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.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

Is Phat Albert's Phinished?

According to reliable sources, a satellite of mothership "Phat Albert's Warehouse" is closing. Look for closeout sales in the coming days. Or not. But could this spell hard times for the parent company?

Bizarrely, the store that's closing is called Fat Albert Warehouse with an "F." It's over on Clarkson near Rogers. Apparently the owners pheel that the behemoth in the gorgeous old Bond Bakery Building (over on Phlatbush near Empire) is better served by the playful "PH."

However, there's nothing playful or remotely charming about Fat "Phat" Alberts logo. No kidding, this really is how they want you to see them:

My next door neighbor who's lived here much, much longer than I have says there was a time when people really got a thrill out of shopping at the giant Phat's. But no one she knows goes there much anymore. There are so many alternatives, like GEM or the swankier Target (yes I just called Target swanky), that perhaps the grimy, perpetually under-construction Phat's is phinally obsolescent.

Phrankly, should Phat's go, good phuckin' riddance. If you read the Q, you should know that I'm not one to champion wholesale gentrification and change. In phact, I started this blog because I want to see the great parts of this neighborhood - the wonderful rich diversity of people and businesses - survive and even flourish. But phrom the minute I laid eyes on Phat's headquarters 22 years ago, I've hated it with a passion. The building it occupies is a beautiful relic of the old version of this phabled neighborhood, and along with the neglected green Phlatbush trees and the de phacto parking lot disrespectfully used by the MTA - it's the gateway to our homes.

I say it's time phor Phat to phly. Pheel phree to disagree. But please, don't ever, ever let me do that "ph" thing ever, ever again.


Ceelledee said...

I am sooo 100% with you on this one! Phat Albert's has long been a subject of discussion in and around PLG. Here's a sampling:

No question this place has its fans because the merchandise is cheap. But, Albert Srour's approach to dealing with people who are economically distressed (the bulk of his customer base) is just plain out disgusting. In the end, the price this community pays for having access to Phat Albert's cheap merchandise is the price of lousy upkeep (if any) of an unofficial "landmark" in the nabe; seriously shoddy storefront and street displays and; worst of all -- really rude, insulting and dismissive treatment of the community this business "serves." IMO, the sooner Albert Srour and his Phat business packs up and leaves PLG, the better.

Anonymous said...

I want an everyday farmers market type place in this space.

Anonymous said...

Is this part of April fool? I thought we passed that already.

babs said...

Anyone interested in actually working with me to propose this building as a landmark? Of course the owner would be against it, but landmarks approve things pretty often over owners' objections.

Brenda from Flatbush said...

This place is a dump, mysterious perched at the obvious geographic gateway to Flatbush. There are countless better uses for it than a crapstore, and apparently a nasty one at that, without necessarily turning it into a Ralph Lauren showroom or Maserati sales floor or Stumptown Artisanal-Bean-Roasting Factory Tour. How about a community center with upstairs dance studios, rehearsal space for mas camps, and advocacy offices for local groups, with exhibition space for local Flatbush history? Somebody buy this Srour guy out. If anyone is really concerned about us financially strapped shoppers having options, then let's get a good non-"gourmet" supermarket with fresh produce and ditch the CFC (Crap from China) store.

Anonymous said...

Albert Srour made enough money in his bargain store so don't worry about him. He owns commercial real estate in Brooklyn and Manhattan.