Monday, February 08, 2016

Bark Hot Dogs closes. The arena helped, but Shake Shack then hurt (updated)

So Bark Hot Dogs on Bergen Street just off Flatbush Avenue--once favored by Brooklyn Net Brook Lopez--closed yesterday after seven years, as Eater and Gothamist reported. The owners blamed "many factors," but they excluded the Pintchik family, their landlord.

It's safe to say that the Barclays Center was no savior, and it's a reasonable bet that the August 2014 advent of Shake Shack, which served a somewhat similar demographic with a larger location closer to the Barclays Center, did not help.

A Bark employee told this reporter last March:
However, [Frederick] Whinery noticed that business changed in the past six to eight months (2014-2015) because more businesses have come into the area spreading out the customers. “When we were the only burger joint in the area, during the first year of Barclays Center, the impact was more substantial than since Shake Shack opened,” Whinery said. He thinks that there will be a jump in business when the new residential complex that is going up right next to Barclays opens.
“We still get pops for Nets games or big concerts – we certainly see a spike in business,” Whinery said.
Surely various retail operators are wondering what happens when the new residential buildings open.


Yes, blame Shake Shack. From a Grub Street interview with Bark's Joshua Sharkey:
When did your sales start to drop?
Our sales were pretty constant for the first two years. And then we did see a pretty dramatic drop when Shake Shack arrived. That was the most clear and present change. Literally in a matter of a month or so, we saw a pretty big drop-off. We actually took this space knowing that the Barclays Center was coming in. Shake Shack just happened to be across the stadium, and we were down the block. Before they opened, we had every event. You know, we were packed to the gills. And that started to dissipate after it opened. 
How big of a dip, would you say, numbers-wise?
Honestly? Almost 18 percent for the first few months. And then that started to soften a bit. So it was dramatic at the beginning, which we would have to assume, right? Because Shake Shack is new to the neighborhood, and everyone wants to try it. And then it trickled to around 12 to 14 percent lost in sales.
Going forward

We'll see how the replacement at the Bark space navigates the challenge of trying to appeal to the neighborhood as well as to arenagoers.

Meanwhile, former Allied Orthopedics space at 240 Flatbush just west of Sixth (closed 2013, moved to Queens) is now Bleachers Sports Bar.

Up Flatbush another long couple of blocks, as Here's Park Slope reported, Construction Underway on Union Market, SoulCycle Coming to 342 Flatbush Avenue. That's between Sterling Place and Grand Army Plaza near Franny's.

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