Getting TAZEd on Montague?

A reader brings to our attention the recent employment of "barkers" to get more people up into TAZE:

It's most annoying to have to walk home everyday and get hounded by being asked, "Do you like Turkish food? Why don't you eat here?"  They try to interrupt you even when you're on the phone.  It's really a nuisance and I think it's unfair that I have to alter my route home because of them.
I would really be interested to know what other readers in the area think of Montague Street being turned into Little Italy.
I don't know if we've reached the level of Little Italy or Little India, but I've found them to be a bit on the aggressive side. Do such tactics work? How do you feel about them?


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  • fishermb

    I’ve noticed that over the last few weeks as well outside of TAZE. I don’t alter my routes, if I’m on the phone I ignore them. Are they struggling?

  • Raj

    The guerilla tactics employed by these ‘Restaurateurs’ may work in the streets of Venice but are not welcome in Brooklyn. After being harassed for days on end, I finally capitulated and tried their food. Ugh! These people made the dirty man selling his cart food seem like 5 star dining. Stay away people! Stay away!

  • Ready To Order? Guide

    Unfortunately some restaurant has less exposure of some other one and if they are upstairs without an actual front door they have to try to get your attention in some way. My experience wasn’t so brutal but I understand somebody that knows already where they are could be annoyed.
    A lot of tourist in this area from the apple tour bus helps those businesses to survive the very high rent that they have to pay.
    I hope they could find another way to attract people and get noticed too. It would be better for everybody, but I like this new neighborhood and I wish him good luck for his first year with us.

  • havensofmanhattan

    I avoid eye contact and pretend to talk on the phone but even that doesn’t work sometimes!

  • AliG

    C’mon, it’s just so trashy. Montague Street used to be so clean and now it has mattress stores, cellphone stores, way too many banks and now these “barkers”. Perfect name for them.

  • nabeguy

    Bad location is certainly a detriment to any business, but what makes a restaurateur think that somebody is going to be swayed into eating their fare by a person sidling up to them and asking if they like Turkish food?

  • AliG

    I’m printing this chain out and handing it to them on my way home!

  • steve

    I last eat there when it was Kapadokya (sp?), and have not been back in its new iteration. As annoying as it is to be buttonholed by aggressive restaurant “barkers,” I see the point that Ready to Order is making. Taze and all other shops and restaurants on Montague Street are saddled with staggering rents. I suppose being a business owner there is very difficult . . . unless you were able to buy the building in which you have your shop. Ultimately, I think, the Taze tactic will backfire on them as would-be neighborhood patrons, exasperated, steer clear of them completely.

  • os

    did anyone think of calling the manager and advising them of this! it would help to put an end to this nonsense!!!!

  • BklynJace

    Alter your route? C’mon, man up — or woman up. This is NYC, we don’t take crap from restaurant touts.

  • john d. mole

    your bumrushing me and getting in my face only makes me want to AVOID YOUR RESTAURANT!! ever see a commercial you found to be totally annoying or retarded on tv?? did it make you want to run out and buy the product???? let your food speak for itself and shut your pie-holes. – JDM

  • ac

    While we’re griping about Taze: they annoyed me recently for an altogether different reason: I live two blocks away and yet they have twice refused my delivery order because it only came to around $13 and their minimum is apparently $15. No other restaurant in the area that offers free delivery enforces this minimum, even though many charge considerably less for entrees as good or better (Heights Falafel, Lantern) or are further away (Rice, all the way in DUMBO) and it wasn’t an issue when they were Kapadokya. They can’t be hurting for customers that badly if they are turning away business like this.

  • stew

    Flat out: The food is bad. The service is not great. The price is too high. And the Barkers are increasingly annoying. Its now fair to say that Taze has become the Milhouse of Brooklyn Restaurants. There’s no way they will last. If the Food is Good enough, they wouldn’t have to hustle the streets like they peddling crack.

  • brooklynbee

    Yes, a difficult location can be overcome with good food/drinks, service, and ambiance. One need look no further than Alma for this – it’s a real out-of-the-way location for many, yet people flock there. They get a lot of business through word-of-mouth.

  • Sam

    If only that were the biggest problem on Montague Street!
    At a time when the rest of Brooklyn is improving so much, Montague Street is stuck in 1979. The facades are decrepit, the sidewalks are a mess, the signange looks like a time capsule (not in a good way) and the stores are boring. My nomination for worst store: Lassen and Hennings
    I got sick (again!) last night from eating one of their tainted sandwiches. Never again. Could it be the worst and most expensive deli in Brooklyn?

  • nabeguy

    Sam, what you fail to grasp is that the residents of the Heights don’t necessarily have any interest in keeping up with the rest of Brooklyn. I can agree with the argument that the landlords should open up their pockets and reinvest some money into their properties by maintaining their facades and sidewalks. But I don’t necessarily want Montague St to become the Ginza of Brooklyn either. And yes, L&H is absolutely the most expensive deli in Brooklyn; I never could understand the fascination with that place other than people falsely assuming that the more you pay for something, the better it is.

  • Sam

    well fasten your seat belt because change is coming sooner or later no matter what the stick-in-the-muds want. The median age of heights residents is no longer 80.
    I, for one, do want change. Montague street sucks.
    The old codger contingent is thinning out and will need to step aside for the good of the neighborhood.

  • Crabby

    I too have found that L&H has changed recently. Takes forever to get an order, sandwiches are always missing an ingredient, staff is constantly changing and they’ve recently lost some good workers. Current staff has a hard time with English. I’ve waited at the counter for at least 10 minutes while the workers are BS-ing. When I get home, the egg sandwich has ham on it instead of bacon.

  • nabeguy

    So let me ask you Sam. What exactly attracted you to the Heights in the first place? There are certainly hipper and more up-and-coming neighborhoods as close as Smith Street? Why should the Heights change to accomodate trendoids?

  • MadeInBrooklyn

    yes, it is annoying, but they’re just trying to survive in the way they know how. i do feel for them, as the likelyhood of them staying open more than a few more months is quite small… and folks: how hard is it to just ignore them? it it really that big a deal? brooklyn heights really is becoming the ‘hood for adult crybabies. jeez.

  • AliG

    It actually is pretty hard to ignore them…sometimes they double team you and the manager is not going to do anything b/c he’s out there with them!
    Nabeguy/Sam – Montague Street has changed with the times and it’s not gotten any better. Cellphone stores, mattress stores, banks, it’s pretty sucky. The little area on Hicks between Montague and Remsen (Overtures, Seaport Flowers) is what all of Montague should be like. It’s just too bad that what used to be a quaint street now looks and smells like Chinatown.

  • nabeguy

    AliG-Totally agreed. Unfortunately, as Steve and Ready to Order have already pointed out, the rents on Montague are too steep to allow any thing other than national chains to get any real traction on the block. The financial input of day-workers from the courts and banks and tourists can only go so far, hence the obnoxiously aggressive tactics of the Taze management, which is actually sad in it’s desperation. I suppose if they had better food, the residents might actually support them enough and they wouldn’t have to resort to such street level “marketing”. But damned if Heights folks aren’t finicky when it comes to their food!

  • GHB

    It’s unfortunate that the rents on Montague are so high. We could use some nice shopping and eating (like 5th and 7th in PS) but all we get are chains and banks…and realtors, of course. Mr. Souvlaki is being replaced with a dental chain! AAARRRRGGGGHHH!!! I’ll keep it in mind if I lose a crown. Why doesn’t 7th Ave have the same problem? Their rents can’t be cheap.

  • nabeguy

    And don’t forget optometrists and pharmacies!I suspect that 7th Avenue rents are much less, since the area is primarily residential, versus Montague which has a huge daily influx of bank and court workers and jurors. Ever notice how most of the fast food joints are on Court Street where they can capture the highest transient traffic?

  • Lassen Comments

    I disagree somewhat with a few of the comments re Lassen & Hennigs. They have the best (and freshest) chicken and steak salads in the nabe and their sandwich combos are unique and, for me, quite satisfying and worth the price. What I don’t like about L&H, however, is their extremely creepy delivery man. After several home deliveries with palpably inappropriate overtones, I now pick up my meals from them or order my takeout elsewhere if I’m not in the mood to venture out.

  • Arthur_G

    Seventh Avenue is a main thoroughfare in a largely self-obsessed, er, contained neighborhood and can thus command more diversity of businesses and services (plus all the dentists are on the second floor). Montague Street is really just an artery to the very dense, very busy, generally ugly middle-class city that is Downtown Brooklyn (Our Oakland if you will)

  • BigG

    At least one of them is pretty :D. What I’ve done is say hi to them every time I walk past. Now they know I live nearby and don’t ask me to eat. Seems to have worked quite well.

  • alpha60

    Yeah…she is really cute.

  • joe

    Is she the one with her pairs showing in a big way? She asked me yesterday and today if I like turkish food—seemed kind of suggestive.

    I have no desire to eat there since I hate being solicited in a heavy way and I heard the food is not very good.

    Did people see the “rickys” that is opening in the former spa store next to lantern. That space wanted over 20K a month. No wonder the little guys can’t open a decent interesting place like seaport flowers and overtures.

    BTW I really like overtures. The owner is very friendly. I just wish they had more gifts for children and men and then I would buy all b-day and holiday gifts there.