Update from the 71st: Big fight broke out on Saturday night at LPT. Two people brought to the hospital. Fight started inside, seemed to be under control, but the instigators came back and fought with the bouncer. Two arrests, plus someone got cut at some point (laceration was the word used by the cops). Also, gunman was drinking there the night of the tragic shooting on Lincoln.
So yeah, it's a sweet, diverse Cheers-like hangout. But I don't recall Norm going ballistic and pulling sh*t like that. Maybe I missed the series ender?
Emails and phone calls are flooding in about Lincoln Park Tavern, and while I'd love to just turn the page and let the sleeping dogs lie, I see no reason not to share what the Q knows and doesn't know. I'm not shocked to find out, for instance, that no one but landlady Rong Ge could possibly convince a licensed broker to post the $12K a month listing for LPT. I wasn't surprised a few months ago either, when in a rambling monologue she told me Jim Mamary wanted out and was looking for someone to take over the recently renewed lease, and was looking for "too much money in key fee," in her words, money that the person taking over the lease would have to pay Mamary for the privilege, since the place was basically ready to roll. A poster on the Yahoo Listserv said it was $20,000, and noted that she found out herself when she spoke to the realtor. The only thing I regret so far was having posted on the listserv, rather than keeping my comments to the blog. A listserv is not the place for such stuff, and as if to tell me this, the God's placed the listserv's founder/moderator in my path today. Freaky.
Now, the Q wasn't born yesterday, and he knows the landlady is nutty. And I'm pretty certain she's under some sort of financial strain, given the bizarre and unproductively greedy manner with which she treats her tenants (previous and now) and the $7K a month she's charging for her house on Maple. The Q also knows that LPT's owner has lots of businesses, and that he's opened and closed restaurants all over town, often quite abruptly. And I'm told, albeit by someone close to the management, that LPT is one of the few business he has that reliably makes money. Which may mean he wants to keep it, or, just as easily, may mean it's an attractive property to sell, particularly if he's in need of cash. Mrs. Q reminded me that back in the day, when while performing as a modern dancer she made her money in trendy understated NYC restaurants for many years, that it was not at all atypical for owners to keep their plans from their employees, and sometimes workers would show up to work and find the joint closed or under new management. Cash businesses too, particularly those with bars, are often rife with other problems specific to the industry. No need to detail them, nor perpetuate rumors about any in particular. My point is that it's a notoriously fickle industry, and only the best restaurants under the best management survive for long. LPT may live to outlive us all. But it would certainly be no reflection on the neighborhood if it did not.
However, in the case of this sub-block of businesses, I've noted more than a slight defensiveness on the part of everyone and everything involved. It's as if the hopes and desires of the PLG neighborhood were and are riding on what happens in one small row of shops. I hope I'm not the only person who finds this to be utterly absurd. Why these particular businesses? At that exact locale? I mean really, what's all the fuss about?
Well, apparently it's struck a nerve, AGAIN, as it has everytime ANYTHING at all happens on that block, and the number of readers of the Q double, and this time some folks along with the perceived "bad news" they want to blame the messenger. That's cool, I can take it. But something's going on, and ain't just the rent. In fact, one thing I'm told is going on is that the service and food have gotten better since the main chef got back in the kitchen. And so, I'm glad to take a friend up on an offer to go check out the vittles again and offer up as pretty a picture of the "newly renovated" dining room and newly reinvigorated menu. As I've said before, I'm no gourmand, and generally easy to please.
To recap: The owner of the building placed an ad; it pissed off and scared a lot of people, and now the tenant on the lease, LPT, claims it's not true that he's getting out and that the ad was bogus. A poster on the listserv asked the community if it knew who placed the bogus ad. Frankly, there's only one person who could have, and she's working with that same agent renting her house. The community shouldn't have to chime in on that one - it's painfully obvious.
I just hope our friends and neighbors who work at LPT aren't being dicked around by Mamary. I asked his compatriots to tell him to give me a call, or text or email, so I can tell you his side of the story. I hope he does, so we can just chalk it up to "weird" and go have some dinner and drinks at his joint, without this zaniness hanging over the place. The Q hopes all's well that ends well, and wishes no one anything but the best possible outcome.
However, if the food still sucks, I reserve the right to say so.
The Q at Parkside
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.