Tuesday, April 19, 2016

Teafee Suddenly Closes On Court Street And More Neighborhood Closures

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PMFA received several emails in the past few days reporting that Teafee at 517 Court Street has closed its doors. Started by brothers Meno and David Fernandez in April 2013, the place offered 'the best of both brews' in any variation from steamed to iced. The prices were reasonable and Teafee served a stretch of Court Street that still is a bit underserved.

Dan, a reader, wrote in to say:
"I'm sad to report that it looks like Teafee on Court/9th has shut down for good -- there was a goodbye note posted on the front door as of last night.
It's a shame as I went there all the time to read or write, and they had a very friendly vibe, and there are few other casual hangout spots that are not full-time restaurants/bars nearby.
That block seems cursed! Same thing happened to Treats Truck last year…
"

An anonymous reader had this to say about the closure:
"I was just informed that Teaffee is also suddenly out of business. It was always crowded and seemed to be the only prosperous store on the corner of the Smith/9th area. The owners are so nice and friendly, so it's a big loss to our neighborhood. It also looks like they went out with a bang, as the inside is littered with empty bottles of booze and scattered cups."

Teafee is not the only coffee place on Court Street that shuttered recently.  Ana and Sophie's, a small breakfast, lunch and coffee spot had only opened at 194 Court Street in June 2015.
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On Smith Street, the closings continues at an alarming rate.  Bruiser, a juice bar which opened in March 2015 at 251 Smith Street, has now called it quits on restaurant row. Even OMG Taco has been closed every time I walked past in the last few weeks.
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Baluchi's, an outpost of the Indian restaurant chain which had just recently taken over Ramna/ Bombay Dreams at 257 Smith Street, has also just bid farewell. Incidentally, this location was the chain's second attempt on Smith Street. About ten years ago,  owner Rakesh Aggarwal once operated another Baluchi's just a few doors down at 263 Smith Street, where Provence en BoĆ®te currently resides.
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Ravioli Wine Bar,  which took over the two storefronts once occupied by Italian Eatery Savoia at 277 and 279 Smith Street back in September 2015, is already giving up its private event space at #279.
The restaurant is, however, still very much open next door, though its web site  at www. ravioliwinebar.com at seems to be currently suspended.
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20 comments:

Peter said...

Park Bench Cafe closed for a few days last week due to an ownership transfer. I know you had reported it was for sale.

Anonymous said...

Epaulet, the menswear store between Butler and Douglas, and By Brooklyn, which sold goods exclusively made in the borough, are also closing. Hello, rent blight. Ten years ago I would've never thought Smith Street would be the unique shopping and dining district it has become. It will be a shame if it's golden age is so short-lived.

Anonymous said...

It's sad to see so many small businesses closed. I live at 505 Court St so I frequented Teaffee a lot. I try to patronize the businesses on Court St between W9th and Garnet St as much as I can. I like to think of that block as the "neglected or forgotten" block, not "cursed". Especially the pharmacy there. The workers and pharmacists are really helpful and they carry a lot of what I need. (It looks like they changed their name recently to Carroll Gardens Apothecary. I guess to better reflect the neighborhood...) And if you like good Italian food, try Aperture. The owner Al is a nice man and their food is delicious. Well I hope the space that Teaffee occupied won't stay empty for long. Any idea what's coming, Katia?

Unknown said...

Dassara has also closed...

chance bliss said...

and both bergen hill and dassara have closed as well (https://www.facebook.com/Dassara/) - though i was not dassara's biggest fan.

it goes without saying that when the neighborhood changes as rapidly as it has, while residents continue to fail to support its local businesses, favoring instead the restaurants and stores with much bigger resources (such as whole foods, trader joe's, barney's and the like), then we'll eventually lose every local store.

when people want to drive somewhere to do their shopping, then, of course, there's going to be less foot traffic, and those businesses along those formerly busy walking routes will suffer.

it's too bad that epaulet is gone, and the vintage clothes shops on court street are also being squeezed out by rising rents, but, while it's easy to blame greedy landlords (who, rightfully, should take a significant portion of the blame for these closures), the responsibility for keeping this business alive must also be shared by the neighborhood residents who choose price and/or convenience over quality.

it must be really hard to start a new business on smith street or court street. the margins for error must be small while one must develop a strong following right away before the monthly rent becomes untenable. i feel for them.

Donald said...

So this will not be all doom and gloom, MAC cosmetics has announced a store on the corner of Smith and Wyckoff and One Medical Group is taking the space next door to it. There has been construction activity recently at the old Char No. 4 space and I believe they have applied for a liquor license.

Anonymous said...

It's not always lack of business or rent hikes. In talking with the owner of By Brooklyn, it sounded like while the past year wasn't great, it was just time for something different. Their rent didn't change.

psternglass said...

I remember the mean old days of Smith Street in the 80s; deserted stores, social clubs, fronts, and broken up sidewalks. It was wonderful to see it's resurgence, but is it too much of a good thing. I wonder what the real causes are? I have heard rising rents and reduced foot traffic, but is there more to it? I live off Columbia Street, and there has been a slow but steady resurgence there, I hope it does not take the same path.

Rob said...

It's not that people aren't going to these places enough it's that the rent is way too high. When you have so many empty store fronts on Smith St it depresses foot traffic and that should be depressing rents. The neighborhood itself isn't that high density remember. Most buildings top out at three of four stories. Met Foods closed down despite the fact that even with Trader Joes around it still had a decent amount of people shopping there every day.

The landlords who own the spaces would rather write the losses off instead of coming to the realization that no, the market rent isn't as high as they think it is. That's clearly evidenced by all the empty spaces. Look how long the former Faan space has been empty.

Anonymous said...

While some may disagree, I think it's wonderful that new businesses like the NY Kids Club and MAC are opening. Yes, they are big box retailers, but I'd rather have those lively businesses than a desolate strip of Smith Street that literally looks like skid row.

Anonymous said...

Smith Street is the new 7th Avenue. Landlords want rents equal to what Starbucks is paying. Small businesses cannot make it work. So landlords will wait for Mac Cosmetics, walk in medical clinics, and Lululemon. Say goodbye to local, unique and reasonable--and say hello to national chains, opticians realtors and of course, nail salons (for which there seems to be an insatiable demand!). Good luck finding a shoe repair when the guy next to the subway on smith and president closes.

Want to see smith street in 5 years? Walk up to 7th avenue--that's what's coming!

Anonymous said...

Teaffee wasn't meat to last.
I don't get it MAC. You have a store in brooklyn heights and there's a Sephora a few blocks away.
Nails. Lips. Banks. Coffee.
That's all there is.

Anonymous said...

It looks like the owners of Teaffee want to sell their business. There are signs posted that say "business for sale by owner".

Anonymous said...

Katia... You forgot one "good" closing.... the Tanning Salon that replaced Armando's Tailor shop on Smith b/w President and Union.

Being that Armando still owns the house and does not seem to be greedy, maybe we will see a business that actually provides goods/services that are valuable to the neighb.

Sorry to be so judgemental about the tanning salon, but frankly I think it was a "useless" and dangerous business.

Jimmy from Brooklyn said...

It might be easier to report whats open, rather then what is closed. This is depressing.

Anonymous said...

Who the *!?#&* needs MAC Cosmetics on Smith Street, and why is this wonderful? As already mentioned, there's a MAC on Montague and Sephora on Joralemon. Let's not forget the much-needed Benefits Cosmetics shop on Court. That's a real lively spot. MAC is a totally useless business for a community that's losing all its vital neighborhood retail services. MAC is hardly vital.

Anonymous said...

No one said that MAC was vital, but the poster said that it's better than having an empty storefront. And guess what-- walking all the way up to businesses on Montague Street is over a mile long trek for some.

To the commenter who said Teaffee wasn't built to last-- why not? The place was always crowded, the pastries and coffee were all delicious, and they had Wifi available to people who wanted to set up shop there for the day. The brothers who owned the place were always kind and neighborly, remembering your name and your order. The baristas were always friendly, too. I am just surprised that their exit was so abrupt with absolutely no warning whatsoever.

Anonymous said...

Ah, Anon 12:22...I regularly walk to the Promenade or BB Park from CG and pass MAC along the way It's good healthy exercise.

Anonymous said...

some new tea place opened on smith. Read some comment that foot traffic was down in area of smith because Met Food no longer there on Baltic.
baluchi's never had customers. that closing was not surprising. 2nd attempt on smith street.

Anonymous said...

The MAC store on Montague Street is closed.