Momoyama, the Japanese hibachi joint inside the hard-hit Lundy’s building at 1901 Emmons Avenue, only just began their cleanup efforts on Friday.
When we stopped by, workers were there getting wooden boards up to secure the location, after Sandy’s flood waters battered the door. Like other establishments in Lundy’s ground level, Momoyama received upwards of six feet of water.
And it shows.
The restaurant’s table-sized grills, where so many of us have gathered for high school friends’ birthdays, were flipped and rusting on the floor, and chairs were scattered about. Although the water drained, it still had the musty-meets-salt-water smell we’ve gotten used to around here.
On the upside? The birthday drum on the wall seems to have survived unscathed. When they get back on their feet, we’ll be sure to visit and pretend it’s our birthday.
Bay Improvement Group President Steve Barrison spoke at last night’s Sheepshead Bay / Plumb Beach Civic Association meeting, explaining the importance of the neighborhood’s Special Purpose District, and urged residents to join in protecting it.
The presentation came as Barrison and others seek to unite and fight off plans to exempt Cherry Hill Gourmet Market from the district’s mandates, though the market inside the historic Lundy’s building was never specifically named during the meeting.
We’ve long covered the struggles of Cherry Hill Gourmet Market and its owners, who dumped millions into renovating the space in the historically landmarked Lundy’s building (1901 Emmons Avenue) only to face opposition from local leaders about zoning and preservation violations.
A costly nuisance to the business owner? Definitely. A tough fight? Surely. A bloody 11-year “nation-building” battle with a death toll in the thousands? Well, according to Cherry Hill’s business owner, that hits the mark.
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.
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.”
Here we have a lovely multi-purpose ceramic ashtray for cigars, with the name Pappas written in flowery script, which just fetched a remarkable $52.57 on eBay by seller “antiquesart,” after an opening bid of $9.99. It was advertised as such: “SHENANGO Advertising Cigar Ashtray PAPPAS Matches OLD.” Two sets of matches, one of which contained the telephone number “938-6890” (I believe this is a Park Slope exchange), were sold with the ashtray.
A glimpse inside the now-defunct Pappas / Source: eBay
For those of you too young to remember — myself included — Pappas Restaurant & Chop House was a steak and seafood joint located at 1821 Emmons Avenue (where El Greco is now), previously owned by the Pappas Family and similar, in vein, to Tappan’s.
Steve Pappas, owner of the building behind Lundy’s, I am reasonably sure is related to the family who owned the steak and seafood house, although I am unsure if there is any relation to Sheepshead Bay resident (and Coney Island native), The Very Reverend Father Eugene Pappas, Protopresbyter of the Three Hierarchs Greek Orthodox Church on Avenue P and East 17th Street.
On a RoadFood.com message board, “Brooklyn Bill” writes: “Pappas Restaurant was a block west of Lundy’s. Their fish was almost as good and they served a very good complimentary tossed salad.”
Even if their fish was “almost as good,” Pappas Restaurant sure did have some damn fine looking cigar ashtrays (made by the Shenango China Company, which was incorporated in 1901 — old school). It holds not one, but two books of matches! Impressive as hell, don’t you think?
Read it and weep, North Brooklyn. Well, in this case, we all have plenty to weep about.
The Village Voice’s Robert Sietsema compiled a round-up of Brooklyn’s five great restaurants of the past, and while it’s very au courant for foodies to flock to Downtown Brooklyn eateries dotting Cobble Hill’s “Restaurant Row” along Smith Street or Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg, the top three shuttered restaurants on the list hail from — drum roll, please — Sheepshead Bay, or as I like to remind people: south of the red line on diehipster.com’s map of Brooklyn.
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.
After a $1 million renovation to the rear wing of the landmarked Lundy’s Building, the owners of the property are cozying up with some restaurant businesses planning Sheepshead Bay locations.
The three-story rear wing on East 19th Street was the home of Irving Lundy, the famed restaurateur, until his death in 1977. It sat empty ever since, and was only recently restored and converted for restaurant use by the building’s owner, Steve Pappas.
According to Courier-Life, Pappas has secured a deal to open a 70-seat seafood restaurant on the first floor of the building. It should be open by July or August, the paper reports, and is located just behind Momoyama Hibachi Steakhouse.
In store for the second and third floors, Pappas is exploring a deal with Meritus Food Group to open an upscale steakhouse in the vein of Smith & Wollensky. “It’s certainly not going to be a burger joint,” Meritus Spokesperson Domenic Crispino told Courier-Life.