Best New Neighbor Open Thread


Many new businesses opened in the Heights in the last year: Five Guys Burgers and Fries (pictured) Area Kids, Busy Chef, Ricky's, Housing Works to name just a few.

Who are the best? The worst?

Discuss below… thanks!

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  • JL

    First place goes to Oven. We’ve had a couple excellent pizza + appy dinners, and the wine selection is also a major positive. Second is Five Guys.

    Last place: Busy Chef, just not feeling it. Plainly unimpressed.

  • amy

    Five guys is great. Need to explore Ricky’s still…
    Keeping my fingers crossed for other openings…

  • Andrew

    Unlike Karl, I find absolutely nothing about Busy Chef apealing. Well, I like the concept, but I just can’t imagine relying on them for one meal ever, much less four days per week. I’ve attempted to get food there a few times, but I’ve gone in and the food just sadly sitting in plastic containers doesn’t look appetizing. And for the price, I might as well spend an extra 10 minutes making something simple that’s both cheaper and freshly made.

  • liz

    I find the food quite tastey from busy chef , i visit it a few days a week when in brooklyn visiting family. the ease of heating it up gives more time to chat and eat. as far as plastic , it beats styrofoam any time ,especialy in reheating !

  • jonah

    i’m grateful for housing works and its dedication to education and service. but these salvation armani stores make me naseous. whatever happened to real thrifting? i have to go back to minnesota to shop. just take “thrift” out of your store name so i don’t feel manipulated. and no, i’m not going to buy the $1200 leather couch in the window.

    i do love five guys burgers though.

  • Jen

    Five Guys is decent, nothing great. I think the buns they use are too bready for the single burgers and the fries are fine if you eat them there but tend to get soggy if we do take out.

  • Ro

    I found busy chefs salads to be very good and I go out of my way to go there for them. The deserts are pretty also!!! And Oven has become one of my favorite spots on Thursday night.

  • Ro

    Let me correct my opinion about the deserts. They are very tasty and also very inviting.

  • dag

    I have tried Busy Chef about 5 times and most of their food is pretty bad, hit or miss at best. I bought potato salad there once and thought it was decent The next two times I bought it, took one bight, gagged and threw it out. I think maybe it had spoiled or something. I also agree that the presentation is not appetizing at all.

  • steve

    Petit Marche is a very nice addition to the Heights. And Ricky’s, it turns out, carries Smart Shave, the shaving cream and exfoliating system developed by my dermatologist, Dr. Sherwin Parikh of the Tribeca Skin Center. It is a great product and now I can walk a couple of blocks to get it. Check it out:

  • joe

    Area Kids is great esp for gifts and they do a nice wrapping. Every present I bought for a child (usually 30 min before the party) has been very well received since gifts are high quality and fairly unique. It has saved me lots of time and headache.

    Like 5 guys as well. Eat there every couple of weeks when I don’t know what to eat for lunch or dinner. They also fine-tuned their workflow so it doesn’t take as long as before.

    Having checked out the Busy Chef a couple of times I can’t find anything appetizing there which is a shame because in concept it’s great idea.

  • Artie

    I think the owner(s) of Busy Chef and Oven are behind any positive comments made here. The chef may be busy but hasn’t learned to cook even the most basic food. A bowl of cereal is preferable to anything at either of those establishments.

  • beth

    General comment to all naysayers: I’d rather Busy Chef and Oven to empty storefronts. Could you just CONSIDER supporting a local business and stop bashing every establishment that opens in the nabe? I’ve been told by so many neighborhood people that there is nothing of value whatsoever on Montague Street, for example. Come on. It’s not perfect, but there are options there.

  • Qfwfq

    Le Petit Marche is a wonderful addition to that stretch of Henry Street, if a bit on the pricier side (but I say that about many places). I can’t wait to have the duck again. I would say they are a great new neighbor.

    Montague Street has some hidden gems. Housing Works is a lot of fun.

    Personally, I find Jack the Horse to be the best new(ish) neighbor so far.

    And as admin of this site, I can say that Artie’s comment isn’t as far off the mark as you may think.

  • Cranky

    I love La Petit Marche.

    Jack the Horse was good too. I don’t know why I’m just more comfortable in La Petite Marche.

    I liked Oven, just thought it was a little pricey.

    La Petit Marche wins for me.

  • Craig

    To the owners of Busy Chef/Oven:
    This might be a good opportunity to find out what people in the neighborhood want. I would stop defending your wares so strongly and ask what you can do to improve. For one, I would suggest focusing on a core stock that is made fresh.

  • Cranky

    Craig You make musch sense grasshopper.

  • Cranky

    I mean MUCH. That is good advice.

  • cranberry

    Why is it that people keep accusing anyone who says something negative about busy chef/uncommon ground/oven , of not “supporting a local business” and “bashing every establishment that opens”? These “bashers” are clearly in support of Jack the Horse and Le Petit Marche, if you read these posts, which happen to be new establishments on cranberry st and henry st respectively, if i’m not mistaken.

  • JL

    Well, I’m glad I initially wrote 1st place Oven/last place Busy Chef; at least I can’t be accused of neither fully supporting nor totally bashing the CofC crew.

    For the record, I don’t have anything to say about Uncommon Grounds, other than I am glad they will make their own food.

  • Artie

    Supporting local businesses is very important to me and I love this neighborhood. In return though, I need a decent product.

  • Brian

    Can I nominate myself?
    Brooklyn Dojo.
    Community/family friendly and I’m a regular reader of BHB.

    Our food isn’t bad, either… ;)

    Also, note:
    The interior designer on Hicks at Middaugh, R.A. Somerby. (I’m pretty sure they opened in this past year).
    And the Henry Street Tailor in the old Q Photo space, although he mostly relocated.


  • brooklynite

    I really liked BusyChef when it first opened but the quality when down the drain and the last few times I gave them a chance the food was AWFUL. Rubbery bacon in a breakfast sandwich, unedible steak tips (the sauce was so overpowering and horrible) and on and on. They even changed some of the things I liked and now I won’t eat them.