Checkers - formerly gaseteria on empire blvd - Brooklynian

Checkers - formerly gaseteria on empire blvd

anybody know whats going on with the gaseteria on empire between washington and franklin? walked by on tuesday and they were removing the sign, the overhead awning came down sometime last week..
i am hoping the lot has been bought and something new is coming, but i fear it will remain a boarded-wasteland...

Comments

  • edited March 2014
    construction is a promising sign. It's been surrounded in chain wire fence and signs advertising gas for $3.50 for something like two years.

    43 Empire
  • it looks like it actually closed when gas was 4.17/4.29/4.41 i have a pic, but dont know how to post it! :)
  • The bulldozers have been busy, and this site is now a barren patch of earth.

    Give the proximity of the park, and abundance of fast food nearby, I'm not sure what I would put in that space.

    ...it looks like something is going to be built.
  • the sign on the fence now proudly exclaims::

    COMING SOON: Checkers!!

    not certain how i feel about ANOTHER food chain at this intersection.
    *shrugs* i guess it's jobs though...
  • that's a good location for a Checkers, they focus on mostly drivethru business.

    When all else fails, give people the bad food they want.
  • I am pretty sure that the new place being built on the corner of Bedford and Sullivan is a burger joint too. I believe it's owned by "Bedford Avenue Burgers".

    That's a lot of burgers in a 5 block area. Wendy's, Checkers, McDonalds....

    Where is Burger King going to setup shop???
  • After huge delays, construction has now begun in earnest. As per my look over the fence, this place could be open mid-summer.

    Checkers are mostly a grill surrounded by a parking lot, afterall.

  • Forty years ago, when I was in college, that spot used to be a Mobil station owned by a Greek guy named Steve. I worked for an auto parts place that was on Nostrand and Montgomery and delivered parts to him.

  • whynot_31 said:

    Future:


    Urban Blight! Build a stadium!

  • The Checkers I've seen have no indoor eating areas.

    ....which kinda sucks when you don't own a car and its winter.

  • Here is one from downtown. They do exist as eat-in types of places. There is one downtown Brooklyn.

  • My peek over the plywood fence makes me believe they will be pursuing drive thru technology, perhaps even DUAL drive thru technology. It will be a stand alone building.

    As I remember the Checkers near where I went to college, it had dual drive thru technology AND a small eating area.

    So, it can happen. But that may have been a super-sized Checkers, as a result of being so close to a college, and I do not think the Franklin & Empire lot is big enough for that.

  • Today's walk indicates that (for better or worse) Checker's is almost complete!

  • whynot_31 said:

    Today's walk indicates that (for better or worse) Checker's is almost complete!

    Huh? I ran by there a few weeks ago. They must have trucked that building in on a flatbed.

  • If you look closely, you can see the lovely golden arches between the two trees in my photo and Jefferies':

    ah, America. In a few weeks, the plywood will come down and this series will be complete.

  • Despite looking "done", this Checkers building has yet to open.

    All it needs is some asphalt around it, some minimum wage employees, frozen burger patties....

  • This is a total guess... But i would think someone at DOT took a look at this project and realized it's a traffic nightmare waiting to happen.

    I think Checkers is a drivethru chain and there is nowhere for cars to queue except for on Franklin, Washington or Empire (all major streets). This is already a busy intersection during rush hours and would be totally jammed up if lines formed for Baconzilla Fries.

  • There's a McDonald's drive-thru a block away. I doubt that's it. It just takes time to sort everything out.

  • As a result of Wendy's, McDonalds, Popeyes, Burger King and (soon) Checkers, being all located within a few blocks, it is amazing that anyone makes it to Western Beef to buy healthy food.

    Damn, that's a lot of fat: http://www.nutrition-charts.com/checkers-drive-in-nutrition-information/

  • There's healthy food at Western Beef? Sure doesn't smell like it in there.

  • Healthy is often a relative term.

  • Wendy's and McDonald's have big lots compared to this place... I think it'll be a shit show with the traffic.

  • Dmiami, I agree. Both for the Wendy's and the McDonalds, there is enough parking that if you have 4-5 cars queued up, you always have the option of parking and walking inside to put in your order.

  • There's healthy food at Western Beef? Sure doesn't smell like it in there.
    Ugh. I also dislike Western Beef, and I would never buy meat from there. Yet the current smell pales in comparison to the smell left by its immediate predecessor in the early 90s.

    At this rate, I doubt that Checkers will open any time soon.

  • thecameralady said:

    The Checkers site has some DOB violations (and fines) on it that are still open, but apparently no stop work orders. The street address for the site is apparently 43 Empire Boulevard, by the way.

  • As a result of being vacant for so long, it kind of amazes me that this site hasn't been vandalized, or had its brand new kitchen equipment removed in the middle of the night.

    One could easily scale the plywood, and then use it to obstruct view of your work as you gain access to the building, and pre-stage it for a truck with a lift.

  • Sounds like a good plan, whynot. I'd say go for it - social workers always need to supplement their incomes. :)

  • I was thinking the job would be taken by someone with a truck, and a history of similar experience.

  • whynot_31 said:

    As a result of being vacant for so long, it kind of amazes me that this site hasn't been vandalized, or had its brand new kitchen equipment removed in the middle of the night.

    How do you know that new kitchen equipment has been moved in? I just assumed it was basically a shell at this point. :mrgreen:

  • I assume the area professionals have already determined whether this job is a good one.

    ...they seem to scope things out faster than I.

  • "How do you know that new kitchen equipment has been moved in? I just assumed it was basically a shell at this point".

    Or moved in and already stolen.

  • I still think this is a terrible spot for a dive through restaurant. Traffic nightmare.

    I can't imagine someone trying to steal equipment from there for that same reason. people and cars 24/7.

  • Do you think a drive through restaurant would cause more traffic than when it was a series a of gas stations?



    Photo: Brownstoner

    1069 Washington Avenue = 43 Empire Boulevard

  • It's not just where Checkers is that is a problem; it's how the building is set up. The lot is not that big and the Checkers building sits squarely in the middle.

    Vehicles impeding traffic on the Washington Avenue side would be especially problematic now that the MTA has restored B48 service to Prospect-Lefferts Gardens. The NB B48 turns onto Washington at that intersection.

    Then again, at this rate, I doubt it will ever open so it won't be an issue. :smurf:

  • Checkers are mostly a grill surrounded by a parking lot, afterall.

    We had a Checkers on Robert Street in West St Paul. It closed down in less than a year due to pukie "food", no parking, and very little seating area.

  • I agree with thecameralady about the way the lot is being developed. It's hard to tell for certain, but it seems like cars would not have a lot of space on the actual lot itself. I can forsee cars blocking the sidewalk as they line up to get on the lot. Look at the pic above for the gas station (cars all over the place).

    Also, traffic is bad today...

    You've got a Wendy's drive through, a busy bus stop, McDonalds Drive Through and Western Beef parking lot enntrances within a block. With the restructuring of the interection at Empire, Flatbush and Ocean, traffic regularly backs down Empire past Washington. This has happened while this lot has been vacant.

    Adding anything that involves cars queueing up here will make it worse.

    I would rather they follow the model of Popeye's and Dunkin Doughtnut. No drive thru, and built upto the side walk to make it pedestrian friendly.

    I'd love to compare customer traffic between Popeye's and Wendy's. Same block, one restaurant with a parking lot and drive thru, one that is built for foot trafic to the side walk.

  • Actually, Popeye's and Dunkin Doughnuts get a lot of folks who park in the Wendy's lot for takeout (not that I've personally done that or anything :-00 )

  • On Saturday, 6/22/2013, I saw a backhoe at work.

    My rookie guess is that he was digging to prep for the installation of some type of utility (gas, electric, sewer, etc).

  • I did see someone going into that site recently to work in it.

    I wonder what is taking so long to finish this particular site.

  • Late August 2013: finishing touches applied.

    Sign announces "opening soon"

  • Sept 23. Not open yet. Apparently we still lack minimum wage employees and frozen burger patties.



    photos: Daniel Ivy

  • Dec 22

    Incredibly, it is still not open yet.

  • I looked through the windows a couple of weeks ago, all the screens for the ordering system are powered up -- if it wasn't so new, it would look weirdly abandoned.

  • I know fast food is profitable, but I would imagine it is going to take them a long time to recoup all of the time and money they have spent opening this place.3 years.
  • It seems there may be incompetence in the "Store Development" department.
  • I now have another bone to pick with that site.The property owners have been derelict with snow removal. I've been reporting them to 311 along with submitting pictures. I know the city is supposed to fine property owners, but I wonder whether it's enough of a deterrent.
  • edited February 2014
    update: the sidewalks have been shoveled!

    here's another update: menus are in place inside! from what i was able to see from the sidewalk, there is absolutely no seating inside. (there apparently is no room for seating anyway.) it looks like this checkers will strictly be a walk-up or drive-through takeout joint.
  • edited March 2014
    While this place is not yet open, on March 16th, Ms. Whynot and I saw a person inside Checkers.

    He appeared to be working, not burglarizing.    

    Destruction of the Gaseteria began in early 2010.    Will the Checkers be open by April 2014? 




     
  • i've seen a person inside that checkers too once a couple of months ago. the kitchen appeared to have been set up, but of course, no customers yet. :) 

    i really wonder why it's taking so long to open one little burger joint.

  • Bump! 

    This morning I noticed that directional arrows have been painted on the ground in the drive-thru. Traffic is to enter from the Washington Avenue side and exit on the Franklin Avenue side. 
  • edited April 2014
    I'm a little embarrassed to admit I just checked the Checker's website to see if it has anything about an opening date.


    My research determined there are three existing Brooklyn locations, but no mention of this one yet.
  • My family and I are obsessed with when this place will open. My 5 year old often says the sign should read "Opening NOT Soon." In the past few days we've seen people inside and one day it looked like a meeting of about 8 people (maybe a training.) We're not even Checkers fans but it's killing us that it's not opening!
  • edited April 2014
    Checkers is now open! (The sign should be changed to reflect that.) 

    A number of people were waiting outside for their orders. All traffic that I observed at that moment was on foot.

    I spotted three parking spaces on the Franklin Avenue side; one is a handicap spot.

  • It's been that long? Wow. I wonder what was behind the various delays. 
  • It's actually not open yet. It was closed yesterday but the sign said Opening Tuesday. Just in case anyone was planning to go....
  • People were seen by yours truly, walking out with take out bags today.

    image
  • Here is a picture of the scene at Checkers when I walked by on Saturday, April 5.

    Maybe they were doing a special trial run just for that day.
    image
  • It may be time to write an obituary; it was boarded up this evening.

    Checkers -
    Sunrise: April 2014
    Sunset: May 2016

    Two years old.
  • Trader Joes, are you reading???
  • Trader Joes, are you reading???
    If this spot was barely big enough for a Checkers, how would it be big enough for a TJ's? 

    I'm wondering whether even a Target Express would fit.
  • edited May 2016

    This site would nice if you could combine it with the auto repair shop and church that sit directly behind it.

    https://www.google.com/maps/@40.6637221,-73.9607007,107m/data=!3m1!1e3?hl=en

    Then it would be large enough to do something fun.

  • Each lot on that block is odd-shaped.
  • For anything big to open you'd still need to provide parking and there isn't enough room  for that. There was barely enough for the drive thru. I think it'll be awhile before anything opens on that site.
  • Given how long it took them to built the Checkers, it would not surprise me if they took a really long time to list it for sale and remove the logos.
  • "This site would nice if you could combine it with the auto repair shop and church that sit directly behind it"

    A combination of the three would be nice; you could get your car fixed, clog your arteries, and listen to superstitious nonsense all at the same time.
  • You seem to be thinking of connecting them via hallways.

    I was thinking of using an excavator.


    excavator
  • It must have taken a long time for the Checkers to be built because of remediation from the gas tanks. That area has been a gas station for at least 50 years and I'm sure there was plenty of leakage before they started using double wall tanks.
  • Building the small structure took several years.

    The problem didn't seem to be the remediation...
  • The other trader joes don't have parking, so one here doesn't need to just because the other businesses around it do (customers with cars will probably use the other businesses parking anyways. :)

    I'm not a Starbucks fan, but a Starbucks with an outdoor seating area would do well there, too.
  • edited May 2016

    This location has enough ped traffic that a use could be found that doesn't involve people with cars.

  • Brooklyneya said: The other trader joes don't have parking, so one here doesn't need to just because the other businesses around it do (customers with cars will probably use the other businesses parking anyways. :) 
    *
    cough* Western Beef *cough*

    Plus, there are trains nearby. However, a TJ's there may be as claustrophobic as the one at Union Square once it gets crowded with people. 



  • My gut says that if you were to combine the Checker's lot with the church's and the auto shop's, you would do so because you believed something like a 8 story residential building would be allowed, and commercial would be permitted on the first floor.

    Occupancy date Fall 2020.

  • Someone needs to buy out that church though. 
  • It is now open again, and reportedly under new management.

    image
    image
  • I'm only sorry that I caught on to Checkers late in the game . . . the wings there are pretty darn good! 
  • The garage sharing this lot is now (apparently) closed since last Thursday and a big sign on the frontage says the building is up for lease.
  • edited March 28

    The remaining corner seems to be occupied by a church.    A developer who could score all three properties could do pretty well.

    aerial shot:

    Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 7.24.22 PM


    Church angle
    Screen Shot 2017-03-28 at 7.26.59 PM
  • The church used to be a club called Brandy's back in the late 70's/early 80's. Owned by the Dow Twins who also owned Othello's and Leviticus in the city. Height of the disco era.
  • I noticed that. Maybe that was why that property was a bit lax with snow removal during the last storm. shrug

    If you look at the tax maps, you'd notice that all three lots on the block are oddly shaped.
  • whynot_31 said:

    The remaining corner seems to be occupied by a church.    A developer who could score all three properties could do pretty well.
    Or all 3 lots may sit and languish like Toomeys or the laundromat on Rogers/Empire
  • By "languish", I think you mean appreciate until new zoning is passed. 
  • Call me crazy, but it sure seems like a great spot for another shelter or two, ay?
  • You'll notice that under this mayor the city does not have the time (foresight?  skills?) to actually build any shelters.

    Instead, they rent existing buildings and turn them into shelters.

    When they have time to build, they build affordable housing or supportive housing. Perversely, the funding streams for supportive housing are not as robust as those for shelter.  ...the city can't afford to build supportive housing at this site.
  • I heard from an "engaged" community member that an apartment complex is in the works.  Zoning apparently falls in line with residential because it has an address on Franklin vs. Empire.   I haven't seen any evidence to support this, so who knows.
  • dmiami2 said:
    I heard from an "engaged" community member that an apartment complex is in the works.  Zoning apparently falls in line with residential because it has an address on Franklin vs. Empire.   I haven't seen any evidence to support this, so who knows.
    Someone else correct me, but I thought most of these lots have residential with commercial overlay and the residential is somewhere between 6-13 stories
  • edited March 31
    I'm not a zoning expert but I don't think so.


    "C8 districts, bridging commercial and manufacturing uses, provide for automotive and other heavy commercial services that often require large amounts of land. Parts of Bay Ridge in Brooklyn and Castleton Corners on Staten Island are mapped C8. Typical uses are automobile showrooms and repair shops, warehouses, gas stations and car washes—although all commercial uses (except large, open amusements) as well as certain community facilities are permitted in C8 districts. Housing is not permitted and performance standards are imposed for certain semi-industrial uses (Use Group 11A and 16)."
  • edited March 31
    http://maps.nyc.gov/doitt/nycitymap/template?applicationName=ZOLA&searchType=AddressSearch&addressNumber=43&street=empire boulevard&borough=Brooklyn

    Yes, the properties that currently occupy the triangle are zoned C8-2.   ...even the Franklin Ave side.

    However, this could change.  

    A rezoning request is presently being pursued for the former Sea Crest properties.

  • Note:  Checkers is once again open.


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