Demolition derby at old Busy Chef spot



We spotted a full-time demolition derby going on inside the former Busy Chef, Blue Pig, and Oven spots along Henry Street, at Cranberry Street, this morning. One worker said he they’re gutting everything in the place and that they’ll be done by the end of the day.

The owner of Sweet Melissa Patisserie, Melissa Murphy, has said she hopes to open in the hotspot. Earlier today, Mrs. Fink caught up with Murphy at her Cobble Hill outpost, who said she’s still trying to get the space, but the landlord isn’t budging on the rent.

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  • AEB

    “…[Murphy] said she’s still trying to get the space, but the landlord isn’t budging on the rent.”

    Ah, well. I’m still trying to get that triplex space in the Dakota I want, but darned if the landlord* isn’t budging on the rent.

    In other words, let’s not look for a Sweet Melissa in the Busy Chef spot soon.

    *OK, OK, I know the building’s a co-op, but….

  • No One of Consequence

    Well, I suppose that clearing the space makes it easier for a new tenant to visualize what they want to do, but at the same time, the build-out costs just went way up for any like business (food service) to move in (assuming they could have managed to re-purpose anything).
    Then again, perhaps a full purge is just what the place needs.

  • GHB

    “but the landlord isn’t budging on the rent.” How long does the asshole landlord want to hold on to an empty space? And in this economy? What a f***in’ idiot!!!!

  • nabeguy

    GHB, this particular landlord owns so many properties throughout the city that this space is a pimple on its ass. It could stay empty for years before it even registers with them. On the other hand, given the amount they’re spending on a full demo, I suspect that they’re hopes are as high as their rents are sure to be. Look for a Starbucks near you.

  • AEB

    Well, GHB, the landlord of the building in question is apparently in no rush to rent his retail spaces as two of those–now made into one–have been vacant for about two years.

    The idea, it would seem, is that sustaining a loss is more desirable then renting below market, which locks in a “bargain” rent for years, during which inflation keeps inflating.

    We assume the landlord’s done the math…..

  • my2cents

    I thought the landlord would be the coop board of the Cranlyn. Or is the Cranlyn a rental building?

  • Kate

    Cranlyn is a rental building, and the management company is a DISASTER!! Really, really disgraceful.

  • justaneighbor

    Hang in there kids..I’ve got a feeling we might see something pretty good in there by year’s end..

  • No One Of Consequence

    speaking of empty spaces, I walked Remsen between Perelandra and Bolton’s today and noted that just about every space is available for lease.

  • hickster

    i have no hope for the retail economy in this neighborhood. i still dont understand why we don’t have a fish monger or a ban mi shop.

  • heightsdiho

    fish monger would be swell! I must not be up on the lingo because I have no idea what a ban mi shop might be. Hickster, please enlighten me.

  • Kris

    Ugh…the management company for the Cranlyn IS a complete nightmare!! At the risk of sounding very negative, I just lost all hope for BH having something good on that corner anytime soon :(

  • Jazz

    If someone had the contact info for Cranlyn management and everyone here called them every day demanding that our neighborhood be treated with respect that would get them going!

  • Kris

    212.265.2280 – Good Luck!

  • velvetflip

    With the amount Sweet Melissa charges for their cakes, you would think they could afford the rent…..I don’t see them lowering their prices to accommodate those affected by the weakened economy, so why should Cranlyn????

  • needgoodfoodandwine

    Question to all-
    If someone from the hood that has years of experience in the restaurant, food and wine industry managed to nail that spot with something lively with great food and service would anyone come? That is the real question?

    I have been in this neighborhood for 5 years and barely ever eat out here because there are better restaurants and bars in every other neighborhood in Brooklyn to go to let alone over the bridge.

    I know of an interested group of people that live in the hood that want the space but afraid of doing something that the neighborhood would not support, the new skyrocketed costs of build out and lack of tenant improvement from owners.

    Comments please!!!

  • No One of Consequence

    Know your customer. If they’re afraid, then they must not have a handle on what would work here. I’m not saying I know what that is, but I do know that is part of drafting and executing a solid business plan.

    It could be a good spot, but it has also struggled for quite some time and this is a helluva time to open a new biz.

    I don’t think it’s exactly about great food and service. Consistently mediocre food with adequate service would suffice if it filled a niche.

    Otherwise, you’d have to somehow create a destination to attract customers from out-of-the-area. I am often surprised that there isn’t anything to specifically target the tourists. Maybe not so good for the community, but there be lots of Euros and Yen walking through here every day with scant few places to spend.

    Best of luck.

  • Homer Fink

    NOOC – agree with you re: tourists. Let’s open a lemonade stand.

  • needgoodfoodandwine

    NOOC and others

    About the comment below.

    “I don’t think it’s exactly about great food and service. Consistently mediocre food with adequate service would suffice if it filled a niche.”

    Why is it that this neighborhood doesn’t demand better from it’s eating and drinking spots? This is one of NYC’s greatest and wealthiest neighborhoods. Mediocre food with adequate service is not something I tend to spend my money on thus I do not eat in my own neighborhood. I love everything else about living here. It’s pretty sad if that is truly the answer!

    Tourists have no choice but to eat at whatever spots are here and they probably never come back here after that first visit over the bridge.

    I know many people who eat all over Brooklyn and frequent spots in many different neighborhoods. I don’t really see people from other neighborhoods coming here and talking about the great food in the Heights, which again is sad for the neighborhood.

    Thanks for your comment… Keep em’ coming…

  • No One of Consequence

    Because that’s the way the neighborhood is, IMO. I didn’t say to SETTLE for that, but you can have the greatest food and the best service but if it’s not what the customer WANTS, it will fail.
    Note that I said “Consistently mediocre” which is substantially different from good-one-day-not-so-good-the-next.
    Or, like I said, you have to create a destination to draw crowds from other areas. If you have kids, you know that eating out is a limited activity, even at a kid friendly place. You’re not going to change the demographic with a restaurant.
    You asked for what people here would support, and that’s what I think, something that fills a gap, therefore it doesn’t have to be awesome.

    Regarding the tourists, true they are limited to what’s here, but if you created a destination the word would get out in the travel guides that once/before you walk over the bridge and get on/off the A train at High St., walk the extra block to [insert name of tourist trap here] to refuel, rest, pit-stop, learn about the area, etc.

    Hey, Homer, you got some seed money?

  • needgoodfoodandwine

    NOOC-Thanks for you comments, much appreciated!