Henry Street Woes

henrystreet.JPGThe Brooklyn Heights Association writes in its recent newsletter that a lack of landlord creativity in tenant searches is the main reason for the abundance of redundant and uninspiring restaurants on Henry Street.  It also draws a comparison to Smith Street's Restaurant Row saying that the strip is now saturated with eateries with many of "the originals" being forced out by high rents. 

BHB says we should be so lucky to have a problem like the over-saturation of Smith Street.  The worst restaurant there would have a very good shot at being the best one on Henry Street today (with apologies to Henry's End and Noodle Pudding which we visit frequently). 

The BHA also suggests that Henry Street would be a fine place for small boutiques.  We couldn't agree more.  A great example of this would be a recent Smith Street addition — Flight 001 a wonderful travel based gift shop. 

As for the latest debuts on Henry Street — Food Maestro, Aficionada, Le Petite Marche, the Blue Pig Party Place and Blue Pig Ice Cream — the only one that looks like it will make it through 2007 is Blue Pig Ice Cream.

The BHA adds that without a Henry Street merchant's association there's no one to motivate landlords to break the vicious cycle of mediocrity.

On another note, kudos to Fascati Pizza for repairing their sign we pointed out in an earlier report

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  • http://selfabsorbedboomer.blogspot.com Claude Scales

    Homer, I’m still looking forward to “Part 2″. I eagerly await your views on 1960s brutalist architecture.

  • Margaret

    I love Fascati Pizza and personally am glad for less foot traffic on my beloved Henry St. What about Siggy’s Good Food? The restaurant is an amazing and much needed addition to the neighborhood. As for the Food Maestro, etc. – what a joke. Those places seem like weird fronts for who knows what.
    ps-I miss Cubanito!

  • bongo

    Why the deathnote on Petite Marche? Has it even opened yet? I agree with Margaret on Food Maestro, it looks like it’s designed to fail, definitely more to those outlets than meets the eye.

  • Homer Fink

    Good question — it’s taken so long to actually open, wethinks it may have some permit issues or some other larger issue going on… of course we could totally be wrong.

  • Don Fanucci

    I completely disagree with your assessment of Petit Marche – it is nice to have a choice in this neighborhood besides Italian, Sushi and Chinese. Have you even eaten there? Also, landlords and tenants need to be motivated to fix their storefronts – part to the problem is the landmark restrictions in this area make it difficult of the start ups and why Montague has gone the way of chain stores. They are the only ones that have the funding to take on the landmark requirements needed. Henry Street needs to decide if they want to sell out to chains or put up and shut if you can’t get tenants because of the lack of “curb appeal.”

    The BHA would be better suited to taking on landmarks and having them become more flexible with the zoning legislation and stop worrying about scraping posters off the street posts. The gateway to this neighborhood looks like a hole – not the beautiful neighborhood we all know it can be.

  • Don Fanucci

    P.S. Petit Marche has gone the extra mile and will be installing a turn of the century storefront that will be the toast of the neighborhood.

  • homer

    Don – thanks for you comments. As for Le Petit Marche, I have eaten there. We’ll be posting a review soon. What’s your connection to them?

  • Don Fanucci

    No connection – just like the food. And, I love the neighborhood.