Island CZ Cafe, 743 Franklin (corner of Sterling) — Brooklynian

Island CZ Cafe, 743 Franklin (corner of Sterling)

Formerly the site of 3-Ds, this site has undergone a really slooooow renovation over the course of the last three+ years:

Today (May 18, 2013), I was able to look in at the inside, and see that carpentry tools are finally absent. Tables and chairs are in place and ready for use.

In addition, a website (complete with some branding) has recently been launched:

Here's what this location used to look like:

Based on my view, this place looks like it will be the type of venue that serves alcoholic drinks.

However, in a sign that we may still have a while to wait, there has been no activity with the SLA or the Community Board that I am aware of.

.... navigating this process often takes several months.

Does anyone think this site is actually going to open prior to July 4th?


  • Chef Ramsey where are you?

  • This is bad enough that we might need that obnoxious construction guy too: Holmes on Homes.

  • Aug 17, 2013:

    There are bright orange signs up on the perimeter of the restaurant, stating that they are looking for Food Service (front house and back of house) staff immediately.

    Could this place manage to open before Sept 15?

    I find it interesting that they have not requested an alcohol permit....

  • Island CZ Cafe on Franklin Ave. at Sterling Pl. is hiring and doing interviews today [8/20/2013] from 4:30 - 8:30PM. Looking for cashiers, servers, bus boys, delivery, and more. Bring your resume..
  • The paper was down off the windows this morning, and tables and chairs are set up inside. Looks like they are getting close to an opening.

  • When I walked by Tues. evening, the lights were on, tables set up and people inside. Looks like they're open!

  • I hope that their past struggles are not an indication of future ones.


    No "Grand Opening" banner?

    No mass distribution of menus?

    No press releases?

  • October 7:

    This place has now been open for more than a month. When I look through the dark glass, I have yet to see more than two tables occupied.

    The Yelp reviews seem to echo my impressions:

    This place is showing that, once again, there seems to often be a correlation between the length of time it takes small venue to open and the quality of food and service once it opens.

    Note: My theory allows large venues longer to open.

    photo: Yelp

  • My theory is unless you're part of the Franklin clique you don't get much business . Then you close.

  • What's the Franklin clique? Does that include Bombay Masala? Cuz they don't strike me as belonging to any particular clique but from the looks of it, they do pretty well.

  • My theory is, if you have shitty food and service you don't get much business, then you close

  • Epiclylaterd said:

    My theory is, if you have shitty food and service you don't get much business, then you close

    More or less my theory. However in NYC having a really good food will cancel out the bad service. This might not always work in reverse.

  • I tried to post about Carlton Park having great food and terrible service. They're now a place called Ideya.

  • Dutch Boy burger has shitty food and they're still open. I guess people are too drunk to notice.

  • Yes.

    Not having an alcohol license may indeed be part of why this venue is not attracting enough eat in customers.

  • Oct 21

    The proprietors will appear before CB8's SLA Committee on Monday, Nov 4th and argue that they should receive expedited treatment.

    Usually, one has to give a CB 30 days to consider whether to support or oppose a license. This owner is so disorganized that they didn't start the process during their lengthy renovation process, and is now losing lots of business.

    The SLA & Sidewalk Café Review Committee will meet on Monday, November 4, 2013 at 6:30 PM at CNR-Center Light Health Care Center, which is located at 727 Classon Avenue, Brooklyn, NY (between Park and Prospect Places).

    Think they will have "mercy"?

  • If he/she is this disorganized maybe it's a sign

  • Does the owner realize it could take up to 6 months from now before the SLA finally approves the license?

    While the twisted part of me makes fun of mis-steps, A big part of me finds this kind of stuff is very painful to watch. This is a lot money being wasted. Money that may be borrowed, and debt that will haunt the owners for years because they did not take the time to seek out professional advice.

  • Aren't the owners formerly of 3D's? That was always my impression. But I don't think I have any facts to back that up.

  • They are. I thought about that this morning. Perhaps they are not "inexperienced" business owners, owning two eating locations, but inexperienced at seeking approval and a liquor license. Still, as a business owner you should know how long it takes to get anything done.

  • In addition to liquor lic experience, they seem to be inexperienced at creating a venue that provides sit down, made to order food.

    3-Ds only gave them take out, steam table experience.

    I can only imagine what will happen when some customer asks them to list ingredients and whether organic... Oh, the Yelp review will be precious.

    Different customers require different skill sets. (Cue Portlandia theme song)

  • I think this place had their grand opening during the Labor Day parade. There were people in there at the time, but we walked right out after one look at the menu. It was like $18 for an entree, and the joint has about as much ambiance as an office break room. The name had to be explained to me (pronounced "Island Seas"), which had about the same effect as explaining a joke.

  • They still appear empty quite frequently.

    Every business owner should know the basics before they open, so they avoid this painful (and very expensive) trial and error process:

  • This weekend, I decided to give this place another shot, on the basis that several tables were occupied.

    6:30 on Saturday night. 75% of the tables full.

    While the food was good, and the service friendly: It took Ms Whynot and I, 1 hour 15 min to receive our orders of Jerk Chicken and Jerk Shrimp.

    Maybe they are surviving on the neighborhood's seemingly endless supply of newbies.
  • edited February 2015
    This establishment appeared in front of CB8 tonight, requesting an extension if their alc hours until 3 AM and an expansion of their lic to allow hard alc.

    They stated they are struggling to survive in light of the increasing competition.

    The operators (a family) have been operating a restaurant on this corner for 30 years.

    Several committee members pointed out this establishment must figure out how to serve the new neighborhood, and that they they would do anything they can to help.

    They supported the requested changes.

    I hope this is not too little, too late.
  • edited February 2015

    Island CZ catered food for the 71 Precinct National Night Out last August. It was yummy. I think its representative said it also does catering. I still have the business card somewhere at home. 

  • While I am sure it was yummy, I think "catering" is part of why they are struggling.

    They have to somehow overcome the stigma that carib food is not a night out is "take out" or "catering".

This discussion has been closed.