The start of 2013 not only marked the end of another year, it also marked the end of a few beloved Bed-Stuy businesses-- some of which barely made it past their one-year anniversary.
In 2011, we laid a few neighborhood gems to rest, many of which had become staples -- institutions even -- in Bed-Stuy, including Birdel's Records, Bread-Stuy, Lewis Art Gallery and newcomer Blu York Cafe.
Here's a short rundown of a few neighborhood businesses that shuttered in 2012:
Minimo Wine Bar & Restaurant, located at 1181 Bedford Ave. Barely 300 sq. feet inside, this cute little restaurant was a writer's dream. Seating maybe six at its tables and a few more at its bar, it was the perfect little honeycomb hideout for those seeking an intimate dinner or just a quiet place to work in solitude. Its short menu featured French cuisine with a Mediterranean flair, prepared custom-ordered and with care. Unfortunately, it was opened for so short of a time, only a small handful of residents even got the opportunity to experience it. R.I.P. Minimo.
Stable House Restaurant, located at 1177 Bedford Ave. (right next door to Minimo). From the moment it opened, this restaurant and bar earned five gold stars for its exquisite design and detail alone. Modeled after a Middle Eastern dining room, this restaurant was straight ahead Abu Dhabi meets Brooklyn Bohemia. The food and menu at Stable House was, ahem... "still developing." But the vibe was so electric, it clearly had the makings of becoming Bed-Stuy's next VIP hangout. Unfortunately, the restaurant was sold not long after it was completed, so its fate was sealed almost from the start. R.I.P. Stable House.
La Table Exquise French Pastry Lounge, located at 370 Tompkins Ave. This french pastry shop became the rave of the neighborhood not long after it opened its doors. The store's owner Sebastian was also the head chef, and his magic touch turned everything he crafted into a pastry-lover's dream. Before opening La Table, Sebastian already had built a following amongst a handful of celebrity clients for whom he catered regularly. But alas, not even his celebrity cache was enough to keep his doors opened. This pastry shop was one of the saddest closings of 2012. Can I get an amen? R.I.P. La Table Exquise
London’s of New York Nail Bar, located at 404 Tompkins Ave. This tiny nail and spa bar offered personalized nail pampering for both ladies and gents. With its pristine interior, the latest spa equipment and a minimilist decor, you felt like you were walking into an establishment you'd find sooner on the Upper East Side of Manhattan, versus the heart of Bed-Stuy. The customer service was excellent. And more than anything, the store's owners, Musica Lorence and Phillip Thomas, wanted residents to become accustomed to quality pampering in their own backyard. But was Bed-Stuy quite ready for such upscale indulgence? R.I.P. London's of New York.
Cake Man Raven, located at 708 Fulton Street. Yes, I know, this business is in Fort Greene. But we Bed-Stuy residents loved and supported this business long before the store earned its rock-star status and the lines between neighborhoods were re-drawn in black felt ink. Cake Man Raven became well-known citywide for its delicious red velvet cake recipe. But after 12 years, Raven Dennis, the store's owner, had to close up his bakeshop when his landlord increased his rent by more than 40 percent in one year. If you've ever had trouble spelling "gentrification" in the past, here's a little hint: C-A-K-E-M-A-N-R-A-V-E-N. May your soul live on, Cake Man Raven.
Yes, it's so hard to say goodbye to these neighborhood treasures. The good news is, more than five times the number of storefront businesses opened than closed in Bed-Stuy in 2012.
Do you know of any other local establishments in your area of Bed-Stuy that shuttered in 2012? If so, feel free to share their names, location and how you felt about them while they were still open.