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Monday
Mar052012

FREE ADVICE FOR PARK SLOPE BUSINESSES: Empty Storefronts

Free Advice for Park Slope businesses is our recurring column in which we attempt to impart some useful advice to our local lovable biz owners. i.e. LISTEN THE HELL UP.

As we all know, 2011 will forever be known as they year of the Park Slope restaurant apocalypse. For a variety of reasons (poor economy, rising rents, dumb business ideas, etc) joints seemed to be closing faster than a fat person running for an open seat on the subway. Unfortunately, some other local businesses have not been faring much better, with the recent abrupt closing of S Clubs as a prime example. 

HOWEVER, I think we should all be looking at the silver lining here, folks. 

Because, off the top of my head, there are at least two currently empty spots resulting from these aforementioned business closings that are literally CRYING out to be turned into booming, successful, much needed Park Slope businesses. All we need now are a couple of ambitious, non-retarded entrepreneurs to step up to the plate and make the magic happen!

1. The Former Uncle Moe's Space Should Be Turned Into A Salad Bar

Thus far, we've mentioned our desire for a rad salad place around 197 million times on FIPS already, so I'm sorry for beating a dead horse. But I swear to you: I WILL NOT REST UNTIL THIS SHIT FINALLY GOES DOWN. There is literally no neighborhood in Brooklyn that is better suited for a salad place than Park Slope. We've got: loads of rich ppl, shitty lunch options, a community of peeps who claim to be all up in the healthy/organic tip, loads of kids that need to be educated about why they should be eating arugula, and a fairly large work-from-home/SAHM/SAHD scene. 

While I'm kind of lukewarm over Chopt (as I hate those floppy, wet tortillas they give you and think that their dressings are mostly lame), we need that sort of style place: lots of salad ingredient choices, some shee shee frou frou choices, and a nice list of standard "special salads." I also think a place like that could make a killing offering a "dinner salad" option, which would be a custom mixed salad for 3-4 that could be served with your own home cooked meal. BREEDERS could pick one up on the way home, and then that's one less thing they'd need to need to worry about.

They could also offer some heartier options of their special salads for dinner, to grab those of us who are looking to do a big salad for dinner but might want a bit of extra protein. Plus it's virtually across the street from the subway (located on 7th Ave and 9th street), so for anyone looking for a healthy option on their way home from work, they'd pretty much have the market cornered.

If done right, I honestly think a place like this would quickly become one of the most popular/successful spots in Park Slope. And the former Uncle Moe's spot is perfection for this sort of joint!

There is not a lot of room to sit, but it's the sort of place people will mostly be in and out with. They have a narrow space for sure, but it lends itself perfectly to a long salad bar. You could order at one side, pay for your ridiculously over-priced salad at the other, and bada bing, you're on your way.

This is a no brainer times a billion.

*I have no clue what the rent is there, so my suggestions are only taking into account layout/location. Also, duh: if the actual Chopt wanted to move in, I would still be over the moon over that...it doesn't *have* to be a Chopt copy cat. 

2. S Clubs Should Be Turned Into A Top-Notch, Non-Shitty Doggie Daycare

photo via LA Dogworks...which is EXACTLY the sort of joint that I'm talkin about!

Ok, look. I know that there's been talk about how the owner of S Clubs is still "trying to find another buyer who will keep the club open!," but let's get real ppl...that so ain't happenin. The boutique gym business is srsly rough in this day and age, and that place is simply too small for a gym like NYSC or Equinox to come swooping in (though an Equinox *would* be my wet dream). 

Anyway.

It's an odd space as it's downstairs, so it's not a great fit for much in the way of local businesses. But if it's not going to be a gym, I have a completely genius idea of what it could be next: A DOGGIE DAYCARE!

Gawd knows this neighborhood is in desperado need of a decent doggie daycare, and that spot could be seriously well suited for one. 

They could reconfigure the locker rooms and turn it into a killer bath/grooming section. The large open space in the middle could be where the dogs all hang out and play, and the side fitness class room could be a space where they offer puppy/dog behavioral and training classes. They could keep the desk in front for check-in and the former kids daycare side room could maybe be for private lessons & training or some special doggie shit like doggie massage or doggie acupuncture (Yes, I'm serious! People would pay for that shit!). They would need a section for overnights, so maybe that could be upstairs where they used to so massages at S Clubs. And, of course, they could offer a whole side walking/dog sitting business too.

The opportunities for making money from a biz like that are somewhere between astronomical and gallactical. 

And the dogs wouldn't give a shit that there wasn't a single window in the entire place!

As we all know, Dog's Den was the shittiest shitholes of all doggie daycare shitholes. And even up until its last day, that place was so busy it was overbooked non-stop 24/7! Imagine if someone came in and opened a totally legit, fab, cutting edge type place like that? 

With all the dogs (and rich, indulgent pet owners) in Park Slope, you'd basically be printing your own money at that point. 

Ok, my rant is over now. But I'm telling you: I feel so strongly about both of these suggestions, I'm ready to do whatever it takes to make em happen: Kickstarters? Free advertising on FIPS? TELL ME WHAT YOU NEED FUTURE SALAD BAR/DOGGIE DAYCARE OWNERS and it's all yours!

What do you guys think??

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