Castle Hill Bar and Grill (at St John's and Utica) lasts less than 6 months - Brooklynian

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Castle Hill Bar and Grill (at St John's and Utica) lasts less than 6 months

1421 St Johns

I think construction is only just beginning, but haven't walked by in a while.

I think it was previously known as Anthony's Corner Cafe ...soon will be Castle Hill Bar and Grill. Heights/39308/Castle+Hill's+Bar+&+Grill+Llc


  • This opened on 3/28. Basically what Anthony's was. I think he got tired of very few patrons and the upstairs apartments which were originally supposed to be offices haven't been rented out either. The person that owned Anthony's owns the building and a gut renovation was done on it. He must have spent a bundle getting the offices converted to apartments. I wonder what the rent is but I figure it's got to be quite a sum.
  • Is Utica and St John's able/willing to support such a business?
  • That is to be determined I guess. There's enough foot traffic that goes by there but I have no idea what the prices are. The glass doors facing St. Johns are always open in the warm weather and the place looks quite nice but I've never seen many people in there.
  • This place is now under new management. Was closed for a week or so and reopened last week. This is the third owner since it became a bar/restaurant. Still don't see many people going in there.
  • Sign up on the place that the store is for rent although the business is still open. I drive past about 5 pm and never see anyone in there. It's a pity because the place looks decent although I have no idea how the food is.
  • edited August 2014
    He may be too expensive for the area.

    I suspect not enough people with means see Utica as a place they would like go to eat as a couple, or to potentially meet a suitable mate/date.

  • For sure plus from what I can see, there's no booths in the place only bar stools at high top tables. Not really conducive to sitting and relaxing.
  • The new entity apparently has to get a new liquor lic, which may be part of why you are not seeing crowds.

  • I pass by every day and since the store opened there's never any crowds and from what I can see when the folding doors are open, there's liquor. Also, they're advertising all day happy hour so I figure the license is not a problem. Maybe the ownership was never transferred. In any event, the store is still for rent.
  • edited September 2014
    The applicant is presently requesting a new lic.

    The place would have 2 levels, so it would need a lic for each level. The applicant was encouraged to research same, because he is only seeking 1 lic.
  • Surprising since what's above the store is apartments and I doubt the basement would be usable. I'll bet there's new management that will take over if approved. Right now, the place is still mostly devoid of customers.
  • edited April 16
    Application process still in the works. Applicant is supposed to appear on Oct 6th.
  • Store still has for rent sign on it. Still nobody in there when I pass by at 5PM. Maybe it's a little bit more busy on the weekends.
  • If I were the prospective tenant, I'd want to wait until I had my lic in hand before I signed a lease.

    If I were a LL, I'd advertise the place until a lease was signed.
  • From what I can see, there's still plenty of liquor behind the bar so maybe they're using the former permit from the last operator who does happen to own the building. The sign when they reopened stated they were under new management not ownership so it's possible that the person running it now will become the new owner of the restaurant.
  • The new applicant would like to buy the bar from the current owner.

    He has never held a liq lic before, nor has he ever worked at one before.

    The application received CB8's support.
  • From what I know his menu is geared toward Caribbean and I from the lack of business I've seen with both the present and former owners I don't know that they'll make a go of it but then if he's willing to buy then I guess he thinks he can.
  • Now still for rent.
  • edited April 16
    In this instance, the turn around time from application to issuance at the SLA was quite reasonable, about 6 weeks:

    License Information
    Serial Number: 1281946
    License Type: ON-PREMISES LIQUOR
    License Status: License is Active
    Credit Group: 2
    Filing Date: 10/21/2014
    Effective Date: 12/04/2014
    Expiration Date: 11/30/2016

    So, this is NOT an instance of the SLA making a business "broke before it opened" by taking forever.

    ...other forces are to blame in this bar lasting less than 6 months.

  • The main force I would think is lack of patronage.
  • I agree with you @pragmatic guy.  The owner needs to figure out a way to bring in business or he won't last long.    
  • You're not going to get business when the seating is uncomfortable and there were only high top tables and a few seats at the bar. Not the kind of place where you'd sit and hang out for more time than it took to eat so I doubt there were many who stayed for that 3rd or 4th drink if they went in at all.
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