A process server representing the owners of a proposed bar and restaurant in Gravesend that was denied a liquor license interrupted Community Board 15′s September meeting last night, serving papers for a $180 million lawsuit that claims the Board conspired to defame the owners, and discriminated against them based on their Russian roots.
Pleasure Island, also known as Galaxy, located at 816 Avenue U, was denied a liquor license by the State Liquor Authority in 2011 – and again by the Community Board earlier this year – after locals learned of plans to reactivate a bar that some said was a hotbed for underage drinking and rowdiness. The lawsuit claims, though, that those neighbors were misled by numerous community leaders in a smear campaign orchestrated by Community Board 15 Chairperson Theresa Scavo, possibly for discriminatory reasons.
“She’s saying these people aren’t Jewish enough,” Susan Bernstein, the plaintiffs’ attorney, told Sheepshead Bites. “She wants what she wants in that neighborhood. A Community Board isn’t a despotic agency that can decide what business can open and close. They spread intentional lies about the two individuals involved.”
The business first closed temporarily more than two weeks ago, when a worker smelled smoke and found it coming from behind a wall. It was soon discovered that there were problems with the electrical wiring in the building. Those close to the business told Sheepshead Bites at the time that the closing was temporary, and that they were waiting for a contractor to make the necessary repairs.
But as time went by, our inbox filled up with notes from readers suggesting it was closed. Finally, on Monday, a For Rent sign appeared on the storefront. A representative of the business told Sheepshead Bites that, three contractors later, the repairs were too costly to do, despite that the past month saw booming sales and catering orders for the business.
No word yet on if the owners are prepping a new venture elsewhere, or even a rebirth of the Sandwich Spot.
Europa Bistro, the shuttered establishment at 1652 Sheepshead Bay Road that uniquely boasted Italian-Romanian “home smoked delicacy” (pizza, plus pastrami), is making way for Chayhana Salom (or is it Chadhana?), which, we’re told, is going to be a shish kebab restaurant.
We wish our new neighbors the best of luck but, I’m curious, when will someone — anyone — think to maybe open a restaurant that serves Indian cuisine in this neighborhood?
Tip courtesy of our friends at Arbuz (1706 Sheepshead Bay Road).
Local business owners, be our eyes and ears to get free mentions on Sheepshead Bites. Send us news tips at nberke [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com about business openings/closings or local issues around the neighborhood, and mention that you would like your establishment to be credited in the article.
Fret not, sushi aficionados, for filling in the vacancy — although not in the same space as Chikurin once was — will be Shinjuku Japanese Restaurant, named after a special ward of Tokyo, Japan, and which means “New Lodge.” Shinjuku will open up shop at 1664 Sheepshead Bay Road, the location previously occupied by Chert Poberi Café.
What can I say? My prediction: In five years from now, there will not be a single establishment left on Sheepshead Bay Road that will not serve sushi. It’s probably a matter of time before we start seeing California rolls being sold out of CVS, Night Light Café and Bally’s.
Tip courtesy of our friends at Arbuz (1706 Sheepshead Bay Road).
Local business owners, be our eyes and ears to get free mentions on Sheepshead Bites. Send news tips to nberke [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com about business openings/closings, breaking news or local issues around the neighborhood, and mention that you would like your establishment to be credited in the article.
THE BITE: I’ve always considered Sheepshead Bay as having particularly discriminating tastes, but rather than preferring bougie “artisanal” branded organic tofu made by a Wisconsin native in skinny jeans, we prefer practical food: delicious food priced just right.
Half-price sushi, anyone? I kid!
I guess it’s also my Russian sensibilities that attracts me to this type of food, whether Uzbeki samsa, Japanese takoyaki, various forms of street meat, foods born out of necessity, or good ol’ New York pizza.
Mexico is a treasure trove of this kind of food but New York, as it seems, has a reputation for lacking good Mexican food. While Ned keeps his favorite Mexican place a secret, one seems to have popped up serving fresh made Mexican fare that might just shut up any whiny Southern California transplant.
With a headline like that, I’m sure plenty of Sheepshead Bay old-timers are groaning, “Duu-uh! Old news.”
But we’re not talking about the influx of immigrants from the former Soviet Union. We’re talking about a new bar and restaurant at 2817 Coney Island Avenue called USSR. Or, perhaps, Back to USSR, depending on how you read the sign:
I’ve got to admit, on first seeing this I said to myself, “Man, that’s foolish. Way to tell non-Russians they’re not welcome.”
But after getting a closer look at the sign, and seeing they replaced the hammer and sickle with chicken Kiev and kielbasa, designed the communist red star using caviar, and wrapped the whole thing in bread and sturgeon, and underscored it with a blini – well, these guys have a sense of humor, and I look forward to checking it out.
We’re giving you this photo because there’s no need to ruin you with actual images of this fetid smear on the culinary landscape (Photo: Erica Sherman)
THE BITE: Robert is still under the weather, so, in this week’s The Bite, I will provide insight into the gut-wrenching, colon-blowing diet required to maintain this immaculate, gourd-shaped physique.
On its face, the 7-Eleven taquito is the perfect food for the on-the-run New Yorker. It’s fast, cheap and mobile, and like all the best food items in the culinary universe, it’s phallic.
I believe all foods are made better when converted into bar-, stick- or phallus-form. A sandwich is upstaged by a wrap, which, really, is just a phallic sandwich. Ice cream is always best in a cone – a pointy, upside down phallus – rather than a cup. Granola? Screw that. But smother it in honey and, hell, throw some chocolate, marshmallows and graham crackers in there, mash it into a bar, and I’ll buy a box of that.
The taquito takes this formula to all new heights. Want a bacon, egg and cheese without all the work of ordering one up fresh and, ugh, having to remove tin foil? Well, jam that bastard into a self-contained dough-stick, deep fry it, and make it rotate for 16 hours behind a glass case – problem solved! E tu, taco filling. E tu, Monterey Jack and chicken.
Gravesend will soon gett a frozen yogurt joint , this time over at 811 Avenue U, where a local outpost of the national Yogurt City franchise is setting up shop.
The storefront is still under construction, with work crews getting the counters and machines ready to go. The company’s website said the grand opening is scheduled for July, but it looks like it’ll be pushed back until August at least.
Yogurt City has 41 locations listed on its website, spanning states from Massachusetts to South Carolina, Ohio to Connecticut, the majority of which are labeled “Coming soon.” In New York, they have open locations in Manhattan, Bronx, Staten Island and Sunset Park.
We thought, at first, maybe they’d be serving kosher frozen yogurt, as that part of Gravesend is densely populated by observant Jews. But, with items on the menu like Maple Bacon Donut frozen yogurt, well, we think not.
UPDATE (7/31/2012 @ 11:00 a.m.): A representative of YoCream, which apparently supplies Yogurt City, wrote in to note that all of their frozen yogurt flavors – Maple Bacon Donut included – are kosher. He wrote:
I thought I would clarify that our Nonfat Maple Bacon Frozen Yogurt is OU-D Kosher Certified along with all of our 83 other frozen yogurt flavors and varieties. This frozen yogurt flavor was inspired by Portland’s famous Voodoo Doughnuts, Bacon Maple Bar. The YoCream Frozen Yogurt version is flavored with vegetarian ingredients.
Construction workers have spent the last week or so at 2524 Coney Island Ave, overhauling it from an understated lounge to the brightly-colored, potentially Spider-Man-themed hockey bar, Arena.
It’s not clear when the new location will be open. The site was previously Status Quo Ante, which after a year or two in operation with barely a sign to indicate its existence, closed up shop recently.