The Q at Parkside

(for those for whom the Parkside Q is their hometrain)

News and Nonsense from the Brooklyn neighborhood of Lefferts and environs, or more specifically a neighborhood once known as Melrose Park. Sometimes called Lefferts Gardens. Or Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. Or PLG. Or North Flatbush. Or Caledonia (west of Ocean). Or West Pigtown. Across From Park Slope. Under Crown Heights. Near Drummer's Grove. The Side of the Park With the McDonalds. Jackie Robinson Town. Home of Lefferts Manor. West Wingate. Near Kings County Hospital. Or if you're coming from the airport in taxi, maybe just Flatbush is best.

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Mike's International Becomes...

Update Update: The last comment here seems to imply that the die is cast. Beauty Supply Store. Zoinks!

Update: A dude closing tonight said it would be a Chinese place. Who to believe? The permits suggest restaurant...

Drum roll...your eyes don't deceive you. Something's doing at Mike's International up the Flabenue. A spy tells the Q that not only are workers in there doing a bit of DoB approved construction, but that one of them says the new joint will be an "American" restaurant. This is good news for Americans, including Jamaican-Americans, Haitian-Americans, African-Americans, Jewish-Americans, Midwestern-Americans, Flabby-Americans, Taut-Americans, Hirsute-Americans, and Americans-for-America. No word yet on what actually constitutes American cuisine, though it's safe to say "dog" and "horse" don't count. For Ecuadoran-Americans, however, Guinea Pig is very much on the menu.

Stay tuned...






57 comments:

Anonymous said...

True, they should use terms like "Regional American" or "Americana" for the cuisine they're likely talking about and which I'm a fan of. Makes for a good something-for-everybody meal adults and kids alike. But maybe they'll take your advice to get multicultural and include an excellent jerk chicken too. We actually really miss Mike's Intl's jerk chicken. It was amazing. Just think, all this time that space sat empty they could have kept on cooking it.

Anonymous said...

I really hope they open up the front facade and give the place a little natural light. The undersized/barred windows are awful.

Bob Marvin said...

I really hope you're right about a restaurant Tim (except for the Guinea pig part) however, my source tells me that it's going to be a beauty supply company. If it would do any good, and contribute to YOU being right, I'd even be willing to publicly eat that appetizing-looking dish you picture :-)

Anonymous said...

It's called "cuy," Bob. A delicacy in Ecuador and Peru. Tastes like rabbit. There are a couple places in Jackson Heights you can get it.

Alex said...

Bob, I seriously hope that you are incorrect!!

The Snob said...

I've only eaten cuy once, and sadly did not taste like rabbit. Not even close.

Clarkson FlatBed said...

I know what YOUR source says Bob, because I know your source! However, the cuisine comment comes from the mouth of workers. Wouldn't they know what kind of establishment they were building out? Hmmm...perhaps it's a combo hair/food place?

Bob Marvin said...

I used to work in Queens and occasionally had lunch in places where cuy was on the menu. After seeing the picture I'm glad it was out whenever I tried to order it (only served on weekends). I also have trouble with rabbit :-)

Tim,

I really, REALLY, * R * E *A * L * L * Y* hope that you're right and I'm wrong about the next occupant of the Mike's space!! That being said, I've occasionally had workers on commercial spaces tell me stories that are a bit misleading (i.e. the hardware store that was going to open in the take-out portion of the Mike's space a couple of years ago).

Anonymous said...

Yay for Ecuadorian-Americans! A little typo there, OP.

But yeah, we have some South Americans in PLG, albeit not much.

Anonymous said...

Please someplace where I can get roast chicken/baked potato steamed vegetables.

Peter said...

Speaking of workers telling you what kind of establishment they are building out-- a few months ago I stepped in to the space at the corner of Lefferts & Flatbush next to the beer place when a worker was there, and asked him what was going on. He said they thought it was going to be a liquor store (though he wasn't sure, which is odd). Anyone have any more info? It would be nice to have a wine & liquor place that has a good selection, isn't shielded by plexiglass, or located down on Fenimore (for those of us up by the Prospect Park stop).

Anonymous said...

This would be great. In the meantime, we can all pop over to the parade grounds for great food truck offerings for the next month!

http://windsorterrace.patch.com/articles/food-trucks-arrive-at-prospect-park-s-parade-grounds

-Paul

Anonymous said...

About food trucks, when the ice rink is finished a row of better-food food trucks parked on Ocean along the park here in PLG would be a really great idea. Perfect. The Prospect Park folks should arrange it. Because there will be a lot of visitors to our side of the park for the rink and new Lakeside for concerts and if this space is a beauty supply place not a restaurant we'll have few places here at the gateway to the neighborhood to feed them. If anybody with half a brain including local reps were thinking about that they would NEVER let this nice big space become a beauty supply place not a restaurant and bar.

Anonymous said...

And one more thought, a rant rather, on food trucks: The fact that food trucks go to neighborhoods (like 7th ave in Park Slope) where they already have a slew of restaurants all competing for customers makes me bananas. Really? Seriously? It's occurred to none of the truck owners to go to neighborhoods without many restaurants? Oh, if I had the money to create a food truck.

Anonymous said...

My thoughts exactly anon 2:05! Perhaps we as a community can encourage food trucks to this side of the park, when Lakeside opens or sooner! That coffee truck MUD that has been at the parade grounds the last couple of weeks during soccer practice is first to come to mind. Parked in front of the subway where we no longer have coffee= brilliant!

Also... This space is not going to be a beauty supply shop. All the workers I've asked are Asian and tell me Chinese restaurant. And have a look at the major construction they're already starting- looks like they're blowing open that awful brick facade! I don't imagine a beauty supply shop would be taking on this extensive k a Reno!

Anonymous said...

I walked past the McDonald's on the corner of Ocean and Parkside today, and a work crew was gutting the place and taking down the McDonald's sign. Is it too much to hope it won't be another fast food place? Any ideas?

Anonymous said...

They're just remodeling and will reopen under new managment in two months. They posted a large sign with offical McDonalds signage. So it will still be a McDonalds.

Karkade said...

I am not a big fan of food trucks, but for the ones out there who love them the trucks will be every Sunday at the Parade Grounds from Oct. 13 to Nov. 17.
More info at http://www.prospectpark.org/food-trucks

Alex said...

Neighoring business told me beauty supply. Knows the person who rented the space.

I hope that this information is incorrect...

Anonymous said...

It has definitely been confirmed that it will be a beauty supply store to cater to the number of hair salons in the neighborhood, which makes perfect economic sense. An American restaurant or Chinese restaurant would not survive any longer than Blue Roost did. There are just not enough gentrifiers to support that type of dining option yet. Maybe in 10 years things may change. But beauty salons and 99 cent stores should remain the major economic engine for PLG now and for the next 10 years!! I would HATE to see PLG lose its true character and I for one back this new beauty supply store.

Anonymous said...

This sucks. Totally PATHETIC that this neighborhood just can't get out of a hair salon and 99cent rut. Sorry anon 11:38 but there are enough people here who can support a chinese restaurant! Or American or anything! The landlords and commercial realtors are idiots for not seeIng the potential of Lakeside and all the new folk living here... And we the complainers are all fools for not partnering with one another offline and working with prospect park alliance to promote PLG for restaurants and cafes to serve those coming here for ice skating. Because those folk will just turn around and laugh at the state of affairs on the forgotten side of the park. PATHETIC .

Alex said...

Anon 11:38, I don't agree that another beauty supply store serves the neighborhood well, or even serves any of the salons well. I do not know the salon biz, but it would seem to be that ordering wholesale is the salons' best bet, so I don't see how retail beauty supplies actually help them very much. There are already beauty supply shops in the area anyways.

And I disagree that a new restaurant would only last as long as the Blue Roost. A kick ass, popular and proven restaurant (my favorite example is Song, the Thai place in CG and PS) would thrive and attract clientele. I also do not think that the neighborhood is at risk for losing its character - there are a ton of salons, and even if half of them went under there would still be enough for their presence to be strong.

Ceelledee said...

College degree-waving applicants should get preference in affordable housing one week, then beauty supply stores are the business of choice the next? Why do I get the feeling that a troll has taken a fancy to this blog?

Alex said...

Ceelledee, you might be on to something! LOL

Anonymous said...

I never said anything about college holding applicants for affordable housing. The truth is that most of the beauty and nail salons in PLG are large money making machines. Everybody thinks they are just barely getting by but that is not really the case. They have a clientele that makes up 85% of the neighborhood. That is a large contingent of people that will sometimes go to the salon up to three times a week. Looking at this objectively a beauty supply store is going to have a much greater success rate that assists businesses that cater to 85% of the population versus an upscale restaurant that only 15% of the population can afford to dine at.

Also i am all for affordable housing in order to help retain more of the population that currently resides here.

Anonymous said...

Regarding food trucks: The fried fish truck has repeatedly parked on Lincoln and Ocean. I'm not a fan, but at least one food truck has done business in the neighborhood.

Anonymous said...

i am so excited about the new white upper middle class with just a mix of truly exotic and beautiful people of color thrown in for good measure factory they'll be opening up at the old mike's international. i look forward to plenty of wealthy liberals who know good coffee when they see it and are open-minded about gender issues and exotic cheeses with high fat content. once the skating rink is up and running, I know my property value will rise like a phoenix and allow me to obtain funding for my documentary about third world hunger and my courageous pretorian ancestor who would have done something about it if only she were alive today and free from male oppression. i just hope its not a beauty supply shop!

progress4plg said...

Sorry celleedee but I'm the OP you loathe so much from the original thread and I have said NOTHING in this conversation at all so you can settle down. A lot of people are opposed to having a surplus of low-end renters and businesses in this neighborhood and if it helps you sleep at night to think it's just one person, then fine, but you are 100% wrong.

Now everyone can comfort themselves with the theory that I'm upside down in my mortgage and have no life and all that other truly trollish nonsense you were spouting. And all that b/c I suggested that people's desirability should be considered in terms of their education and profession rather than JUST their strict income, in light of how some people were saying that additional affordable housing is always wrong for PLG! You don't like the idea? Fine. But you didn't have to lose your minds over it.

Anonymous said...

Thank you Progress4plg! I agree with you (I'm a homeowner here, not a troll) and think your education comment was spot on. I'm tired of low income Americans getting housing and everything handed to them when they do nothing to educate themselves or their families to get out of their cycle of poverty, yet those who choose careers in the art and education and the like, are educated people often with lower incomes trying to make it in big expensive cities with nothing handed to them! I applaud you Progress4plg for
Coming out and saying this. And I too am sick and tired of the poor people, the druggies and drunks hanging out and taking up valuable real estate here. PLG is a prime Brooklyn location and needs to progress out of this rut. Another awful hair shop won't stop this neighborhood from gentrifying... Just look around at all the new faces here. It's coming and maybe slowly, but it's coming....

babs said...

Here is the link to the recently-approved permit for Mike's: http://a810-bisweb.nyc.gov/bisweb/JobsQueryByNumberServlet?requestid=2&passjobnumber=320540704&passdocnumber=01 I don't really have time to go through all the papers now, but from what I can see, the storefront is to be replaced - no matter what goes in there, it will have to be an aesthetic improvement over the former fortress-like exterior (an ex of mine who grew up in the area mentioned that in front of Mike's was a popular place for drive-by shootings in the 1980s). I really can't glean any clues as to the eventual occupant, but does the fact that the architect and one of the contractors (whose company bears the auspicious name of Triple 8 Construction) are Chinese provide any credence to the Asian restaurant theory?

Alex said...

Hmmm the application says no change of use for the space. If that applies to a broad category, like commercial, then it probably means nothing. But, if it applies to a more specific category - like food service - then it may indicate that it will be a restaurant...

Anonymous said...

Celledee I really hope you respond and back up my support of the beauty supply store. When i look around the neighborhood I still see the majority of people being of Caribbean descent. When does a small minority of new gentry type have the right to claim that more services should cater to them!! If anything that is blatant discrimination. Our country was built on providing services to the majority not a small elite noble class. And I'm sorry progress4plg but you are in the minority in this neighborhood. If you don't want to integrate yourself into the current community then you may leave. I know when the first wave of Caribbeans and African-Americans moved into this neighborhood they too had to integrate themselves with the current community and had no services that catered to them for many years!! So you my friend are going to have to just wait until the dynamics of this neighborhood change and should support this new store.

Anonymous said...

Anon 10:25 the reason you say you still
See a predominantly Carribean population is because they are the ones hanging out and walking on Flatbush Ave. the so called new comers leave first thing in the morning for work and stay away all day and into the evening. On weekends you don't see these people because correct there are no services for them. We are getting in our cars or subway and going to other neighborhoods for coffee and bagels and brunch. There's plenty of hipsters and young college educated people moving here and lots of us in the houses too. We just have no reason to be out and about here- so you don't see us. Stand by the subway from 5pm - 9 pm and count all the people with whole foods and trader joes bags and you'll be astonished that nobody has capitalized on this growing population.

Anonymous said...

One cannot "support" a store if none of the products are of personal use to the prospective customer. Anon 10:25, I get your point, but there is nothing wrong with wanting some businesses to cater to a minority if they believe it makes sense from a business perspective. Do you have a problem with Play Kids on Flatbush? Does that suit your definition of what is appropriate for the population here, or should they not operate a business in the neighorhood even though they feel it's a good way for them to make a living?

Businesses are born out of free enterpise and entrepeneurship, and not necessarily a desire to serve a specific minority or majority. Take vegan restaurants, for example - clearly, vegans are not the majority anywhere, but there are enough around to sustain multiple vegan establishments, and sometimes non-vegans are in the mood for it, so usually non-vegans don't get all up in arms if a vegan establishment opens because it doesn't suit the majority. There's nothing wrong with a beauty supply shop per se, but there is a minority that wants to spend their money locally and there's no credible reason (sociological or otherwise) for businesses serving the minority not to locate and potentially thrive in our hood.

And, as mentioned previously, there are TONS of beauty oriented establishments. There is no short supply for people looking for those services.

Anonymous said...

Can't help it, must feed the trolls.

Sorry, anon 10:37 - look up the census data. This is still an overwhelmingly poor to lower middle class neighborhood - despite what anon 9:07 may feel is an influx of people more deserving of this neighborhood than "the poor people, the druggies and drunks hanging out and taking up valuable real estate here." Perhaps anon 9:07 is right - we should create strict criteria for those allowed to live in the valuable real estate of PLG. Perhaps we should round up these folks who have everything "handed" to them and deport them to an area more deserving - would East New York work for you? Then we'll have lots of free space for the educated artistic types you so desire - a glorious Williamsburg on Prospect Park.

Disgusting.

BTW, I'm one of those white, educated artistic types you feel deserve to be here - and I want nothing to do with your sad ideology.

-Paul G

Anonymous said...

Gentrification flame war! I'm going to make some artisanal popcorn, brb.

KitchenWishin said...

Progress4PLG: Don't kid yourself. I don't loathe you. How can I? I don't even know you. In fact, for all I know, you may be just a kid with a keyboard, spouting crap from the safety of a basement somewhere. So, not to worry. I am not wasting any energy in loathing you, nor losing my "minds" over you. Not one iota.
What I do loathe, though, is when the culture of the blogosphere turns from the civil sharing of truly diverse viewpoints and collegial, spirited debate to trollery, snarkism and just plain out ignorance. It's one thing to express a contrary and/or unpopular view in an anonymous, online public forum. Such views, when offered up with a bit of intelligence, reason and diplomacy (also known as common sense), can oftentimes stimulate a vigorous and productive exchange. But it's a whole other thing to enter a public forum, such as this, to proceed to completely trash the majority population, suggest they get out of the way for you, and expect not to elicit some rather indignant, responses. So, no Progress4PLG, I don't loathe you. Rather, what I loathe is the cowardice you display in posting ignorant, inflammatory and patently divisive comments to a blog.(Especially when that blog is authored by one of the most civil, intelligent, CREATIVE and honest citizens of Planet PLG I know.) And, most especially, when we both know that, IRL, you wouldn't have the nerve to say these same things to the "low-skilled, “so-called 'working poor'” who comprise the masses of this beloved, shared community.

Ceelledee said...

Lest there be any confusion,the "KitchenWishin" post of 3:32 p.m. belongs to Ceelledee. :-)

Anonymous said...

According to the DOB the sign will read: Beauty Feel Supply.

Anonymous said...

Wonder if they're The same as Feel Beauty Supply? If so, they already have 5 stores in the metro area including one on Flatbush near Ave H.

babs said...

I think they are one and the same - there's one in Jamaica listed as Beauty Feel Supply, but the photo of the sign is the same as Feel Beauty Supply on Fulton St downtown. BTW, here are some Yelp reviews of the Fulton St store: http://www.yelp.com/biz/feel-beauty-supply-brooklyn

babs said...

The one encouraging thing I got from those Yelp reviews is that they have a good selection of products for people with natural hair - I have a few friends in the area who have complained that all the salons and stores in the neighborhood cater nearly-exclusively to people with processed hair.

Michele said...

If the landlord held onto Mike's empty space for all these years to turn into another hair supply store then I will be happy I moved out of neighborhood. Seriously as someone who has lived in the neighborhood since she was 9, as an educated person of color with natural hair and decent salary (to speak to all back and forth on the comments on who lives here) I much rather see almost ANYTHING than another hair supply store of any kind. I can make a list of things I think could benefit the neighborhood: community center, bookstore, florist, restaurant, small quality grocery store. I just wish I had the background, energy and money to open my own store because I would love to take action and not just complain. But seriously I hope a beauty supply store is not opening.

Ceelledee said...

I hear you Michele and I agree with you 100%. (I also hope you weren't serious about having moved out of the neighborhood!) But, yes, on the serious side, I think this place is doomed to be yet another beauty supply store. I walked by the construction site just this afternoon and looked at the DOB signs. Sure enough, one of them says the permits are for a "beauty supply." Sigh.

Although I have long advocated for the community to support existing businesses, as well as new ones, I have also been a consistent champion of entrepreneurial diversity. And, even though I am also an educated woman of color with natural hair who has lived here a very long time, it is my firm opinion that yet another beauty supply store does nothing to advance the latter aim. :-(

babs said...

The landlord (actually the 2 landlords, since the building has been sold since Mike's closed) held out exclusively for someone who would pay the outrageous rent they were demanding. Many people made offers for less money but were turned down. Unless this place does a bang up job it won't be there long either, but st least the storefront will have been opened up.

Alex said...

Better than it sitting vacant, I guess. Really depressing to know that the landlords are still being short sighted and preventing the neighborhood from attracting more diverse businesses.

Maybe the new building on Lincoln, once built, will help move things along in a positive direction.

Anonymous said...

Here is a depressing thought.. . with Fulton Mall being upscaled by the city, will the non-upscale business being forced out look for space on our stretch of Flatbush? Pains me to think of the possibilities...

Anonymous said...

We deserve this. There has never been an organized effort even by a small group to develop the commercial area of Flatbush here. Anytime a discussion starts, SOME people jump in with a total distraction that ends the discussion by introducing an argument we should be focusing on Rogers Ave before we focus on Flatbush. Which is 100% wrong. Lakeside visitors are not going to walk 3 long avenue blocks to restaurants. They'll just walk back to Park Slope -- same distance. We who want improvements in offerings on Flatbush live here too, doesn't matter how long, we are homeowners and tax payers, so if we want to encourage businesses to come to Flatbush we can. We don't need everybody's permission and we don't need consensus. Let's do it.

Alex said...

Anon 11:16, you are correct in thinking that the community should get involved, but it is incorrect that there has never been a small group that tried . PLUS tried and was actually very well on its way toward creating a BID, but some board members had a very sudden change of heart on the subject of mission and dismantled the whole group by way of deciding to rescind a grant from the city. I know because I was there!

I encourage you to start up a new group, and I would be happy to share some advice and help get you off the ground. I do not want to publish my email address here, but Tim has it. Wouild be helpful if you published your name here so that I know it's you writing!

Anonymous said...

Anon 11:16 and Alex, I'm in full throttle for starting a neighborhood group that actually focuses on bringing new businesses here. I've heard many times about PLUS, but that was a long time ago, and there are many new people here and some old timers I suspect too, that want to make this happen. For real. Because right this minute I"m thinking about where to go to lunch and I"m quite annoyed that I have to pull out my car to make this happen. I can't even get a fresh bagel and a latte here...

So how do we start?

Ceelledee said...

Anon 11:16, some of the story of the rise and fall of PLUS (Prospect Lefferts United for Services) was covered in The Q just about a year ago: http://theqatparkside.blogspot.com/2011_11_01_archive.html

Alex said...

Start by getting my email address from Tim so that we can talk offline, or share your email address.

Anonymous said...

I'm also interested in helping out if there is a new neighborhood group to try to lure in new businesses. I'll give my email address to Tim as well...

Anonymous said...

I would join the group if it would do what is finally going to work for the unique circumstance we have in PLG. I do know about PLUS but from what I heard that group was held back by maybe being big and clunky, seeking grants for a salary for the person heading up the effort. We don't need grants to do outreach to all appropriate potential businesses and outreach to the absentee landlords. That's team volunteer time. If a group claims to represent all the interests of a neighborhood in order to get aforementioned funding then it opens itself up to protest and argument. Like the silly assertion Caribbean people don't like good coffee and bagels, or sit-down places to eat. Plainly the trolls here have never been to Lincoln Park Tavern or they'd see a very diverse clientele. The group would need to be small, nimble and be able to do their work without all the sturm und drang and obstacles that opening up to public opinion creates.

Anonymous said...

Let me make this clear: Blue Roost went out of business not because there wasn't enought of a community to support it, but because it was a terrible place run by morons. If an actual good restaurant opened in the old Mike's space, people would support it. Blue Roost sucked and was run by people who knew nothing about running a food business in New York City.

Anonymous said...

I wholeheartedly agree about Blue Roost. Their service was so nonchalant and rude. Good riddance to Blue Roost and their owners. I really hope they never attempt a food business or for that matter any type of business again!!

Anonymous said...

I actually really liked the food at Blue Roost. One time, I was eating in there though and overheard the two employees talking--not at all discreetly--about how they hated working there. Not exactly something you want to hear from people serving you food. Also, every time I came home after a long day at work in midtown, and craved some dinner from Blue Roost, it was already closed for the evening! It seems a missed opportunity to tap into all the commuters coming home at the end of the day. Fishin' Shrimp seems to have that one figured out.