Jackson Heights Life

Get Connected => Restaurants & Food => Topic started by: Stew on May 26, 2016, 10:13:08 PM

Title: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
Post by: Stew on May 26, 2016, 10:13:08 PM
I want to reply publicly to the many people who have asked where we're at.

Recently, New York City adopted a bylaw that says that if one tenant of a building has a Department of Buildings violation, no other tenant can get a building permit.

In our case, there are other premises in our building that have violations. Apparently, they are mostly about signage, and in at least one case go back to 1999.

The result is that we have been unable to get a permit since January to continue renovations.

Previous to this, our building permit was suspended for several months because a NYC Building Inspector cited us for making cosmetic changes to our space, citations that were thrown out in October, in their entirety, by the tribunal that deals with alleged violations.

My law firm tells me that I may get a building permit next week, at of course considerable cost, to continue working despite the City's position to this minute that we should be closed down because of violations by others over which we have no control.

I don't know what to say. First, a Building Inspector dragged us through the court system over making completely legal cosmetic changes to our space, and now we have been refused a building permit since January because other people have violations, and apparently the Department of Buildings is talking about minor sign violations that go back to 1999.

My lawyer tells me that we may get a building permit next week that gets around this craziness.

I just want to open, preferably before the City of New York forces me into bankruptcy.

Stew

Title: Re: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
Post by: Cassat on May 26, 2016, 10:27:01 PM
Really sorry that you are going through one crazy obstacle after another, Stew. Crossing my fingers that the way forward clears soon.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
Post by: petster on May 26, 2016, 10:51:51 PM
Unbelievable story.  Have you attempted to reach out to any politician or media for help to resolve this for you.  Sounds incredulous and I'm so sorry to hear of this. 
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
Post by: redge on May 26, 2016, 11:12:31 PM
Unbelievable story.  Have you attempted to reach out to any politician or media for help to resolve this for you.  Sounds incredulous and I'm so sorry to hear of this.

We called Mr. Dromm's office the first time the Department of Buildings went after us, and received no response.

What I'd like to know now is what his vote was when his council decided to refuse people like us a building permit for other people's violations.

I'm just trying to open a serious restaurant in Jackson Heights that some people might like.

This is turning into a nightmare.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
Post by: Simka on May 27, 2016, 01:11:06 AM
It's appalling. I can't believe they have dragged this out so long.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
Post by: lalochezia on May 27, 2016, 09:34:54 AM
Firstly, this sucks beyond belief! We're all rooting for you!

Secondly..... if your lawyers plan doesn't work.
Media: with the caveat that you should find someone who presents the most sympathetic case possible; remember the goal is to break through the political logjam, get building again, and not prove to the world  every injustice that has been visited on you.
Rather than randomly going for a strategy, If you can find examples of people successfully using media to go up against DoB absurdities, then use that as a model - or better yet, use those people.

--

 "Signage violation" seems to be 100% BS reason and an overbroad application of an over blunt tool in law , but if a landlord or tenant has unsafe conditions due to a violation, and refuses to redress the violation, you can see why this kind of stick would be useful.  I realize this is little consolation to you....


What I'd like to know now is what his vote was when his council decided to refuse people like us a building permit for other people's violations.


Leave this kind of thing alone for now. Eyes on the prize!
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
Post by: Lilybell on May 27, 2016, 10:44:35 AM
Stew, I don't know if you ever reached out to the contact I gave you at the Dept. of Small Business Services, but this might be something he can help with.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
Post by: thedisabledfoodie on May 29, 2016, 10:52:26 AM
So sorry about all of this, Stew. It's really awful. Hoping it works out soon for you and with minimal stress and additional cost.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
Post by: wlirfan on June 03, 2016, 10:54:23 AM
I'm very sympathetic, but looking at the DOB web site, there are 7 open violations, 6 of which predate you but involve doing construction work without a permit, and 1 of which is a (minor and brand-spankin' new) boiler registration violation.  Your landlord -- not you -- should be dealing with these old violations to get them off the record so that you can proceed.  I did see the violation that was dismissed, so good job on that one.

Good luck and hope you open soon.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
Post by: turtalia on June 08, 2016, 12:17:07 PM
Thank you for the update! I've been wondering how you guys were doing.  That story is crappy and I hope it turns out for the best - not least of all because I'm looking forward to being an early customer!
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
Post by: missmarty on June 08, 2016, 03:13:23 PM
Really sorry to hear about this. (after just reading a friends building, going co-op price changed from $450,000 to 750,000 in a year!) Bad day for small business and small income families in JH.

I've worked with Monica Morales at Pix11 a few times. She covers these types of stories in Queens. Message me, if it sounds like a good idea.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
Post by: Sabina on October 07, 2016, 04:04:17 PM
Any updates? I see lights on inside when I pass by in the evenings.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
Post by: Spinitch on October 12, 2016, 03:59:37 PM
i just saw some people working on the space. they said it might be open for the holidays :)
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds - Where We're At
Post by: Shelby2 on October 12, 2016, 09:02:40 PM
i just saw some people working on the space. they said it might be open for the holidays :)

Excellent news!
Title: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: dssjh on November 10, 2016, 09:22:44 PM
no sign of activity. permits outside either expired or expiring within a couple of weeks.

you quit, right, guys?
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: rhydewithdis on November 11, 2016, 08:17:47 AM
thats too bad
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: Lilybell on November 11, 2016, 09:32:40 AM
No updates on his facebook page - last post was November 2015. What a shame. Maybe there's still hope but it seems unlikely.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: ljr on November 11, 2016, 12:20:44 PM
I've seen the gates up on that storefront during recent days, indicating that something is going on in there. Gates are down at night. I've been noticing gates up during the daytime for a few weeks. They used to always be closed.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: Benoit on November 11, 2016, 02:26:29 PM
I wouldn't be so quick to count them out just yet....
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: dssjh on November 11, 2016, 05:02:05 PM
I wouldn't be so quick to count them out just yet....

cool.

they need to get some unexpired permits so they don't get shut down for operating with expired permits
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: European on November 11, 2016, 08:28:27 PM
His problem was that he was trying to open upscale restaurant. Pharmacy would be much better choice, or let's say 99 cents.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: JDinJH on November 12, 2016, 09:04:43 AM
It is a shame!  It is very hard to open a business in NYC, especially a restaurant, when compared to other parts of the country.  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/26/dining/restaurant-economics-new-york.html?_r=1.  Too bad, it looks they were saddled with regulations and obstacles that killed the birds before they had a chance to fly. 
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: NYC Peromyscus on November 12, 2016, 02:10:36 PM
It is a shame as I don't wish failure on anyone willing to take the plunge...but there are hundreds of restaurants in Jackson Heights that seem to do fine, and many of which are quite successful. This was likely a combination of bad luck and inexperience.

It is a shame!  It is very hard to open a business in NYC, especially a restaurant, when compared to other parts of the country.  http://www.nytimes.com/2016/10/26/dining/restaurant-economics-new-york.html?_r=1.  Too bad, it looks they were saddled with regulations and obstacles that killed the birds before they had a chance to fly.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: lalochezia on November 12, 2016, 02:13:48 PM
It is a shame as I don't wish failure on anyone willing to take the plunge...but there are hundreds of restaurants in Jackson Heights that seem to do fine, and many of which are quite successful. This was likely a combination of bad luck and inexperience.


How many of them are new?
 How many of them are opened without a local "in"/discount rate or the backing of a large chain?
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: dssjh on November 12, 2016, 10:10:34 PM
he also came in telling the users of this board that everything they ate was garbage, that no one in jackson heights was selling food worthy of feeding to a dog, and that only he could save us all. kind of like the presidential race that just ended.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: voelteer on November 13, 2016, 08:38:47 AM
kind of like the presidential race that just ended.

And on top of all that his birth certificate proves he's Canadian--da noive!  ;)
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: amsci on November 15, 2016, 08:08:20 PM
If/when STB officially throws in the towel*, how quickly do you think another business will open up in that space? I say 6-8 weeks tops.

*Not that I wish it on them! Its just interesting how some places seem to pop up compared to others. (WTH is going on with the Queensboro?)
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: sl on November 16, 2016, 07:25:19 AM
I guess it's very difficult to open a non ethnic restaurant in JH
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: lalochezia on November 16, 2016, 08:47:08 AM
Some of the paper covering is down in the front window - and you can see some rudimentary new construction in there - perhaps a front counter/reception area?
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: dssjh on November 16, 2016, 03:57:44 PM
french bistro would be ethnic, no?

even french-canadian?

I guess it's very difficult to open a non ethnic restaurant in JH
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: MinorIon on November 19, 2016, 07:28:48 AM
The owners were so obnoxious here and elsewhere that I never would've patronized their restaurant. But I still hope they succeed.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: Palermo on November 19, 2016, 08:43:38 AM
I guess it's very difficult to open a non ethnic restaurant in JH

Does a Colombian consider a restaurant that serves Colombian food ethnic?
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: dssjh on November 19, 2016, 07:03:43 PM
in Colombia, Colombian food is just called "food."

I guess it's very difficult to open a non ethnic restaurant in JH

Does a Colombian consider a restaurant that serves Colombian food ethnic?
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: Jeffsayyes on November 20, 2016, 05:41:52 AM
How about something not ethnic? Like a nice Italian restaurant!
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: Palermo on November 22, 2016, 07:32:29 AM
How about something not ethnic? Like a nice Italian restaurant!

Oh that's gonna cause some headaches for the boys down at the Bureau of Urban Restaurant Placement.  The Anti-European Food Mafia will fight pretty hard on that.  Just to get Sac's in, we had to trade away Due Fratelli and a 2nd Round draft pick.  I know the DOJ is looking into RICO charges against landlords willing to give up extra money by offering discounts to 99 cent stores and ethnic eateries just to make sure European foods don't get in, but I don't know how far they will get with it.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: jeanette on November 22, 2016, 09:22:11 AM
Palermo, sarcasm aside: "...DOJ is looking into RICO charges against landlords willing to give up extra money by offering discounts to 99 cent stores"

just what possible other explanation would there be for the long-term existence of these relatively huge stores in an area with sky-high rents? 

I'm open to hearing some other explanations.

The newest 99+ shop that replaced Italian Farms has to be premium rent. It's literally stocked with junk. I looked and couldn't find anything worth purchasing.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: dssjh on November 22, 2016, 12:05:45 PM
"couldn't find anything worth purchasing."

you know, i bet a recent immigrant from Nepal/Honduras/Mongolia living on a fixed income could say the same about Lockwood or Pauglina.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: Benoit on November 22, 2016, 02:37:08 PM
I'm not from any of those places and I can still say the the same about Lockwood and Paulina.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: CaptainFlannel on November 22, 2016, 04:54:36 PM
When I first got out of school and had my first post-college job, with no financial support from my folks, shopping at the 99 cent  store kept me afloat. Heck, I still have some of those cooking utensils. Don't knock the 99 cent store and the people who need to shop there.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: lalochezia on November 22, 2016, 06:54:30 PM
Everyone agrees that 99c stores, nail salons and pharmacies are important and serve needs.

I think the problem here (by here I mean on this board) is people simply don't understand the basic financial viability of a 99c store on every other block,  a nail store on every other block, and a pharmacy on every other block, when so many other stores - which have a natural constituency in JH -  cannot get a foothold AT ALL because of high rents or some other reason.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: jeanette on November 22, 2016, 08:07:21 PM
people simply don't understand the basic financial viability of a 99c store on every other block,  a nail store on every other block, and a pharmacy on every other block

A few folks, kind people surely, are in denial.

Btw, I am on a fixed income. I do shop at the 99 cents+ stores. The discussion is how do they survive, not who hates whom. Can we stay on subject?

In their defense, nail salons likely pay their own way. Their price point is relatively high and turnover is generally good. Plus the business model may be independent contractors paying to have a chair and/or splitting income.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: jeanette on November 22, 2016, 08:35:29 PM
i bet a recent immigrant from Nepal/Honduras/Mongolia living on a fixed income could say the same about Lockwood or Pauglina.

I give the N-H-Ms among us more credit than you. They don't want that junk either.

I can float one idea that may explain their ability to survive, and that is one of big business owning or somehow controlling a group of stores, similar to the street vending carts model. That would also explain the new stores popping up everywhere as a new enterprise-new investment-promise of jobs, and may extend tax breaks or affect loan terms.

I don't know, I'm just conjecturing.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: Jeffsayyes on November 22, 2016, 11:16:16 PM
Not sure I should give away my newest best kept secret BUT the 99 cents stores sometimes stock incandescent bulbs. This is an amazing revelation for people like me who get headaches from LEDs. They usually say "Not for sale in USA" haha.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: CaptainFlannel on November 23, 2016, 08:21:21 AM
Everyone agrees that 99c stores, nail salons and pharmacies are important and serve needs.

I really have a hard time believing the person who said he/she couldn't find anything worth buying in a 99 cent store agrees that they are important and serve needs.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: queenskid2 on November 23, 2016, 10:06:50 AM
Is there any proof that landlords favor so-called "ethnic" restaurants over so-called "euro" eateries?  In my experience, landlords only favor those who can pay the most rent.  Part of Swim Two Birds problem was the application for a liquor license.  Also, the owners had a less than cordial relationship with the local Community Board which has to sign off on such a permit.  More importantly, if it's the landlord's fault then how come Swim Two Birds was able to sign a lease?  Where's the bias?

Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: Lilybell on November 23, 2016, 11:27:24 AM
Quote
Is there any proof that landlords favor so-called "ethnic" restaurants over so-called "euro" eateries?  In my experience, landlords only favor those who can pay the most rent.  Part of Swim Two Birds problem was the application for a liquor license.  Also, the owners had a less than cordial relationship with the local Community Board which has to sign off on such a permit.  More importantly, if it's the landlord's fault then how come Swim Two Birds was able to sign a lease

It's not about favoring a specific type of cuisine, it's about certain landlords giving preferential rents to people from their home region. It's not all of the landlords, it's some of them. Maybe a different landlord owns the spot where Swim Two Birds might open.

We have no idea what is going on with Swim Two Birds and it's pointless to try to assign blame to anyone.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: sl on November 23, 2016, 12:46:39 PM
 Anyone know what's the status of the Queensboro?
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: jeanette on November 23, 2016, 01:22:49 PM
It's not about favoring a specific type of cuisine, it's about certain landlords giving preferential rents to people from their home region. It's not all of the landlords, it's some of them. Maybe a different landlord owns the spot where Swim Two Birds might open.

Exactly. I am familiar with that building. The current owners are from the Far East, but have not demonstrated the type of presumed preferential access that is the subject of this discussion.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: ljr on November 24, 2016, 09:28:39 AM
Last I heard (from a credible source) the issue was some ancient building violations that predated them signing their lease.  Work was halted because of that. I heard that months ago, though.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: dssjh on November 24, 2016, 10:02:59 AM
i think that's the case, but since the management was so prolific in posting every detail of the progress on things like choosing chairs (which looked very nice), it's not good when this many months go by without a single word.

and the same might be said (in terms of no info) on the queensboro, whose owners seem to have disappeared entirely -- and they used to be board regulars on a lot of fronts.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: Palermo on November 26, 2016, 09:38:40 AM
just what possible other explanation would there be for the long-term existence of these relatively huge stores in an area with sky-high rents? 

It lays in perspective.  Let us be honest here.  Most posters on this matter, myself included, share a particular perspective which does not match up with the perspectives of the overwhelming majority of residents of the area.  We wonder aloud of how some businesses flower and others fail without doing a very good job of understanding the habits of those who wield the lion's share of spending power, sometimes reverting to borderline fantastical insinuations of malfeasance, conspiration or prejudice.  Even tossing about the term "ethnic" is telling.  Try taking ethnic out of the equation and then postulate how so many banks and phone stores flourish around here.  It is their consumer habits, not ours, that is the primary vehicle for business development in the area.  Is there a natural constituency around here to support a reclaimed wood and iron bistro offering up burgers, salads and Sculpin IPA sans televisions?  I'm positive there is, but how much crushingly larger is the constituency for the shops that have earned extra enmity?  I'm comfortably certain that a genuine reflection of differing perspectives, an understanding of business models and a fair grasp Jackson Heights commercial real estate would offer grounded explanations.

I know nothing of the economics of 99 cent stores, which makes me par for the course around here.  I can observe though.  "Jackson Heights 99 cent and up", between 85th and 86th, has an entire aisle filled with homeware which befit such a business.  What force, other than market economics, would compel the owners to stock that inventory and devote such a large amount of space to it if no one was buying it?  Raise your hand if your cupboards are filled with their plates, glasses and flatware.  Someone is buying it.  That's what makes that store meet its rent.  That and the fact the owners sweat day and night, 7 days a week, to pull it off.  It insults their hard work to figure otherwise.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: ljr on November 26, 2016, 07:49:54 PM
Palermo may be a bit naive. I have no idea if 99 cent stores are ever used as "fronts" for illegal businesses, but I've been hearing about such things for years---businesses that are actually fronts-- not only in relation to JH, but to other neighborhoods I've lived in. I have a hard time believing this idea is merely a myth and never true. So depicting every storefront (especially ones that never seem to have customers) as heroically struggling mom-and-pop's seems a bit naive to me. And as has been mentioned before, sometimes landlords will indeed give preferential treatment to tenants they are connected to, sometimes via their homelands. This happens, according to people who seem to know, plus it seems entirely plausible and natural that it would. So to deny that anything may be exerting some sort of influence over the retail landscape other than natural market forces (the idea that there are more 99 cent store patrons than not here) just seems to be over-simplifying the situation.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: dssjh on November 26, 2016, 09:18:07 PM
in 35-plus years of living here, the places i've seen busted as 'fronts' are usually restaurants, bars and coffee houses. and, naturally, currency exchange places. never seen a 99 cent store or nail salon brought down. there's always a first time, of course.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: Palermo on November 27, 2016, 10:31:52 AM
ljr, your first sentence was spot on and I admire your efforts to erect a straw man with the rest of it.  Do it enough and you can be elected president, 'specially where immigrants are concerned.  Regardless, while I thought it obvious, perhaps it wasn't: saying "market economics" is not meant to connote a spherical chicken in a vacuum situation.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: jeanette on November 27, 2016, 07:46:59 PM
I just think a system that has oversight by way of regulations, anti-discrimination laws, tax breaks, etc. should be fair. If it's not, we should at the very least (for example, street vendor black-market licensing) be aware of it.

The consequences of unfair rental practices are far reaching. Taxes, jobs, infrastructure, political district lines, all affected.   

I think Donald Trump is a thief and a liar, yet as far as we know his conduct in business has been legal. Still, common sense tells us that his success is not a result of his superior intellect or "hard work." Like the driver who forces their car in front of yours so that you are stuck in the intersection during a green light. Who gets the ticket? Not the one who muscled you out.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: M7X7 on November 28, 2016, 02:35:36 PM
Still, common sense tells us that his success is not a result of his superior intellect or "hard work."

This is very off-topic, but FWIW he actually hasn't been all that successful. Trump's businesses have under-performed the market as a whole. He's rich because he started rich and real estate has risen a lot, but he's quite literally a below average businessman.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: jeanette on November 28, 2016, 05:36:48 PM
He's rich because he started rich and real estate has risen a lot, but he's quite literally a below average businessman.

Where's the like button?

I think he's "successful" at gaming the system. I remember when he filed bankruptcy just as he was divorcing Ivana. His timing is spot on.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: CaptainFlannel on November 29, 2016, 01:51:42 PM
Last three things I bought at a 99 cent store, within the last two weeks: Aim toothpaste (cheaper than Crest and Colgate and no longer available at drug stores); a shot glass; and some name brand deodorant.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: itsit on December 04, 2016, 09:09:40 AM
There was alot of action yesterday at the restaurant. A nice looking bar is immediately to the left and workers were busy.
 Who knows?? But in a year of craziness, he just might be open and serving those wonderful French Canadian holiday
meat pies called Tourtiere for Jackson Heights folks to savor this Christmas. Would be amazing.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: Songodd on December 04, 2016, 01:12:01 PM
Last three things I bought at a 99 cent store, within the last two weeks: Aim toothpaste (cheaper than Crest and Colgate and no longer available at drug stores); a shot glass; and some name brand deodorant.

i think 99 stores flourished during the recession. i remember them popping up a lot in the 90s. BTW the guy from two birds was insulting and probably pissed off the wrong people. you don't get anywhere by attacking the community board and making accusations.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: CaptainFlannel on December 05, 2016, 06:55:15 AM
The 90s (the Clinton years) aren't known for their economic despair. There was a recession in the early 90s (1990-1991), but the 1990s were a time of economic prosperity that only ended when the tech bubble burst. 99 cent stores fill a need, and really do have some products that even people who aren't struggling financially would find useful.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: deja on December 05, 2016, 05:17:54 PM
Not denying they are useful for some things, but we really don't need 10 ^ 19891829321 of them...
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: dssjh on December 05, 2016, 06:46:42 PM
well, some folks have raised questions about how 99 cent stores can be profitable enough to pay the often usurious rent prices here, especially on 37th avenue.

i'd like to ask the same question about a place like the newly opened pauglina -- which seems like a perfectly lovely place. can they really sell enough flowers, cutesy decor items and lety's cookies to make  $7000-$9000 rent every month?

Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: francis on December 05, 2016, 07:58:57 PM
They might.   Don't forget,  there's not two "Pauglina's"  on every block like there are 99 cent stores.  The real news here is that now there are three such stores---Inner Peace, Lockwood, and now,  Pauglina.   
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: CaptainFlannel on December 06, 2016, 06:07:28 AM
The market, in which we participate, will decide what it needs or wants. If it's one 99 cent store every 3-4 blocks, that's what the neighborhood (market) needs and wants. Those stores aren't in business because no one spends their money in them after all. If they don't make enough money to be profitable, they will close. Apparently, they make enough money from the people in the neighborhood to be profitable. Will the new one in the former Italian Farms space be open in year? We'll see.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: lalochezia on December 06, 2016, 04:41:29 PM
The market, in which we participate, will decide what it needs or wants. If it's one 99 cent store every 3-4 blocks, that's what the neighborhood (market) needs and wants. Those stores aren't in business because no one spends their money in them after all. If they don't make enough money to be profitable, they will close. Apparently, they make enough money from the people in the neighborhood to be profitable. Will the new one in the former Italian Farms space be open in year? We'll see.

These free market exhortations are tiresome and made without evidence.

There are plenty of businesses that either don't make a profit e.g.  manhattan: loss leaders for fashion stores in the village (vast rents, virtually no sles, for halo branding), thru vanity projects of millionaires,
on a more quotidian level
 places that have inertia and 30 year rents, to people that own buildings and run their stores at a loss by renting other units, places that are subsidized by tax breaks (see new construction in williamsburg)

There are plenty of places in JH that aren't "free market", as plenty of people have mentioned "in prices" vs "out prices" for rents and who knows what else.

To compare these with people just starting up without any of these advantages is INSANE.

Please stop it.....

in other words the burden of proof is on you to back up the claim that these are "free market". Show me the books! until then the best we can say is WE DON'T KNOW.
 
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: dssjh on December 06, 2016, 05:52:54 PM
guilty until proven innocent, eh?

this is the way America has worked for centuries. if you sold your apartment to one of your children below market rate, you wouldn't be morally bankrupt, would you?

you do know private landlords are under no obligation to answer to you about what they do with their property, right?

why should you or i have any right to tell a landlord not to cut a deal for a friend of a friend?
try selling that fiction to the "legitimate businessmen" in certain brooklyn neighborhoods. or the orthodox community.  or the poles. or the irish. or anyone.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: CaptainFlannel on December 06, 2016, 08:43:15 PM

These free market exhortations are tiresome and made without evidence.
If you think there is no evidence for markets, that is very unfortunate for you.
There are plenty of businesses that either don't make a profit e.g.  manhattan: loss leaders for fashion stores in the village (vast rents, virtually no sles, for halo branding), thru vanity projects of millionaires,
on a more quotidian level

you don't understand what a loss leader is.
places that have inertia and 30 year rents, to people that own buildings and run their stores at a loss by renting other units, places that are subsidized by tax breaks (see new construction in williamsburg)

You think business people run their businesses at a loss? Give me a break. Could the occasional real estate investor run a vanity business that losses money and subsidize it with rental income? Absolutely. But in the end it could not be done if that person weren't making enough money to not only cover the loss from the vanity business, but be making enough money to be profitable overall.

Additionally, who the heck do you think is running a 99 cent store as a vanity business? Get out of here with that.


There are plenty of places in JH that aren't "free market", as plenty of people have mentioned "in prices" vs "out prices" for rents and who knows what else. 

Is see a lot of hypothesis, but no actual evidence.


To compare these with people just starting up without any of these advantages is INSANE.

Please stop it.....

Maybe you should consider taking it down about 15 notches. There was absolutely no reason for this outburst.


in other words the burden of proof is on you to back up the claim that these are "free market". Show me the books! until then the best we can say is WE DON'T KNOW.

Exactly where did I use the term "free market" that seems to have been the trigger for this melt down? OH THAT'S RIGHT! I DIDN'T.

By the way, there's a reason dictionaries provide multiple meanings for words. https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/market (https://www.merriam-webster.com/dictionary/market)
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: lalochezia on December 07, 2016, 01:01:01 PM
You're right. My tone was too strident. I apologize.

Seriously: What kind of market from your dictionary "will decide what it needs or wants" if it isn't "free".

Market in the context you used it is usually shorthand for "a system in which players maximize their economic advantage to a set of rules". Except that there are some sets of rules for some and others for others, and the rules are opaque……

And this is implicitly ignored by members of this board who  -perhaps unintentionally -  ascribe blame and weakness to businesses that fail to start - e.g.

"you quit, right guys” (with all the moral implications that this has)

or ascribe it to another cause  such as

 "the market" - free or otherwise -  "will decide what it needs or wants" as if it were a dispassionate law of nature that we must hew to rather than the somewhat biased prejudicial human-generated system that operates here.

In other words. we don’t need to accept that “ some locals can open businesses whereas these other  people can’t open….. therefore must be something wrong with THESE OTHER PEOPLE”  rather than something being wrong with our neighborhood’s economic structure.


Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: CaptainFlannel on December 07, 2016, 01:31:31 PM
^Thank you, appreciate that.

I posted the following:

The market, in which we participate, will decide what it needs or wants. If it's one 99 cent store every 3-4 blocks, that's what the neighborhood (market) needs and wants.

Which aligns with:
4a (1) :  a geographic area of demand for commodities or services (2) :  a specified category of potential buyers <the youth market>

People tend to overstate how many 99 cent stores there are (e.g. two every block) when in fact 37th Avenue there's about 1 ever 4-5 blocks. There's one near Trade Fair up near 90th St., one at 85th St., one at 81st St., one or two near 78th St. Beyond that I don't think there are more farther down, though I could be mistaken.

The very existence of these businesses suggests the Jackson Heights market can support these businesses. (Ain't nobody travelling to Jackson Heights for a 99 cent store.) 99 cent stores aren't vanity businesses (a store like Pauglina strikes me as the type of store that would fit the profile of someone's vanity business).

We also have a whole lot of eye glass places, and the existence of so many places to buy eye glasses hasn't led to people complaining that we don't need that many eye glass places. Why is that? 
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: M7X7 on December 07, 2016, 02:00:17 PM

We also have a whole lot of eye glass places, and the existence of so many places to buy eye glasses hasn't led to people complaining that we don't need that many eye glass places. Why is that?

I have actually wondered about that also. Who is buying all these glasses? Especially nowadays, when you can get them from online retailers for a fraction of the price of brick and mortar.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: deja on December 07, 2016, 04:12:00 PM
There's a 99 cent store up on 82nd between Roosevelt and Baxter.  I understand how they stay in business, there's always a lot of people in there and often a line at the cashiers.  Most of the others seem to always be empty.  That's why I wonder. 

Assuming a 1 dollar item costs 0.10 for them to purchase, they'd still have to sell 185 of them each and every day to make just a $5000 rent.  Which in JH is on the low side. 

Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: CaptainFlannel on December 07, 2016, 06:20:55 PM
^99 cent stores today are 99 cents and up stores. Heck, I picked up a portable closet years ago at a 99 cent store.

I've never noticed dead 99 cent stores. It's rare there's a huge crowd, but there's usually a couple customers there when I go to on, which is often. I regularly buy toothpaste, toilet paper, paper towels, toiletries, and household items at the 99 cent stores. I'll usually take a quick tour to see if there's anything that's a really good deal. You'd be surprised what turns up at 99 cent stores. The items there aren't going to be the most beautiful, but they'll do the job. Don't buy a screw driver at the 99 cent store, but do buy your coaxial cable and digital converter for an old TV there.

Items in my home that come from a 99 cent store: aluminum sauce pan we use to fry food; christmas lights; christmas decorations from my first christmas in my own place; a small plastic bucket with a lid to put cat food in; a pitcher; coaxial cable; deodorant; a shot glass; drinking glasses; baby oil; a big tub of off brand petroleum jelly that I've had for over a decade and literally cost 99 cents; a shower curtain liner; blue plastic recycling bags; a napkin holder; flower pots; and loads more. When times are tough and I've have to find ways to cut back, the cheap body lotion and White Rain shampoo are better than nothing!

There's so much that I and others can and do buy at the 99 cent store - which is closer to me than a drug store or home good stores - that their financial viability isn't something I question.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: ECG on December 07, 2016, 08:29:47 PM
I was in one today. Toothpaste at a reasonable price!

So, I was wondering how to get back to "Swim 2 Birds" or is it's so dead it's forgotten?
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: dssjh on December 07, 2016, 10:45:03 PM
i walk by the location that may or may not be swim two birds every day at least twice, and haven't seen any sign of activity in many months. there's also been no activity on social media for a loooooong time, a bad sign considering the frequency of updates that stew once provided.

Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: jeanette on December 07, 2016, 10:55:35 PM
What do purchases at the general dollar store have to do with preferential rent practices? The profit/loss of the store is not the issue.

I am suggesting that these relatively huge stores may not be paying the rents that would ordinarily be quoted to others. Many of us claim to be baffled by the high rents in JH. Perhaps it is because some renters are subsidizing preferential rent practices. In context it doesn't sound far fetched.

If true, it could be viewed as unfair. It is ethnocentric at the very least. There's an awful lot of unhappy Americans these days claiming a disadvantage in the way the economy and other sectors play out. Perhaps the above is an example of what has brought about this sentiment.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: CaptainFlannel on December 08, 2016, 06:52:08 AM
I don't know what else there is to say about Swim Two Birds that hasn't already been said (or asked over and over again). It will open or it won't.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: Ed on December 08, 2016, 09:43:35 AM
I don't know what else there is to say about Swim Two Birds that hasn't already been said (or asked over and over again). It will open or it won't.
So they should change the name to "Schrodinger's"?
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: deja on December 08, 2016, 10:18:54 AM
Or maybe Godot's.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: MrPlaza on December 10, 2016, 02:20:55 AM
As someone who will be moving to the neighborhood next year (at some point), I'm pretty bummed about the uncertainty around this opening. I would say that given the lack of progress, it seems unlikely this is moving ahead at all. Similar to Queensboro
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: Palermo on December 12, 2016, 07:30:02 AM
Please stop it.....in other words the burden of proof is on you to back up the claim that these are "free market". Show me the books! until then the best we can say is WE DON'T KNOW.
I think if you took even the smallest step into the business end of local shops, you'd see where the burden of proof lay.

At first I had thought Swim Two Birds was a bit of a put on.  For almost three decades now, I've been in the food business, be it counter work, bussing, waitering, cooking, managing or owning.  There was something about how he talked about it which just didn't seem to ring true, like he was pulling our collective leg.  Putting the cart far ahead of the horse and then the meltdown about JH food made it seem more fake.  But since it is real, I do hope he can somehow turn it around.  Regardless of how impolitical he might have been, I hate to see someone put that much time and energy into something for nothing.

Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: mgrave22 on December 12, 2016, 12:01:06 PM
I've heard work being done in the store over the past few weeks walking by. Something is happening.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: Minimal4me on December 12, 2016, 05:10:34 PM
I do hope he can somehow turn it around. Regardless of how impolitical he might have been, I hate to see someone put that much time and energy into something for nothing.

Me too! I'm really rooting for Swim Two Birds. I actually didn't get a suspicious vibe at all. What I saw/heard was a person who is used to putting a lot of artistry into the business of serving food to the public, a perfectionist. And that slammed up against unforeseen bureaucracy — which perhaps many on this board who have experience in the food industry and particularly in JH were not surprised by. But I think Stu was genuinely surprised by it. Maybe we aren't hearing very much right now, because he was smacked down after sharing too much too soon. Perhaps the silence is strategic.

I really hope things are moving ahead as planned. I would love to see this restaurant come to fruition.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: Di_11372 on December 12, 2016, 09:24:07 PM

 Whatever opens up in that space, pleeaase let it be special, something we don't already have in JH !
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: deja on December 15, 2016, 11:39:17 PM
The lights were on so I peeked in through a gap in the window coverings this evening.  New drywall is up with some moldings already installed, the ceiling looks mostly done.  Looks like a lot of progress from the last time I looked in which, admittedly, was quite a while ago. 
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: MrPlaza on December 18, 2016, 08:07:00 AM
The lights were on so I peeked in through a gap in the window coverings this evening.  New drywall is up with some moldings already installed, the ceiling looks mostly done.  Looks like a lot of progress from the last time I looked in which, admittedly, was quite a while ago.
This is awesome to hear! I think Di_11372 nailed what I think it is we're all trying to say: There's clearly an appetite (no pun intended) for restaurants and businesses that are different. Something foreign and different to what the neighborhood currently provides.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: abcdefghijk on December 22, 2016, 10:14:17 AM
Well, well, well...

The new construction facade in front of the premises indicates that yes, it's the final chapter.

The final chapter for the restaurant's opening!

Congrats to them for their persistence.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: Shelby2 on December 22, 2016, 12:58:35 PM
Well, well, well...

The new construction facade in front of the premises indicates that yes, it's the final chapter.

The final chapter for the restaurant's opening!

Congrats to them for their persistence.

Great!
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: deja on December 22, 2016, 02:06:47 PM
That's awesome! 
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: Di_11372 on December 22, 2016, 10:45:01 PM
I saw the temporary facade tonite and thought the same, they will finally open, talk about a long, hard journey. Impressive.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: JDinJH on December 23, 2016, 10:17:03 AM
The restaurant seems to be coming together.  There is a lot of construction work being performed today. I took a peek inside and the place looks great - the ceilings are vaulted and everything is painted in white.  Clearly, they are still working on the place but it looks like they are nearing a finished product. 
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: petegart on December 23, 2016, 06:34:56 PM
This is really good news!  I had almost given up hope because of all the hurdles they had to overcome.  Looking forward to the opening -whenever it is! 
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: francis on December 27, 2016, 10:54:26 AM
I see a that Swim Two Birds has covered the front with wood now.  I guess they are doing the facade.  So happy to see.  If it this happens, it will be a much awaited alternative to what is now available in JH. Nice way to end the chapter.
Title: Re: Swim Two Birds, the final chapter?
Post by: Stew on January 04, 2017, 07:56:18 PM
you quit, right, guys?

Isn't the rumor mill a great thing.

Especially when it's wrong.

Thanks to the people in this thread who exploded this rumor. A brief update for those who are interested in the current status: http://www.jacksonheightslife.com/community/index.php?topic=15811.0

I would like to add that we have a publicly available e-mail address, and telephone number, both of which have been used, although not in the case of this thread, by a number of people who wanted to know about progress.

[Moderator's Note: Conversation continues over here (http://www.jacksonheightslife.com/community/index.php?topic=15811.0)]