115 Kingston (near Bergen) to become a restaurant
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    [quote]The owner of Basil Pizza & Wine Bar, an upscale dairy restaurant in Crown Heights, plans to open an sister restaurant that will serve fleishigs. After speaking with Daniel Branover, the owner of Basil, we can now confirm that the rumors are true.

    Branover said the new restaurant will be named ‘Meat.’ It will be located in a building he just purchased on Kingston Ave. off Bergen Street in Northern Crown Heights.

    The newly purchased building, 115 Kingston Ave., is in dilapidated condition and requires extensive renovation, which is set to begin shortly.

    “There is no time frame yet for when we can expect the new establishment to open its doors,” Branover said.

    Sources told CrownHeights.info that the new restaurant will serve Southern style food, such as smoked barbecue and other grilled fare.[/quote]


    ---> first new discussion in new format, let's see how this goes.
  • My attempt at embedding was not successful, so here's a direct link to a photo that shows just how dilapidated we are talking...

  • If he's going to open down there it must mean that the Lubavitch are either moving to the north side of E.P. in great numbers or they're willing to walk there because they're the bulk of his business.
  • Yes, while his restaurant Basil is accepting of everyone, it mostly attracts locals who are willing to pay a premium for Kosher certification.

    My understanding is that a restaurant can either serve meat OR dairy and receive certification.

    Basil serves dairy.

    The new one will serve meat.

    ...I do like being able to order both.

  • Yes, but that wouldn't make it Kosher. So...expect non-dairy creamer if you order coffee and if you order dessert don't expect ice cream or anything made with milk. Even if you go into a Kosher deli they will not serve anything made with dairy products.
  • Yes, all of which makes Kosher places a little off-putting to folks who don't value the certification.

    I've often wondered how much it costs to get the actual certification. I imagine it is related to the volume of sales, and not simply a fixed fee.

  • I don't know if the Lubavitch are moving in great numbers, but there has definitely been a noticeable increase on the north side of the Parkway. Already on Kingston, they have a number of businesses between the Parkway and St. Johns., and I've seen people living as far north as St. Marks.

    No matter what goes in there, I'm excited for the rehabilitation of 115 Kingston. The old commercial tenants moved out at least a year ago, leaving the ground floor shuttered just like the rest of the building above it. And despite the fact that scaffolding went up and new boards went in the windows, absolutely no work was done (you can see a pic from last year here: http://ilovefranklinave.blogspot.com/2013/04/guest-post-year-in-life-of-kingston.html), so that whole corner's been a dark, lifeless garbage magnet.
  • I haven't noticed many Lubavitch wandering around Kingston and Bergen ... very few make it up to Kingston and Lincoln Pl, from what I've seen ... except to go to Basil. Still, since Basil seems to be quite successful, perhaps Branover knows wheat he's doing. Still, I do wonder how many Lubavs will want to park their cars so far from EP, much less take a late night stroll over to this new place. 

    As for myself, I went to Basil exactly once. Thought the pizza I ordered was OK, but not outstanding (except for the crust), but found the place too damn loud ... and that was rather empty one night about 10PM. 
  • @ Whynot---Kosher certification is done by a Rabbi. He checks out the place and makes sure everything is up to standards. So...I would think the fee is whatever he or the organization wants to charge. And this is not a one time thing. They go back every week or few weeks to make sure it's all "legal" so to speak. So the fee is a continuous thing.
  • @morralkan--The Lubavitch have bought a few houses on St. Johns between Troy and Albany so there's somewhat of a migration northward. And...they own nearly every piece of rental property on the block where my office is (St. Johns & Troy).
  • When you say the "Lubavitch", I assume you mean a landlord who is visibly Orthodox/Lubavitch or an LLC/HDFC wherein the investors are all Orthodox.

    From what I understand the actual Lubavitch organizations don't own much besides 770, and some of the nearby schools and dorms.

  • The Lubavitch own quite a bit. I know a few of them and besides them owning most of the houses and businesses between Empire and E.P. north and south and Troy and Nostrand east and west they invest in quite a bit. Yes, Orthodox Jews own lots too. The Lubavitch are the ones that followed Schneerson and you can usually spot them as they wear the black hats.
  • Does the actual organization own those properties, or just folks who participate in the org?
  • Folks who are part of that movement --- it's not exactly like a club that one joins. :-)

    One thing, pragmatic: You're right about them following Schneerson (and the previous grand rebbes), but many different types of hasidim wear black hats (e.g. Satmar, Belzer). Of course, the people wearing "the uniform" here in Crown Hts are almost always Lubavitch.
  • Yes, I guess it is more of a movement than an organization.

    Movements don't own much.

    ...when a neighborhood is primarily catholic (ie parts of Boston ) isn't really owned by the Catholic Church. ....just the churches, and the attached schools are.
  • Trust me, they own oodles of stuff. Many of them are business owners because it's tough to find a job where they have to leave early every Friday and be closed on every Jewish holiday. The Lubavitch are the proselytizers going around trying to get other Jews (like me) to be more Jewish. Sometimes it works and sometimes it doesn't. At times, they're so adamant about it they can become a pain in the ass. Whereas the orthodox Jews just follow the religion and don't care what anyone else does.
  • Did you guys read the comments on the CrownHeights.info piece? Someone suggested it was a good way to "grow" the borders of the neighborhood, as the Satmars have done in Williamsburg.
  • Yes, from what I understand, the movement requires an almost exclusive presence of followers in order to enforce and reward the movement's norms.

    While newcomers are encouraged to visit, members are strongly encouraged to live inside the established boundaries.

    While social mixing with non Lubavitch neighbors is discouraged, I have always found members polite when I have a question.

    Membership is intense.
  • I always thought it was somewhat cult-like. If Schneerson had told all of them to kill their first born they would have done it. They have very strong beliefs in how they live. Nothing wrong with that but they're quite closed minded to any new ideas even still going the arranged marriage route.
  • About a year and a half ago (Thanksgiving weekend 2012), Ms. Whynot and my parents went on walking tour that was led by a Rabbi with some standing in the Lubavitch community.


    It seemed as if it was "sanctioned" by the community, in that we were able to see lots of things in the community that I would never have seen otherwise: the 770 museum, the 770 worship area, a bridal room, a matzo factory, etc.

    I asked lots of questions about their beliefs, and felt as if I received honest answers. I left feeling that it would be hard for a young adult to leave the culture if it wasn't for them, but that they could without violence.

    Hence, it fell short of my definition of a cult, and merely met my definition of "way too much structure for me".

    All four of us left feeling that remaining a single woman within the movement was not an option; Producing children is central to the role of women.
  • You bet. Most of the ones I know have LOTS of kids. 5 or 10 is not uncommon. There was a woman who  I used to see at BoA on Kingston and E.P. who was either never married or maybe divorced that was part of the community and she was gorgeous and didn't dress like many of them although her skirt was below the knee. I couldn't figure out how she fit in but either she was looking for a husband or she was somewhat of an individualist.
  • I think that 10 kids is pretty uncommon around here, though up to 5 or 6 is not that hard to find. I know couples that have had only two kids and have heard of one woman with 19. There are a lot of expenses involved in having such large families, beside the enormous food bills. Since all one's kids must attend a religious school, tuition is a huge concern. (for most, though, not university study, especially for men)
    I agree with whynot that Lubavitch (or Satmar, for that matter) come awfully close to being cults. For me, I find it really off-putting that, in virtually every Lubavitch home, one sees a picture of the most recent rebbe, often one of his wife, and sometimes even pictures of the former rebbes. One thing, though: I have often been approached by different Lubavitcher on a social basis, though it most frequently involves an invitation to Shabbas or other holiday dinner. Then again, I'm a member of the tribe, albeit a fallen one.
  • The one limiting factor in Lubavitch expansion: members have to be able to walk to schul (synagogue) on the sabbath, no driving permitted.  So members don't want to live very far away from the main synagogue on EPW near Kingston where they all attend services.
  • On the otherhand, there are seemingly no limiting factors on the expansion of young, college educated people. Members have to be able to walk to a place that serves craft beer, has edison light bulbs, and contains tables made from lightly sanded reclaimed wood. So, members either live near existing businesses of this sort, or businesses open where they all receive services.

  • @capt. planet said: The one limiting factor in Lubavitch expansion: members have to be able to walk to schul (synagogue) on the sabbath, no driving permitted.  So members don't want to live very far away from the main synagogue on EPW near Kingston where they all attend services.

    A small correction... Not all members attend the main synagogue.  There are many synagogues scattered throughout the area.  I do not believe proximity to EPW is a limited factor.  Obviously, location, location, location so it will be a premium to live in the center (Brooklyn/Albany, EPW/Montgomery) of Jewish CH.  "Center" is not necessarily the main synagogue but more the stores, schools, etc. The [smaller/local] synagogues follow the population and pop up as necessary.

    Quite a few Lubavitchers are in fact buying in Wingate and even around the hospital which is quite a walk from from EPW.  It think it is just cheaper to expand south as apposed to north. 
  • Similarly, not all young, college educated people feel the need to receive services at Franklin Park or Berg'n.

    Some are ok with with the smaller outposts, and are now living in Flatbush, PLG and Ditmas. Additional venues are being created to meet their needs at this moment.
  • Y'all may have noticed that the Satmars are likewise making a southerly expansion into northern Bed-Stuy. However, gentrification along the A/C ensures that never the twain shall meet.
  • I think the Lubavitcher expansion is partially limited by proximity to other Lubavitcher families. Most want their kids to be able to play with kids who are religious, like themselves. In that way, the influence to watch TV, possibly eat something unkosher, use drugs (hopefully), etc will be curtailed. For that reason, you don't see many blocks with only one L. family. For many years my own block, which was only one street over from Kingston, had absolutely no L. families. Once one family broke the ice, so to speak, there was a veritable flood (OK, I exaggerate slightly). Still, as the community grows in size and as the children marry and have their own families, the L. community will expand in all directions. Walking around, I've even seen some along Lincoln Pl close to Utica. One other point: southeast is correct about the main synagogue and other "stiebels." The restriction on walking to synagogue holds primarily for the Sabbath along with the high holy days and some, but not all, holidays. In terms of the daily prayers, however, one is permitted to ride to 770 EP. Still, for a number of other celebrations, people want to be near Kingston Ave since that's where they take place.
  • Looking forward to additional food opps on Kingston. Now where can I get a good coffee on Kingston????
  • @crownheightship, have you tried Capitoline Grounds on Kingston and Fulton?
  • Hi Nothinlikeabklyngirl - I'd like something closer to home - not having to cross Atlantic Avenue. Something on the Crown Heights side. I think there are alot of possible opps in the neighborhood

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