Guess Whats Coming To Nostrand? Chika Mexicana — Brooklynian

Guess Whats Coming To Nostrand? Chika Mexicana

At this address?? A little birdie told this morning....



  • edited March 2014

    hmmm. 814 Nostrand Avenue.

    Before it was a We Buy Gold place, it was a juice bar.

    I thought for sure you were going to tell us more about the bar planned for the corner, Z Bar.

  • My landlord must own that building because I saw the Lula bagel guy wearing a JWasser hat. Completely off subject but he is a fantastic landlord.

  • 3 guesses guys :D

  • I'm guessing bar

  • I'm guessing a franchise, that is not a bank. Like a Quiznos or a Papa Johns.

  • I would guess a gym, like Planet Fitness or Blink, but the space looks too small for that.

    Since bar is already taken, I'm going to go with a restaurant. And since restaurant alone is too boring of a guess, I'll add that I would love it if this guy was the one opening it!

  • Hmm, if youre teasing it its probably more exciting and of interest than a chain place. A venue type we visit, or a well-known name people would love (or brought to you by a group that does it well).

    I'm guessing some sort of cool bar, maybe by the team behind the Franklin Ave / Crown Inn who are good at starting businesses on up-and-coming streets before rents blow up.

  • Wait, it might be a small space and those guys tend to go for a bit bigger (unless this one is big inside, w/backyard).

    I pray for a Viva Movil cell store.

  • back in 1994, 814 Nostrand was a discount store that was a scene of a gun sale that went awry:

    NYT wrote: Almost three weeks ago, two people were killed and three others injured at Brothers 2, a variety discount store at 814 Nostrand Avenue, after a prearranged sale of guns to employees there went awry. Gunfire erupted after the store's owner refused to allow guns to be sold at his business. One of two gun brokers released a spray of bullets into the store.

    In 1917, 814 Nostrand was a stationary store:"814+Nostrand"+new&source=bl&ots=_fATWXyIdW&sig=lONZAurdjHvtYvkeX21t-FDPm7k&hl=en&sa=X&ei=HQpPUsy1Ga2g4APbr4Fg&ved=0CCsQ6AEwATge#v=onepage&q="814 Nostrand" new&f=false

  • This level of excitement seems like it must be more than a bar or regular fast food franchise. I'm going with Brooklyn's first Jamba Juice.

  • I think a wine store or a housewares store could work in that location. is right by Eastern Parkway.

  • Ooo! I love guessing games. I am going to gues...a cupcake shop!

  • Off topic, but ... speaking of cupcakes, you should try Lady Charles Desserts on Rogers and President: I would definitely go back for their orange creamsicle cupcake. And now I see on their Facebook page that they have apple caramel and pumpkin spice for Fall.

  • Mmmm...thanks for the tip BklynGirl!

  • I saw Clayfilms this morning, and she told me I could reveal the secret:

    Mexican Food

  • I wish it was Chavela's II

  • hope its not chipotle

  • edited March 2014

    Washington Avenue is about to get a Yummy Taco.

    I'd prefer a Chipolte to that.

    ...However, I think Clayfilms would have mentioned it if it was a chain.

  • With no ventilation and no gas this will be interesting.

  • Si! Nostrand Avenue needs Mexican food. And more variety too. I'm not talking 99 cent stores. Lets keep going with the interesting and useful. Time for a new review of all the stores to see what we have. I personally will whip up an breakdown of what we have and periodically update. since there is not much else to do on Nostrand. I can do it at the Nostrand ave pub.

  • We commend you for your dedication.

  • I've been sick all weekend and seem to be still ranting and feverish.

  • Do we know whether this is going to be a chain of some sort?

    Are they going to attempt sit down?

    Please see if you can find out if we are going to get tex-mex, cal-mex, mex-mex, or chinese-mex.


  • trini-mex

  • Outstanding.

  • whynot_31 said:

    Washington Avenue is about to get a Yummy Taco.

    I'd prefer a Chipolte to that.

    ...However, I think Clayfilms would have mentioned it if it was a chain.

    I'd perfer anything but Chipolte. My budget doesn't need me meeting $10+ fast food burritos 2-3 times a week. I'd say a mex place would be great. OR I keep saying it but we could really using a good Buffalo wing place.

  • I highly doubt Chipotle would come to Nostrand just yet. But a really great taqueria would be SO welcome. Maybe a place like Guerro's on Franklin, or the Korean-Mexican place on Franklin!

  • I must admit there is still part of my brain that has a hard time not saying "Kung Pao Chicken, please" when I go to Yummy Taco.

    ...but I keep it in check.

  • The word is .... a mexican place owned by a lawyer named alex. Thats all the details rights now folks. no more questions. Obviously not a chain.

  • I heard a Mexican chicken place owned by Gustavo, but my source could be wrong.

  • Yes, I heard the same thing about Mexican food opened by lawyer partners. One of the original partners for Breukelen Coffee was a lawyer, so I'm hoping for the best!

    I was bummed to find out that a wine store is not possible here. Apparently it would be impossible to get a wine or liquor store approved on most of Nostrand in this area without buying out one of the existing liquor stores. I guess we are stuck with bullet proof windows, high prices, and limited/poor selection (IMO) of liquor and wine for some time to come. ](*,)

  • Vaportrail-

    I would not bet on that. I suspect that Nostrand will soon get a botique wine store, just like Vanderbilt, then Washington, then Franklin did.

  • Why would we not be able to get a nice wine/liquor store? Zoning issues or something? Just curious.

  • I believe Vaportrail is referencing a mindset believed to be held by some long term members of Community Board 8. They have reportedly asserted that liquor stores bring crime, whereas bars and restaurants that close before 2 AM bring prosperity.

    As a result, they have reportedly stated that they will not support new applications for liquor stores. Wine stores and liquor stores are licensed in the same manner, leading Vaportrail to believe he will have to endure the present quality and prices until said board members retire.

    Vaportrail, is that an accurate paraphrase of your view?

    Note: Whynot_31 has heard the above view expressed, but does not believe it is widely held. Whynot_31 believes that in the near future, an aspiring small wine store owner will find a way to open on Nostrand.

  • Don't forget there is Breukelen Cellars on the other end of Nostrand, past the A/C train. Might be out of the way if you are located closer to Eastern Parkway but it's a really great store, and affordable, and free of bullet proof glass.

  • As for the quality of the liquor stores, while I find them to be aesthetically unpleasing, the family that runs several of them is very nice. I've gone in several times looking for wines they did not carry and they offered to order them for me.

    I've met the owner of the store on Nostrand and St. Johns who is the uncle of the proprietor of the store on Nostrand and President. Perhaps if you talked to them you could get more of what you like? They tend to stock what sells, so they are receptive to hearing from customers.

  • It would not surprise me if the existing stores take their bulletproof glass down, and stock higher quality booze.

    Those that do so may be able to attract a more profitable, less belligerent clientele. They also may be able to close earlier each day.

  • That's not it whynot. I've been told by the owners of several local establishments who looked into opening wine stores on Nostrand that the SLA will not grant wholesale liquor licenses to this location because of the existance of current licenses. Both people I'm referring to hired lawyers to investigate and said the same thing. They said the only way for this to happen would be to buy out an existing license.

    Homeowner, I like a wine store to surprise me with their expertise, educate me with tastings and make suggestions when I'm feeling indecisive. The guy on St John's & Lincoln is not capable of either. He has never shown any interest in stocking liquors that I have asked for. Also, I don't like squinting through dirty plexiglass to select anything, especially something that will be going into my body.

  • Ah, the "liquor store density issue". That explanation also makes sense.

    So, if we are going to get any new liquor stores to the strip, do you think some group will take on a long established liquor store for not adapting to the new preferences?

    It would be a Crown Heights version of this:

    People are particular about their wine and liquor.

  • The word is .... a mexican place owned by a lawyer named alex. Thats all the details rights now folks. no more questions. Obviously not a chain.

    @tsarina can you get us an update? Are you and Skippy seeing construction?

  • I've heard the owners have had some ventilation system issues. Here is the solution. (Hopefully this photo posts)
  • I recently noticed that a big vent duct has been installed on the front of the store front.
  • Just walked by and noticed the sign was being put up.

    photo (1) copy
  • PS - hello everyone! I recently moved around the corner from here last Fall and have been lurking the forum since.
  • The awning is up!!!
    "I can't wait until it opens! I hope they have 70 cent taco tuesdays!!" - My husband LOL
  • I am a co-owner of Chika, we hope to open soon, most of the hurdles are over, we still need to pass a couple inspections, but I think this will be soon done.
    We plan on having some seats inside, it is not a very big place, so there will be some bar seating and maybe a table.
    Here is the floor plan
  • Welcome Romario77!

    I can see little bins for the black beans, chicken, pico, and green sauce!
  • We'll have all that.

    By the way, I live just one block away, we bought a house last year and coming from Astoria missed some of the takeouts there, so decided not to wait and open our own.
  • edited March 2014
    Welcome Chika Mexicana! cant wait to order some Tacos and Quesadillas!

  • Looking good, can't wait to see the menu! Any hints on dishes that will be on it?
  • Mostly tacos of different variety and some other things.

    The menu will be short, we'll concentrate on making everything tasty.
  • Romario77, how's the construction going?

    Any sort of estimate on when you are planning to finish and open by?
  • Will there be delivery?  Please tell me tacos al pastor will be available - along with good pico and authentic guacamole :-) 
  • I looked through a crack in the door today and saw that the walls were painted, and lots of large kitchen appliances were inside but still wrapped in plastic.

    Maybe open by the end of the month? Guess we will see....
  • There are a lot of Mexican restaurants in the area. Chavella's, Citrico, Muertos, Gueros, Maya...this place better bring its A game.
  • I am so excited to have a great Mexican place down the street from my shop! Tacos are one of my favorite things ever!
  • It is now June, so he wasn't able to pull off "by the end of the month", but I remain optimistic that he can open before the new burrito place coming to Franklin and Lincoln.

    I don't think the two places will directly compete with each other, I am just interested in seeing which I prefer.    

    I will do it under the guise of research for Brooklynian readers.
  • I remain optimistic that he can open before the new burrito place coming to Franklin and Lincoln.
    It opens this Saturday, so he better hurry if he wants that to happen.
  • Any sense of a timeline?
  • I will do my research regardless of which is first.
  • Too bad about the eyesore duct work remaining on the facade. Should have relocated to back of building. Would have thought Landmarks would have stopped that. Seems a little expense for a missed opportunity.
  • Haven't really seen them working on this place lately. I live right around the corner so when I walk to the 3 train everyday I check, and they seem to only be working maybe one or two days a week now, when a month or two ago they were there just about every day of the week...
  • It has been weeks since I've seen the gate up and people working on this place... 

    Romario77 - can you share any info with us? In March you thought it wouldn't be too long for it to open so I thought you might be able to explain a bit of whats going on. Thanks!
  • edited September 2014
    I can confirm that they have yet to apply for a kitchen inspection from DOH.

    So, they don't seem super close to opening.
  • Of course, just a few days after I mention that they haven't worked in weeks, I noticed a couple guys inside working today. Looks like it is coming together nicely. It is super small, but the front counter looks great.

    Excited to see how the food will be. It would be awesome to have a decent little Mexican food place to grab a quick bite to eat on Nostrand.
  • edited August 2014
    Looks like they requested a kitchen inspection!
  • edited August 2014
    excellent news. This should keep us on our present track of approximately 1 new Mexican themed place once every two months.
  • edited September 2014
    Space holder Facebook page: Check

    Space holder web page: Check

    No, the menu isn't posted yet.
  • This thread started in Oct 2013 and it is now almost Oct 2014. much time and effort to open a small business!

    So many burritios have to be sold at $7 - $9 to recoup that investment.
  • And the logo they posted to their facebook page in May is completely different from that on their awning in the pic posted in this thread on March 25.  Things like this give me pause about an establishment before they even open.   
  • They probably had a lot of time on their hands! I can't wait until they open.
  • They were working today (Sunday), so I would like to infer that they are on some kind of a strict deadline.

    The counter and appliances are in place. They seemed to be doing some finish carpentry.
  • I've been out of town the last few weeks; any more progress?
  • sullen worker, didnt answer any questions.
  • @tsarina -
    Did you have your dog with you? I would be more likely to answer your questions if you had your dog....
  • They sure are taking their time... I think it was something like late February when I noticed construction had started, maybe earlier?

    My impatience is just a sign of my excitement; I can't wait to have some tasty (hopefully) tacos and whatnot on Nostrand just around the corner from my place.
  • Article from the beginning of October...

    Anyone walk by here recently? Ive been out of town for work for a while now, but I'll finally be back on December 1st. We will see if it is even open by then!
  • Spoke to someone inside today and he said they will be open "in about 2 weeks".
  • edited December 2014
    This seems to indicate that the DOH gave their kitchen an initial inspection on 12/1/2014, and had some concerns: Heights/41165

    Hopefully said concerns can be quickly addressed, and do not further delay the opening.
  • edited December 2014
    Chika is finally open!
  • edited December 2014
  • Was it a full opening or a soft opening? Beacuse I walked by a little before 5 today and the shurrers was half down and the staff looked like they were cleaning up. 
  • edited December 2014
    It was soft opening, you just missed it, it opened around 6, we were still doing last preparations. It will be open tomorrow from about 11 until 9.
  • edited December 2014
    Congrats! I'll try to stop by this weekend to get a burrito, introduce myself and foist some cards on you.

  • Looks like the website is up as well....

  • well as usual, I was one of the first on grand opening day. Had a carnitas burrito and the soup and it was very good. Best burrito I've had in a while, and the soup was very tasty.
  • Glad to hear! I'll be heading over for lunch today and I'll most likely get a couple tacos.
  • @Romario77    Does Chika deliver?  
  • Not yet, but we will shortly once we sort things out and have everything run smoothly.
  • edited December 2014
    It was yummy. Ms whynot had the veggie burrito, and I had the carnitas.

    We said hi to the female co-owner.
  • I had a carnitas taco. It was really tasty. I think the taco prices are a little high -- maybe it was $3.50 for the taco? I think -- like Berg'n-- they will have to adjust their prices downwards a bit for the neighborhood. I'd like to see a "2 tacos for $6" kind of deal, or have the tacos max out at $3 each. Chavella's prices their tacos at $3 each, for comparison, in a sit-down eatery.
  • Agreed. At $3.50 there better be a reason why I'm not going to Chavelas. They also have a taco happy hour, $2
  • The fish tacos are delicious, but way too small for $4.00. I shouldn't be able to finish a taco in 2 bites. The chips and guac is yummy and the service is great. I also think a 2 for $5 taco deal would be a welcome addition. 

  • I saw the menu and it looks great but when I saw the prices my heart sank - I can't bring myself to spend almost 4 dollars on a taco - they are even cheaper than that in Manhattan at sit-downestablishments.  :-( 
  • I have to agree with everyone... 

    I think 3.50 to 4 dollars is pushing it for a single taco, especially a 2 bite to finish taco like the ones here.

    At around 4 bucks, I probably will just stop by to grab 1 taco as a mid day snack but not a meal. I'm much more likely to get 3 tacos for a meal if they are 3 bucks each, meaning 9 dollars spent even though they might cost a bit less.

    I think in the long run, if they made all the tacos 3 dollars, maybe the fish taco 3.25 or 3.50 tops, than they will have a lot more business, I definitely would frequent it more versus going up to Chavella's.

    (and please don't use pricing at places like Gueros' as justification of Chika prices, as I and many others I've spoken to aren't that fond of their food).

  • Also..the burritos (especially the veggie ones) are hella bland.  I don't get it b/c the tacos are delicious...

    Anyhow....More spice please Chika!! A little more adobo never hurt anybody!!

  • I found the spice levels in the beans and the mayo for the fish tacos to both be quite high, although the beans would have benefited from some more salt.  The eggplant and the zucchini in the burrito bowl I had seemed to be completely unseasoned.  For the prices I would have expected a little more, even if it was just more lettuce in the burrito bowl.  I agree the tacos are tasty, but again, a little scanty.  The location is so perfect for us, but we can get more food, and more evenly flavored from Chavela's.  It would be nice if they worked on some of this stuff.  We really want them to be "our spot".
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