa, a martial arts star who has appeared in movies including Mortal Kombat and Memoirs of a Geisha, and is currently working on Tekken. Two other martial arts stars accompanied him, circulating amongst Sheepshead Bay residents while nibbling food and posing for photos.

“What I like most about [Cherry Hill Gourmet Market] is how much attention they made to making it a classy environment,” said Tagawa. “It makes you feel at home and makes you feel you want to come here and hangout.”

Tagawa said he’s visited Sheepshead Bay’s waterfront before and likes the neighborhood. “Especially in the summer, with all the girls,” he noted. “It’s hard for American women to compete with Russian women. Russians are beautiful with ease, and American women have to work at it.”

Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz stopped by before the crowds to strike a pose with management and employees. He quickly expired his Russian vocabulary, repeating “da-da” and “spociba” between photos. Other politicians showed up, including Republican contender for the 46th City Council district, Gene Berardelli, and would-be City Council candidate Simon Belsky, among others.

The event pulled in hundreds of people, ciphoning street traffic with an outdoor buffet and an additional one indoors. Residents overall seeemed eager at the prospect of free food, devouring tray after tray of assorted rices, meats, finger foods (including cocktail shrimp and even lobster), and salads. David Isaev, owner, and his right-hand man, Moisha, seemed satisfied with the turnout, but asked that we don’t quote them and instead “Talk to the people.”

Russian and non-Russian residents alike seemed to enjoy the all-out event.

“Everything’s perfect,” swooned Eugena Dokhno. She and her husband Alex came to Cherry Hill to shop, but saw the event and put their baskets down.

“It’s beautiful,” said Alex. “It’s a very good kitchen” with excellent food, he added.

The controversy over Cherry Hill‘s alleged zoning violations didn’t temper praise for their food. Judd Fischler, president of the 60th Precinct Community Council, reminisced about the grandeur of  the old Lundy’s restaurant, which he patronized in earlier years. He noted that though zoning ordinances ought to be followed, the owners of Cherry Hill had put together an impressive market and cafe.

“As far as this is concerned, it’s definitely a magificent place. It’s out of the ordinary,” said Fischler. “You couldn’t get back the spirit of the old place, but it’s still Lundy’s. I’m not going to tell you it’s not good because there’s a violation.”

Cherry Hill-Lundy's Grand Opening

There’s a lot of hustle-and-bustle going on at the landmarked Lundy’s building, as Cherry Hill workers prepare for their grand opening event. Sure, it’s coming more than four months after their actual opening, but the gourmet market has been embroiled in controversy and was keeping a low profile.

Well, say goodbye to those days. Though still squabbling with the Department of Buildings over a stop work order that continues to keep the restaurant portion shut, the owners have decided to shed the meekness and are preparing for quite the launch tonight. We saw workers stocking shelves, preparing tasting tables, and tying balloons all about. But in addition to free food and a come-one-come-all invite to the neighbors, tonight’s seating area will sport a VIP section, complete with a secret celebrity guest. David Isaev, Cherry Hill’s owner, was tight-lipped about who it was, but did note, “He’s coming all the way from Hollywood.” We’re hoping it’s Shawne Merriman, so we can thank him for doing what we’ve all wanted to do to the icon of L.A.’s talentless hackery.

When: 6 p.m. tonight
Where: Lundy’s, duh! — 1901 Emmons Avenue (corner of Ocean Avenue)
Free food and seating for all.

frog catching a flyWhy we all need to be just like Barack Obama for yet another reason: The man’s got some reflex! He’s able to hit and kill a moving fly as if his hand’s a frog’s tongue.

This particular move would have come in handy for me, recently when I visited Che — oops, no names — a certain new pre-prepared food/grocery store at 1901 Emmons Avenue to have lunch. There were so many flies hanging around that my friend and I got turned off and went to Del Mar, instead.

The doors were all open and it was a nice day out, but the flies seemed to like the food inside better than the junk food dog owners so nicely leave out on the streets for the flying guests.

It’s true that most of the pre-made food is displayed in the refrigerated glass cases — but, still, flies don’t seem to fit into the decor.

With all the controversy surrounding the place, management must have kept all the doors open to clear up any confusion for customers about whether or not they were open for business.

The goal here is not to ruin anyone’s ability to make millions. But, really, these guys are professionals, have built at least one other successful store, and know how to make it in business. The owners are tough enough to fight the city. Why not the flies?

So, like I mentioned a few months ago to the Ocean Avenue Bagel store: why not try some “Air Curtains & Air Doors”?

In the meantime, I’ll keep watching that video of Obama annihilating the fly. Maybe, I’ll catch some of his skill. Otherwise, I won’t be able to do the food review I know you’re all looking forward to reading.

If the store has since installed the air curtains, please let me know. I’d like to come out of this exile to try some stuffed cabbage.

(Image courtesy of Animation Library)

lundys awning need cleaning 1

With all the rah-rah over the newly-renovated Cherry Hill side of the Lundy’s building, it’s easy to forget the rest of the enormous landmark. The forgotten parts are in dire need of some TLC.

As the years have gone by, the facade has taken a beating, and the building’s trademark awnings are ratty and stained. The stains that are on those awnings must be hard to remove, because even on some of the renewed awnings, light stains can be seen.

The other restaurants that are housed in the buildings don’t seem to be too concerned about the eyesore awnings. It might be, though, a matter of budget.

Whatever it is, now that the awnings on one half of the building are shiny and re-newed, the old ones just stick out so much more.

lundys unrenovated side 2aWith all the talk at civic meetings about giving back to the ‘community’, it’s a wonder that the Cherry Hill Gourmet Market didn’t clean up the rest of the building’s facade when they were renovating their side. We know they don’t have to, but we’re thinking that such a goodwill gesture just might endear them a little to those who they perceive to be against them.

It also calls the responsibilities of the owners of the building into question. Don’t the owners need to be concerned about losing tenants, if the landmark building looks brand-spanking new on one side and sad and beaten on the other side?

cherry hill sidewalk cafe speakers ocean ave side may 2009
The Cherry Hill Gourmet Market and Restaurant has installed speakers outside of the Lundy’s landmark building’s facade.

cherry hill speaker one single awning emmons ave sideOn the Ocean Avenue side, there are speakers set underneath the windows to serenade those seated at the cafe tables. On the Emmons Avenue side, there is a small speaker set up between the windows, with holes already drilled for what might be a complete surround sound system. There, also, appear to be spots painted over as if it was a drill misplacement that had to be covered over.

Passersby noted that the music blaring loudly made them feel like they were in a European techno dance club. Which might not necessarily be such a bad thing, except that the already busy Ocean and Emmons intersection will be at a standstill with rubberneckers checking the moves.

A few of the comments that could be heard were: “Not a nice effect”, “Feels like Eurotrash,” and “Let’s go eat somewhere quiet, can’t relax over there.”

Since I’m a neutral party on this whole thing, I had to show them all my poker face. While most every bone in my body was goin’ Lady GaGa with the beat of the club mix version blaring out the speakers, “She’s got to love nobody“.

cherry hill open 24 hrs may 2009Since the Cherry Hill Market and Restaurant is open 24 hours, bloggers will be able to go under the cover of night to get their sidewalk beat on. See ya there!

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