Vicente's Mexican + Hookah coming to 676 Franklin (next to Indian restaurant)
  • Dec 7

    Longtime readers may recall that this place was once to become a bar run by the Indian Restaurant next door, but that never came to fruition.

    Now, the space has presumably changed hands and is to become a Mexican Restaurant with Hookah pipes.

    Vicente's

    676 Franklin Avenue

    Note: My understanding is that when one allows Hookah smoking, one can not also serve alcohol. So, it should be interesting to see how this place does in light of all of the other Mexican places in western Crown Heights. Vicente's will make six (6!):

    1. Chavella's

    2. Gueros

    3. The soon-to-open burrito place across from Bob and Betty's (formerly Jam Rock)

    4. The soon-to-open location of Yummy Taco on Washington (blick!)

    5. Los Muertos on Washington

    6. Vicente's


  • wasnt there one opening on nostrand too? did i just make that up?


  • Good memory!

    Yes, Clayfilms broke that news: http://www.brooklynian.com/forums/topic/guess-whats-coming-to-nostrand

    So, that is

    7

    including the one coming to 814 Nostrand, by Lula Bagel.

  • Mexican food with no booze, and acrid fruity smoke?! Im predicting a quick fail, unless this is a joke. Or these guys quickly do some research and realize their impending mistake. Is there a hookah place anywhere that does very well?


  • I have similar fears.

    Readers may remember that a prior attempt at this location, Bollywood Bar, failed before it even opened.

    http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20120731/crown-heights/franklin-avenue-institutions-new-bollywood-bar-snared-dob-snafu

    Personally, I am seeing far more new/expectant mothers on Franklin Avenue than I am seeing single, hookah-smoking- Mexican-food-eating males.

    But the proprietors are welcome to create a business that caters to a group I perceive as shrinking if they choose.


  • I might be missing something, and I know it's Prospect Heigths, but Zaytoons on Vanderbilt serves both hookah and booze. No liquor, but they have beer and wine.


  • Interesting about Bombay Bar, the owner told me he couldnt open the bar b/c of the church across the street, and he didnt know the rules when he signed the lease.

    Anyhow, curious as to who hookah smokers are since even at zaytoons I didnt see anyone smoking (maybe an off day). Doesnt sound like a hipster thing. Black males maybe? Either way, when I think of hookahs, I think of...oh yeah....booze. cigars&scotch. cigarettes&beer. etc.


  • Small correction: it's Vicente's (only one "n").


    Attached files image image
  • Thanks, I've fixed it!

    [readers, I previously spelled it as Vincente's]



  • New Vicente's sign.Vicente's new sign
  • Is this place owned by the same owners as Bombay? I know it's been said before on this thread, but the idea of eating Mexican food with hookah smoke and no booze makes me a bit ill. I wonder if we could create a sort of new business preemptive death watch list thread. Is that mean?
  • Yes, I now believe that this entity is owned by the Bombay folks.

    1. They were going to open up a bar there, but it didn't happen:

    http://www.brooklynian.com/discussion/35453/coming-soon-to-franklin-bollywood-bar/p1

    2. The awning for both of them appears to be one piece.

    3. The SLA application for the previous entity (Bombay Bar) is still pending http://www.trans.abc.state.ny.us/servlet/ApplicationServlet?pageName=com.ibm.nysla.data.publicquery.PublicQuerySuccessfulResultsPage&validated=true&serialNumber=1268987&licenseType=RW

    The names of the applicants can be viewed on the above link.

    Above, I speculated that the place had changed hands. This was likely because I found it improbable that the owners of an indian restaurant would open a mexican/hookah place.Brooklyn, you never let me down. I see no reason they can't make "authentic mexican food and hookah".
  • I went inside Bombay Masala to ask if Vicente's had an opening date (or estimate of one). The managers didn't appear to speak English very well, but after a few attempts to explain my question they got the gist of it and then just referred me to the "Coming Soon" sign. I root for all local businesses, but as a native Texan (who lived in Mexico for awhile) I'm not expecting this to be some of the better Mexican food I've had. I hope to be proven wrong. Or at least something close to that.
  • They lost a lot of money as a result of serious errors last time:

    http://www.brooklynian.com/discussion/35453/coming-soon-to-franklin-bollywood-bar/p1

    I do hope they have learned their lessons.
  • I just wish to point that it is now May.

    ....not only have 3 months gone by, but a lot of other Mexican places will soon open and have already opened.

    I recently counted 11 places in the area:   http://www.brooklynian.com/discussion/43891/purity-diner-to-become-burrito-bar/p1

    Meanwhile, I have yet to meet someone who wants to consume Mexican food while smoking hookah, AND I am pretty sure DOH does not allow this combination. 

    As a result, I am going to give any prospective investors in this business my strongest advice: Do Not Do It.

  • One of the owners said that they partnered with a guy (mexican i believe) who had created one of these concepts somewhere else.  Hopefully he's the one who's actually managing the menu and food, and the bombay masala guys are passive investors.  

    This does exist, in the form of La Canela restuaruant in Astoria.  http://www.yelp.com/biz/la-canela-restaurant-and-hookah-lounge-astoria

    Nonetheless, I love my foods without the stank of acrid fruity smoke.  I suspect the hookah will be the main draw, given the other food options nearby.
  • I agree.

    ...and although I love looking at people with odd preferences as much as the next guy, I feel no need to visit the one in Astoria to see who these strange Mexican eating - Hookah smoking people are.

    I must admit that it amazes me that these folks exist to the degree that someone accommodates them and that they operate within local laws.   

    However, I remain convinced that they are a small, marginalized segment of the overall population.     

    As a result of how long the Vicente storefront has now been unproductive, I suspect that the operators must own (as opposed to rent) both storefronts. 
  • At some point during the last week or so, they requested a future kitchen inspection from DOH:


    ...this basically means that they believe their kitchen will be ready before DOH gets its act together to come and inspect it.
  • Grand opening Monday, June 16.  The hookahs will be tobacco-free.

    image
  • Other than tobacco or weed, what does one use a hookah for?
  • Apparently there are non-tobacco herbal shishas for hookahs. This link offers them below their tobacco products:

    http://www.hookah-shisha.com/c-3-hookah-tobacco-shisha-tobacco.html

    This does answer my question re: "how is this going to be legal?"

    ...However, I still have never met someone who occupies this part of the Venn Diagram.

  • booklaw said:

    Other than tobacco or weed, what does one use a hookah for?



    The owner simply said it will be "flavors."  He seemed disappointed tobacco won't be allowed, but he said he's been told "flavors" are OK.
  • booklaw said:

    The owner simply said it will be "flavors."  He seemed disappointed tobacco won't be allowed, but he said he's been told "flavors" are OK.



    Does anyone occupying this space look up laws?  First the backyard deck that never got approval and now this guy (same guy?) who even thought for a second that tobacco would be ok?  
  • I believe this clip may say it best:

    http://youtube.com/watch?v=t8GTHXTEvIc
  • tateinbk said:

    booklaw said:

    Does anyone occupying this space look up laws?  First the backyard deck that never got approval and now this guy (same guy?) who even thought for a second that tobacco would be ok?  



    So that I'm fair to the guy, I don't know if he was disappointed after having asked and been denied... or if he was well aware of this and simply lamenting that it isn't allowed.

  • I'd like to think I would have researched it before I spent putting up a sign on the front of my business that stated "Mexican Food and Hookah"

    The sign now declares something that is barely true.
  • Apparently Mexican and hookah isn't a unique combination: http://www.yelp.com/biz/la-canela-restaurant-and-hookah-lounge-astoria.  
  • Do they "get" to smoke real tobacco hookah is Astoria?
  • Grand Opening today, June 16. People were seen eating, sans hookah

    image

    One of 12 Mexican influenced restaurants nearby: http://www.brooklynian.com/discussion/43891/purity-diner-to-become-burrito-bar/p1
  • I know one of the proprietors, who is a seasoned restaurant manager and really knows his stuff.  I frequented the Mexican restaurant he managed (and more or less ran, as far as I could tell) in Prospect Heights.  I have't been to Vicente's yet, but I can't wait to go!
  • Is he basically leasing the space from the folks who run the Indian Restaurant?

    Did he have anything to do with the idea that:

    Mexican food + hookah = good idea. ?
  • Ate from there twice (once inside, once delivery) this weekend, and visited twice...friday and saturday for world cup.   

    The food is actually quite good and reasonably priced. But man, it really feels like they want the food to be a secondary part of the concept which is a shame. 

    I say this because on Saturday when I went in to catch a cup game, there was a dj with music blasting, I mean you could barely hear the waitress.  Guys in front were smoking some nasty strawberry stuff.   Very disappointing that a Mexican joint would have the volume off for a soccer game, and rap music on blast.  It was intolerable, I quickly finished my beer, had my food wrapped up, and took it home to watch the 2nd half. I wonder if they figure it'll be too hard to compete with the other Mex places around on food alone, and hope that smoking will be the draw.  Really too bad, I'd be a regular here for the food, but the music / smoke would keep me away.



  • Any interesting beer or just basic Mexican fare? 
  • Had lunch there a few days ago. Nothing special but not bad either... pretty typical Mexican food restaurant. Which is better than I suspected given its Indian ownership and hookah bar description.

    I actually wonder how often the hookahs will be used. They have nice TVs, decent food, and a bar. It should be a place to sit and watch a game over tacos and beer. The hookahs really aren't necessary.
  • Just a suggestion to whoever opens a new restaurant in the area, MIDDLE EASTERN.  Fez opened and closed and was a bit of a disappointment. Other than hiking over to Vanderbilt I haven't found a decent Mediterranean/M.E. restaurant in the area. Would love some good Zaatar bread, lentil soup, shepherd's salad etc. 

    Just a suggestion. 
  • A Greek place is in the works
  • OMG GREEK!!!!!!!
  • I guess mediterranean is an ok backup to good middle eastern, but by no means a replacement.
      i agree though, totally wanted middle east food, and Fez disappointed.
  • I think Vicente's best move would be to remove all references to hookah on its advertising and awning.

    It could become the local bland, somewhat cheesy mexican place

    ... our version of Burrito Bar (in Prospect Heights, on Flatbush)
  • Today, Ms Whynot and I ate at Vincente's.

    11 very local places eaten at!

    There were hookahs on display, but not in use. It is not operated by the folks who run the Indian place next door.

    The food was standard Mexican fare. A little bland. Good air conditioning.

    Nostrand and Lincoln is next.
  • I want to edit their menu.

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