Corner of Cranberry: What’s Next?

UPDATE: Sadly, it appears now that the Wine Bar at 50 Henry Street, the best by far of the lot, has closed, according to the Brooklyn Eagle.

With news that three four of the four “Corner of Cranberry” businesses have been shuttered (looks like the liquor license for the 60 Henry businesses expires tomorrow), we’re wondering what’s next for the seemingly accursed location. What will Ghorchian and Young, Brooklyn Heights’ very own wannabe Drew Nieporents and once rulers of what Gothamist called an “Empire of Feh”,  launch next? A Cigar Bar? Bring back Food Maestro? We’re hoping the Wine Bar remains, since it is really a lovely place.

It’s worth noting that trouble seems to follow Mr. Ghorchian and Mr. Young’s ventures like a bad smell. In addition to the various “Corner of Cranberry” debacles, Mr. Ghorchian was involved with Mike’s Kosher Steakhouse, which closed shortly after Mikel Domgjoni was arrested for allegedly forcing himself on an 18-year-old waitress (whatever happened to that story?). They were both involved with failed enterprises at 111 Court Street before it was Busy Chef (Cafe 111, liquor license) and at 311Henry Street before it was Tazza (Cafe del Mar, liquor license). And Mr. Young was involved in a botched, complicated scheme to open casinos on land in upstate New York supposedly held by a Native American tribe not recognized by the federal government (Young was cleared of all charges).

We applaud their tenacity, but maybe it’s time to allow some new blood in the Heights food scene.

Note: According to the Alcohol, Beverage, and Control Laws, Article 8, Section 106:

Provisions   governing   licensees   to   sell  at  retail  for consumption on the  premises.  1.  No  retail  license  for  on-premises consumption  shall  be  granted  for  any premises, unless the applicant shall be the owner thereof, or shall be in possession of  said  premises under  a  lease, in writing, for a term not less than the license period except, however, that such license may thereafter be renewed without the requirement of a lease as herein provided.

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  • travy

    haven’t all the failed restaurants since isobel on this corner been connected in some way? i always thought the cafe bon gusto folks were connected too? the corner isn’t cursed, it just needs some mom and pop businesses that actually give a shit about running a restaurant rather than just cashing in on ‘the heights’…

  • ABC

    do these guys have an endless supply of money? they must have some money-making venture somewhere

  • paul

    I have always been curious about what the deal is with these businesses that consistently lose money. these guys have tried so many businesses in these locations that no one ever goes to, something else must be going on.

  • nabeguy

    Change the c in that sign to an f, and you’ve pretty much got the way everbody feels now. Now that they’re closed, I’ll come out and say what I’ve only implied in the past, namely that these businesses must be some kind of money-laundering operations. Given how many unsuccessfull ventures the principals have been involved it, it can’t all come down to bad luck. Not that DK wasn”t a master-scammer, but c’mon give me a break. how many times can you go to the well before you realize it’s empty? This is only an assumption on my part, not an accusation, but the empriical evidence is getting kind of difficult to refute.

  • Troubled Reader

    I wonder, nabeguy, whether there may be a much less sinister explanation, namely, small-business loans?

  • bloke
  • my2cents

    why oh why do the coop boards keep renting to them with their track record?

  • nabeguy

    SBL’s aside, TR, you still have to be at least curious about why somebody would keep pursuing a line of business that they’re so clearly not adept at running. And who in their right mind would keep giving them SBL’s with their track record? But you do raise an important issue, namely that now that the banks lending practices are in a virtual freeze mode does not bode well for anyone wishing to take these spaces over.

  • bloke

    Wine Bar is CLOSED

    Soooooo SLEAZY of the owners to just disappear with no words of contrition posted on any of their shops.

    Reflects their character perfectly.

  • strozzi

    Just to be clear: are you saying that Tazza on Henry Street is another of “their” failed enterprises? Tazza has brought a wonderful cafe, an institution really, to our neighborhood, I’d move if it closed. I’ve re-read your remark, and it isn’t clear to me what you’re saying.

  • nabeguy

    Strozzi, he’s referring to the business that was there before Tazza moved into its Henry Street location…so, you see, things can change for the positive. Out of the ashes, so to speak…

  • Qfwfq

    I apologize, I meant the failed enterprise (Cafe del Mar) that existed at 311 Henry Street before Tazza opened up there.

    Tazza is a great place.

  • lew


    Who are the writer’s and more importantly of what business is it of there’s to question what motivates anyone to invest in and operate a business. What are the writer’s trying to prove and why?

    Why don’t any of the writers just open up a successful business in any of these locations? The locations of these restaurants and previous business at the Henry and Cranberry addresses are not owned by any of the men referenced. If they had not paid their rent they simply would not have been able to operate any of the previous and present businesses.

    If you don’t like what a business offers, simply go somewhere else.

    There has to be a personal motivation here for the presentation of information that sounds like it borders on slander. Therefore, my suggestion is if anyone has the real facts as to (1) why these businesses were operated for any other purposes except the apparent ones (2) what agreements and contract circumstances existed between the owners and the actual people who managed the restaurants (the owners were not the managers), and (3) the names of the owners or partners of each location and restaurant mentioned (based on lease or any public documentation), just post your full name and contact information so that the owners, editors and citizens who read this blog can determine for themselves if the Brooklyn Heights Blog is doing the right thing by allowing this information to be disseminated by it’s readers without substantiation.

    It doesn’t take much to assume that no one will be stepping up here because no one has any “facts”. It is that simple!

  • Homer Fink

    Lew – Thanks for your post. However everything mentioned above is on public record. Ghorchian’s issues at the Kosher Steak House were well documented in local newspapers. Names are on liquor licenses which are public record. Young was exonerated in a case that is part of the public record.

    What is not factual here? Are things different than what is claimed on government documents?

    We’d welcome comment from anyone mentioned in this post who wishes to share their side of the story.

  • Traz

    Check your definition of slander, lew. This website couldn’t harm Kaufman’s reputation if it tried.

  • 3hicks

    also, it is not uncommon for the proprietor of a business to list themselves as an employee – “manager” for legal/liability issues and have the business under a corporate name.

  • lew


    I stand my ground, as per the attached definition of slander:
    In law, defamation (also called calumny, libel, slander, and vilification) is the communication of a statement that makes a false claim, expressively stated or implied to be factual, that may give an individual, business, product, group, government or nation a negative image. Slander refers to a malicious, false, and defamatory statement or report, while libel refers to any other form of communication such as written words or images. Most jurisdictions allow legal actions, civil and/or criminal, to deter various kinds of defamation and retaliate against groundless criticism. Related to defamation is public disclosure of private facts which arises where one person reveals information which is not of public concern, and the release of which would offend a reasonable person.

    3 chicks, I have no idea what your statement means in the context of my statement that the owners are not the managers and vice versa???

  • No One Of Consequence

    I think that what Traz meant is that Kaufman revealed himself to be a multi-tiered scumbag and hence his reputation could not be further harmed by blog posts.

  • Andrew

    Were they operating w/out a license at Wine Bar from Jan to May??

    No. That license dates to 2004 and was renewed in May (until 2010).

    Don’t forget that defaming public figures also requires actual malice, a knowing or reckless disregard for the truth. Restauranteurs and business owners whose employees engaged in identity theft and credit card fraud should expect themselves to be considered public figures, especially to a blog focused on the neighborhood.

    And we’re happy to go to places other than these mediocrities, but in a neighborhood like the Heights with a limit on the amount of commercial space available, there is going to be frustration with the mediocre places because they’re as good as closed for those of us who have learned not to bother with them, and that space could be better used by better restaurants.

  • harry

    lew: beat it.

  • curious george

    Cae del Mar also had an illegal sidewalk cafe.

  • Pineapple


    If you actually read the definition you attached you would understand Traz’s point. Slander is for spoken word, while libel is for written word. Easy enough to remember if you think about the “s” in slander standing for “spoken” and the “l” in libel standing for “literature.”

  • Pineapple


    To conclude my earlier point, anything written on this blog cannot be slander, but rather by definition would have to be libel–unless of course the blog speaks to you….