Archive for the tag 'closings'

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.

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!

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!

bagels

Bagels Road, the new name for Bagels R Us, is now open at 1424 Sheepshead Bay Road, next to the subway station.

Bagels R Us shuttered back in July after then-owner Edwin Grichanik sold it to an employee from Delmar Pizzeria. Though we were told at the time that they would reopen in a few days, nearly two months went by as it underwent a few interior renovations (now more seating!).

For the most part, the staff remains the same, as does the bagel selection. The are sporting a new menu, heavily focused on deli sandwiches and signature items like “Dory’s Catch” – cured salmon filet with scallion cream cheese, sliced cucumbers and tomator – or the “Emily Waits” – grilled honey maple turkey with melted muenster cheese, spinach, tomato and apple butter sauce… though we can’t help notice that these are items pulled straight from Toasties’ signature line.

Regardless, best of luck to the new owners, and we hope they can avoid any, you know, issues.

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?

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.

ms-pizza

Pizzeria number four is coming to the space at 2224 Avenue U, where signs for Michael & Sophia’s Pizzeria went up recently.

The new pizzeria will replace Grandpa’s Pizza Cafe, which closed in May after four months in business. Prior to that it was South Brooklyn Pizza, which had served up pies for less than a year. Before South Brooklyn Pizza, there was Calabrese Pizza & Restaurant, which was also short-lived. Before that, there was Tai Yuan, which was open for only a few weeks. Tai Shan preceded that – again, surviving only a few months.

That would make this business number seven in five years.

We wish Michael & Sophia’s the best of luck, and truly hope they succeed in breaking what appears to be a curse on this address – at least for any eatery. We hope to let you know when they’re open.

Photo by Robert Fernandez

Photo by Robert Fernandez

A new hair salon for men is slated to open at 1629 Jerome Avenue, just off of Sheepshead Bay Road.

Signs for Bosphorus Hair Salon for Men went up at the storefront over the weekend, according to our super tipster Robert Fernandez. It replaces Merin Corsetiere, the long-lived women’s apparel business that went out of business earlier this year.

For those interested in history and geography, Bosphorus is the name of the strait that connects the Black Sea and the Sea of Marmara. It forms part of the boundary that splits Europe and Asia, and it cuts through Istanbul, Turkey.

According to Greek mythology, the strait’s name means “ox passage,” in honor of nymph priestess Io, who had to cross the water to be restored to her human form after Zeus made her a cow because he wanted to get all up in that and that makes sense. She then had some of Zeus’ babies, who had some more babies, and then they had some babies and so on and so forth until one of those babies’ babies had children with great-great-whatever-granddad Zeus and Kevin Sorbo was born. He then suckled too hard on his dad’s-actual-wife-but-not-his-real-mother’s teet, causing her to jump away and fire off some boob booze into space, thereby creating the Milky Way.

Can you believe they teach this stuff in elementary school?

Anyway, hey, new hair salon!

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