Tuesday, April 03, 2012

"16 Handles" Strip Malling Court Street? No Love For New Frozen Yogurt Shop's Signage

(photo credit N. B.)

16 Handles, the new frozen Yogurt place at 349 Court Street hasn't even opened its doors yet, but reaction to the orange and green sign which went up just days ago has been very strong. .
"Strip malling Court Street, this is beyond ugly....alas." writes friend N.B., who sent me the photo above.
Other readers wrote in and left comments like: "Their sign is hideous!" and "That sign is seriously out of context. sad!" Yet another area reader commented: "Remember the vibrant green check cashing place on the corner? that's how out of context the new signage is! OMG!"
I tend to agree. That is one garish sign more appropriate for a mall than for a brownstone neighborhood.
What do you say?

After one of my readers posted 16 Handles email address, I wrote to the company, as did others.  One reader got an immediate response.  So did I.

Jon Lake, Vice President, Operations 16 Handles, writes:
Good Afternoon Katia –
Your blog was forwarded to me via a friend and I wanted to reach out.
I would like to connect with you to discuss the sign our franchisee has placed on the front of their store. We too agree that this sign is not in keeping with the neighborhood vibe and feel. I would like to discuss potential signage options.
Please call me when you have some time to talk.
I look forward to hearing from you soon.
Jon Lake

Pretty impressive response. More later.

***UPDATE Wednesday, April 4th ***
The sign is in the process of being taken down

New Court Street Frozen Yogurt Store "16 Handles" Heard Carroll Gardeners Loud And Clear, Will Replace Sign For A More Tasteful One


Anonymous said...

I give the place a year max.

Anonymous said...

6 months.

Anonymous said...

are you kidding? while the sign is indeed garish, this place is going to kill it. right next to the park? self serve? cash cow...count on it.

Anonymous said...

5 guys burger, 16 handles, and atomic wings. Those guys need to go!

Anonymous said...

exactly: are you kidding? while the sign is indeed garish, this place is going to kill it. right next to the park? self serve? cash cow...count on it.

I also find it so...conflicted....when people don't want to see new things come to the neighborhood. Honestly, while I am psyched for 16 Handles, I could do without another fancy coffee/pastry spot (i.e. Momofuku) but I'm happy that the neighborhood is successful and bringing in new businesses. I never understood all the hate - and I say this as a former retail storefront owner, in a very similar neighborhood, who got pushed out of my own space due to increased rents. It's frustrating, but how can you hate on growth?

Anonymous said...

Tacky, tacky, tacky...

Anonymous said...

I love the store itself, and the problem with the sign didn't even really occur to me until reading this, but I get it. Not sure if it's entirely fair to ask them to change their sign (not that they would) since it's a chain, but yeah, it is pretty ugly and definitely doesn't fit in with the block. Still, as the above commenter said, this place is going to do well so close to the park.

Anonymous said...

no way the signage may be a bit offensive but that place is gonna kill it. do you know how many women have been yearning for tasti delight....this is gonna be a cash cow

Anonymous said...

it will be a gold mine for sure. I've seen lines out the door in Manhattan for this place on a sunny day.

Carroll G. said...

thanks to rising rents, it seems like only chains can afford to take up residence in the neighborhood these days. but even five guys does a better job of blending in than this eyesore. if you stare at 16 handles for too long, your face actually hurts.

Anonymous said...

oh god that's awful. like something out of the east village or some other tacky horrible place.

Anonymous said...

Awful, awful signage, no question. But I'm not sure a block with Marco Polo on it could get any uglier.

Anonymous said...

I don't think it is remarkably garish, and I certainly wouldn't call Joe's or Marco Polo classic Brownstone Brooklyn.

Anonymous said...

i was mortified when i saw the sign. Seriously, it is awful! Big and tacky. How is that a place that boasts the products has a sign so incrdibly offensive. It does not belong in this neighborhood. The yogurt place can stay but the sign has to go!!!

Anonymous said...

that Rite Aid or Duane Reade before it was forced to shrink
The sign years ago when that corner of Smith was in play.
Even Dunkin is subdued. Seriously. That sign can be seen from outer space!!! I mean, does it have to be so gigantic? I think they are all the same size for wherever they put a store. Now, when it glows all night long, the rich people who will be living in that condo thing on the corner will have to buy blackout shades. Seriously. Why can't they go with
The flow?! Yes, all those chain stores have no clue. Please, someone vandalize it!! Pronto!!
The East Village tacky?! Hmm. Not really. Maybe St Marks. I'd say this belongs in Paramus. This sign is geared to attract eyeballs from faaar away. what a trash explosion. I'll settle for frozen ice not frozen powdered mix.

Anonymous said...

Info@16handles.com. They are on Park Ave Sourh. Why not send them a note? I just did. Maybe they will change the sign.

Katia said...

Thanks! I will.

JustinS said...

I agree... The store might be fine, but the sign is not right for the neighborhood. Instead of complaining to ourselves we should just let them know.

Here is their information:


NEW YORK, NY 10016
TEL: (212) 260-4416
FAX: (646) 626-6450


Anonymous said...

The aesthetic of the sign does not bode well for the quality of the yogurt. But I hope I'm wrong!

Anonymous said...

I have seen worse, but they should have paid more attention to the character of our neighborhood. There was a similar issue when what what then a Genovese drugstore was being built on Smith street a few years ago. They showed plans for an ugly stucco building right out of a strip mall, and an architect from the nabe submitted drawings for a facade that complemented the area better - and they did listen.

I wrote them the following email:

I have just seen the signage for your new store on Court Street, and I have to tell you, it is not appropriate for this historic old neighborhood. There have been other large chain stores that have come to our area, but they have respected the character of the neighborhood, and used more subdued signage to good effect. The new sign is more appropriate for a suburban strip mall, where you are trying to get the attention of people driving by from hundreds of feet away. The shopping experience in Brooklyn is much slower and more intimate; you do now have to shout your presence.

I am a longtime resident of Carroll Gardens Brooklyn, and have been shopping Court Street for decades with my family. I appreciate it if your designers would reconsider the style of your sign, and tone it down several notches. You can still maintain good branding while fitting in better to the environment. Your neighbors will appreciate the effort with their business, and many will not go to your store just because of the unfriendly tone of your very loud signage.

Anonymous said...

just got this response back from the VP of Operations at 16 Handles:
Thank you for your message.

We agree that the signage used at this location does not fit the vibe or feel of your neighborhood.

It wasn't the intention of our franchisee to upset the community.

We have heard you and we thank you for your feedback.

Our mission is simply to bring smiles to communities. The sign we hung clearly missed the mark.

Having said that, we are working to have the sign removed and replaced with one which is more suitable for the neighborhood.

Please reach out to me directly should you want to discuss this in more detail.

Looking forward to hearing from you.

Jon Lake, vp operations - 16 Handles

Anonymous said...

Oh my god!!! Amazing. Amazing. Amazing.

And it was Duane Reade not Genovese on corner of Pres and Smith. Then it became Rite Aid.

It's a miracle that 16 handles heard our cries!! Yay!!!!!

Katia said...

I just added an update to the original post. I received an email back from 16 Handles VP of Operations,
Jon Lake.
He writes:
"I would like to connect with you to discuss the sign our franchisee has placed on the front of their store. We too agree that this sign is not in keeping with the neighborhood vibe and feel. I would like to discuss potential signage options."

Impressive response. Lets see what happens.

Anonymous said...

Btw it was actually genovese but the design plans (and the fact that thy originally designed a basement...over the subway!) took them to after a buyout of genovese. But remember that was a whole new building. (also some neighbors went reverse folksinger on them and sued their "tearing down a parking lot" to put up a neighborhood store.) This is an existing building and among rather unattractive stores, replacing an unattractive store. It is great that they are open to adjustment but it wasn't going to be a tremendous eyesore.

Anonymous said...

Hats off to this vendor. They took our concerns and reacted quickly and responsively. Wish DEP could learn from these people!

I will definitely be enjoying their yogurt.

Welcome to this great neighborhood.....

Anonymous said...

Katia, make sure to tell him that it's shouldn't glow all night long. Perhaps it should just be an awning. Or a wood sign with same logo but smaller by hight and width. And it should lay flat against the façade. Not concave. Or have the VP actually walk around and see what other places have done. The flag style sign is popular and can be seen by people walking down sidewalk. (see Jake Walk and Stinky as examples. ) why not have the name on the windows? A logo would be enough. Even American Aparel toned their sign down. Good luck.

Anonymous said...

darn auto correct!...meant to type the word "responsibly" but either way...they did good.

thank you jon and thank you katia for posting this!

Brooks of Sheffield said...

I posed on this sign too, on Monday, complaining about its garishness, and also got a response from the owner. At least he's sensitive to the community.

Katia said...

The sign is in the process of being taken down. Here is an update:

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Nice to see our blogs can effect some good from time to time. Good work.

Katia said...

Makes all the hours spent posting worthwhile, Brooks.
Glad I have such a great neighborhood blogging comrade.

Anonymous said...

I dont think there is anything wrong with this sign....they are other things that should be changed in carroll gardens like most of these weird,rude yuppieee people!!

angela said...

WOw I just had to stop by to comment on what a BRILLIANT move it was to mobilize on that sign. Congratulations. Seriously. You all have inspired me. If only more people would take a minute and care enough to see how much signage and visual standards matter.

CGdesigngirl said...

I generally like self serve frozen yogurt and I thought this location was going to be a cash cow. But I just rcvd an email that they are closing this location!