Archive for the tag 'openings'

Local politicians and community advocates pose as Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson accepts his Hero Award from Mark Meyers Appel at the Bridge Community Center grand opening.

Local politicians and community advocates pose as Brooklyn District Attorney Kenneth Thompson accepts his Hero Award from Mark Meyer Appel at the Bridge Community Center grand opening.

By Lillian Kneopp

New Yorkers are famous for not knowing – much less understanding – their neighbors. But local advocate Mark Meyer Appel wants to change that.

“Our mission is to stop this hate and invest in new ways for our very diverse population to work together to better understand each other and protect our children and families,” Appel said as he welcomed community members and local politicians to the grand opening of The Bridge Community Center (1894 Flatbush Avenue) Sunday evening, October 19.

The center is being opened through the Bridge Multicultural Advocacy Project and the Voice of Justice, a nonprofit organization, as an interactive facility that will host local meetings and community events to bring together the diverse communities in the neighborhood.

Appel, the president of the Voice of Justice, raised $300,000 in private funds to repair the 6,000 square-foot brick building he has long owned at 1894 Flatbush Avenue. Its renovated first floor open studio space, which can fit up to 300 people, will be lent out free of charge to nonprofits and art groups to host events.

The space will also be an art gallery. Leaders hope that communities will visit in order to learn about other arts and cultures – and that these interactions will foster understanding.

“Art breaks down barriers and helps us to uncover and discover that we are all not that different,” explained Public Advocate Letitia James in her speech.

Artists from around the world, including Russian artist Mikhail Turovsky, artist Ebony Thompson, who is originally from Sierra Leone, and Brooklyn native Sophia Domeville, exhibited pieces at the event.

Artist Robert Bery’s work reflected the spirit of the event with a piece featuring flags from around the world sewn together into a single flag.

“We are all under the same flag,” said Bery.

Rodneyse Bichotte, the Democratic nominee running for the 42nd Assembly District, left, host Mark Meyers Appel, center, and Councilman Jumaane Williams dance the hora at the opening of the Bridge Community Center.

Rodneyse Bichotte, the Democratic nominee running for the 42nd Assembly District, left, host Mark Meyer Appel, center, and Councilman Jumaane Williams dance the hora at the opening of the center.

This mentality is what many organizers hope the community center will foster.

“This opens doors to people talking to each other, which is always positive,” Rabbi Gershon Tannenbaum, the spiritual leader of Linden Heights and the Director of the Rabbinical Alliance of America explained.

Local politicians, Council members and community leaders filled the new center to support the project and enjoy the kosher wine, Haitian food and sushi.

A Haitian jazz band, Buyu Ambroise and the Blues In Red Band, entertained the crowd with traditional Haitian tunes with jazz infusion.

In the spirit of the evening, the band collaborated with a Jewish group for a portion of the evening improvising together. The crowd danced the Hora to their music after symbolically cutting the grand opening ribbon.

Founder of the Bridge Community Center Mark Meyers Appel, center, presents Ezra Fieldlander, CEO of the Friedlander Group, left, and District Leader Ed Powell with the Hero's Award.

Founder of the Bridge Community Center Mark Meyer Appel, center, presents Ezra Fieldlander, CEO of the Friedlander Group, left, and District Leader Ed Powell with the Hero’s Award.

Local community leaders were honored during the evening as Appel awarded Hero’s Awards to Brooklyn District Attorney Ken Thompson; Ezra Friedlander, founder and CEO of The Friedlander Group, a public relations company; and Ed Powell, a Democratic district leader and New York State Committeeman of the Kings County Democratic Party, for their service to the community.

Powell will be partnering with Appel on a task force through the Bridge Community Center that will be working to train local law enforcement.

“When local law enforcement understands civilians are real human beings, not jobs they are responding to – not just 9-11 calls- there will be an opportunity for real justice,” Powell said in his Hero’s Award acceptance speech.

Appel was also awarded for his commitment to the Brooklyn community for opening The Bridge.

Rodneyse Bichotte, the Democratic nominee running to represent the 42nd Assembly District, presented him with a citation from the Brooklyn Borough president, Eric Adams, congratulating him on the opening of the center. He also received a citation from the NY Assembly presented by retiring Assemblywoman Rhoda Jacobs, also of Assembly district 42.

Amid the artwork and awards, community members celebrated coming together to learn to better understand each other.

Appel marked the whole evening as a turning point for the community saying, “Today in Flatbush, Brooklyn, we are extinguishing the flames of evil and lighting the flames of hope.”

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!

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?

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?

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!

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!

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.

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