Author Topic: Status of Swim Two Birds Restaurant  (Read 56191 times)

Offline MrPlaza

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Re: Status of Swim Two Birds Restaurant
« Reply #15 on: January 04, 2017, 09:39:45 PM »
Still thinking about oysters and seafood platters tonight :)

Brooklyn's Maison Premiere, which I assume took its name from a Paris restaurant that I worked at called Maison Prunier, has become extremely popular for oysters and platters.

I don't know whether there will be the same demand in Jackson Heights - maybe with younger people - but I want to try offering oysters from Long Island as well as further north to Maine, New Brunswick, Quebec and Prince Edward Island.

For a special occasion, I'd be into bringing in some of the truly great French oysters, the subject of Eleanor Clark's "Oysters of Locmariaquer", which won the National Book Award for Non-Fiction.

We're going to have some fun with this restaurant.
My body is ready. Hahaha.

Offline dssjh

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Re: Status of Swim Two Birds Restaurant
« Reply #16 on: January 05, 2017, 12:37:15 AM »
since i am the one who started the now-locked "other" thread a couple of months ago, i want to say that i stand corrected, and am intrigued about what you'd discussed, menu wise, when you initially announced plans to open here. especially a tourtiere (which will likely have to wait until this coming Christmas season).

i apologize for guessing you'd given up the ghost; a twitter account hadn't been updated in 14 months, nor had a facebook page, which had your initial run of updates, largely decor-driven, as well as one very positive review from someone who apparently really enjoyed dining at swim two birds in the summer of 2015. mea culpa on that front.

hoping the road is smooth from here on.

Offline Cassat

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Re: Status of Swim Two Birds Restaurant
« Reply #17 on: January 05, 2017, 06:22:16 PM »
Stew, I can't tell you how pleased I am to see this development. I'm from New England, I will eat all the seafood I see on your menu. And I have three words for you: whole bellied clams :)

Offline Jeffsayyes

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Re: Status of Swim Two Birds Restaurant
« Reply #18 on: January 05, 2017, 09:33:54 PM »
I would say try it one night a week, make sure  people know about it from the menu and facebook, and see if it works. If there is doubt that it could work, just look at Case del Chef in Woodside which appears to be doing well - which I do think has to do with their cuisine being quite safe yet upscale.

Offline Ms. Jackson

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Re: Status of Swim Two Birds Restaurant
« Reply #19 on: January 06, 2017, 02:49:58 PM »
It's great to hear from you, again, Stew. I am REALLY looking forward to the opening. Slow and steady!

Offline ptbass75

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Re: Status of Swim Two Birds Restaurant
« Reply #20 on: January 06, 2017, 06:18:28 PM »
Best of luck getting your restaurant up and running.   I know the founders of the queens dinner club, and when you guys are operational I'd be more than happy to recommend sending a scouting party for considering hosting one of their events at your restaurant.

Offline Stew

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Re: Status of Swim Two Birds Restaurant
« Reply #21 on: January 06, 2017, 06:51:21 PM »
Hi dssjh,

Thanks. I don't want to get into the reasons for the delay right now, but I will say that they have had nothing to do with finances and everything to do with the City. I may have more to say about this after we open.

Offline Stew

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Re: Status of Swim Two Birds Restaurant
« Reply #22 on: January 06, 2017, 07:07:03 PM »
Stew, I can't tell you how pleased I am to see this development. I'm from New England, I will eat all the seafood I see on your menu. And I have three words for you: whole bellied clams :)

I was trained in a seafood restaurant (Maison Prunier) and my grandfather was a North Atlantic fisherman. The question isn't whether we will be offering fresh seafood, but how much demand there is for raw seafood, such as oysters. We're certainly going to give it a try.

I can guarantee you a killer lobster chowder :)

Offline Stew

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Re: Status of Swim Two Birds Restaurant
« Reply #23 on: January 06, 2017, 07:40:03 PM »
I want to make something clear.

The delays in opening our restaurant are the sole result of building violations by other tenants in the building and an allegation by a city building inspector that was overturned, in its entirety, on appeal.

When our alleged violation was overturned on appeal, somebody in the city suddenly discovered, within a couple of weeks, in the building department archives, violations in the building generally that went back to 1999, which is 18 years ago. The issue was outdoor signage. These issues should have been addressed by the landlord, and by the then tenants, but were not.

As a result, we were denied a work permit again.

After a long appeal process (second appeal), we were finally given another work permit, but in December 2016 we were told that we would have to make a further application in order to continue work past January 1, 2017. So we engaged counsel yet again.

During this experience, we contacted our city councilor's office and were brushed off.

No need to tell me to hire a serious high end lawyer. That's done.

Just posted this to make it crystal clear what has been going on.

When we open, I'll have more to say about this, partly to help other people who want to open legitimate businesses in Jackson Heights.

Meanwhile, we are continuing to turn the space into what I believe will be a beautiful, if small, restaurant. I'll leave this issue to our lawyer, and refrain from saying anything else about this absurd situation until we open.
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 07:55:46 PM by Stew »

Offline Stew

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Re: Status of Swim Two Birds Restaurant
« Reply #24 on: January 06, 2017, 08:20:12 PM »
The one part of this history that is amusing is that we have torn down the signage, apparently also in violation of city requirements, over our space.

Why? Because the signage is awful and is inconsistent with the original design of the building.

Meanwhile, the city is putting us through hell, and costing us money, to get rid of it.

Truly amazing.

Offline MrPlaza

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Re: Status of Swim Two Birds Restaurant
« Reply #25 on: January 06, 2017, 08:25:52 PM »
I want to make something clear.

The delays in opening our restaurant are the sole result of building violations by other tenants in the building and an allegation by a city building inspector that was overturned, in its entirety, on appeal.

When our alleged violation was overturned on appeal, somebody in the city suddenly discovered, within a couple of weeks, in the building department archives, violations in the building generally that went back to 1999, which is 18 years ago. The issue was outdoor signage. These issues should have been addressed by the landlord, and by the then tenants, but were not.

As a result, we were denied a work permit again.

After a long appeal process (second appeal), we were finally given another work permit, but in December 2016 we were told that we would have to make a further application in order to continue work past January 1, 2017. So we engaged counsel yet again.

During this experience, we contacted our city councilor's office and were brushed off.

No need to tell me to hire a serious high end lawyer. That's done.

Just posted this to make it crystal clear what has been going on.

When we open, I'll have more to say about this, partly to help other people who want to open legitimate businesses in Jackson Heights.

Meanwhile, we are continuing to turn the space into what I believe will be a beautiful, if small, restaurant. I'll leave this issue to our lawyer, and refrain from saying anything else about this absurd situation until we open.
An explanation was unnecessary, but appreciated. At this point, I think we're all about moving onward and upward. NYC is rife with building violations (some legitimate, some less so). It seems to be the unfortunate cost of doing business here. That being said, regardless of the size or delay, there's obviously a lot of pent up desire for something fresh and new to hit the streets. So, like you said, your tale — cautionary if nothing else — should help others in your wake with navigating the tricky challenges of starting a business here.

Offline Stew

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Re: Status of Swim Two Birds Restaurant
« Reply #26 on: January 06, 2017, 10:41:09 PM »
An explanation was unnecessary, but appreciated. At this point, I think we're all about moving onward and upward. NYC is rife with building violations (some legitimate, some less so). It seems to be the unfortunate cost of doing business here.

Yeah, meanwhile there's this thing called rent :)
« Last Edit: January 06, 2017, 10:53:10 PM by Stew »

Offline dssjh

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Re: Status of Swim Two Birds Restaurant
« Reply #27 on: January 07, 2017, 12:20:36 PM »
Hi dssjh,

Thanks. I don't want to get into the reasons for the delay right now, but I will say that they have had nothing to do with finances and everything to do with the City. I may have more to say about this after we open.

oh, i didn't think you/your partners were having financial issues, and i do recall mention of the frustrations you were having with building issues that were beyond your control.

we live right down the block, so we pass by the storefront every day, and seeing activity was and is heartening. looking forward to that chowder.

Offline Travis

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Re: Status of Swim Two Birds Restaurant
« Reply #28 on: January 07, 2017, 03:34:21 PM »
I love raw oyster! I think the demand is there with the younger crowd. Can't wait for you guys to open.

Offline PizzaRat

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Re: Status of Swim Two Birds Restaurant
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2017, 06:49:55 PM »
Will there be a bar at Swim Two Birds? How late will you be open?

As neighbors who were by a couple of weeks ago saw, we have built a bar near the entrance that will seat seven or eight people. Not big, but cosy. The chairs are custom made, they're really comfortable, and I'm in love with them :)

I would like to see us serving food until around 11:00 pm on weekends (closing maybe around midnight), but this will depend on demand.

Thanks for the questions.

As someone with back problems that often has to leave bars/restaurants due to uncomfortable seating, that's awesome to hear! Best of luck to you.

Jackson Heights Life

Re: Status of Swim Two Birds Restaurant
« Reply #29 on: January 07, 2017, 06:49:55 PM »