Wednesday, March 3, 2010

Headline of the day: "The woman who killed Shake Shack."


If you've been following along over at Eater, then you'll know that Shake Shack decided to nix its Nolita expansion plans. Today, the Post profiles the neighbor instrumental in making this happen... the article is titled "The woman who killed Shake Shack." It begins:

Debra Zimmerman — a chatty, husky-voiced blonde — first learned that Shake Shack would be her new neighbor when she got a surprise visit from her landlord in January.

The hamburger haven’s contractor wanted to make sure the construction of a building on an adjacent plot on the corner of Prince and Mulberry streets didn’t cause damage to the railroad-style apartment, which she has called home for the past 32 years. Long vacant, the lot would soon house Manhattan’s third branch of restaurateur Danny Meyer’s wildly popular burger chain.

“At that point, I’m very concerned — extremely concerned,” says Zimmerman, 53, upon discovering that her view across Mulberry Street to the historic St. Patrick’s Old Cathedral would be replaced by a 30-seat rooftop space that would stay open until midnight every night.

And so began a modern-day tale of David and Goliath — NYC style.

Unbelievably, in a span of just six weeks, Zimmerman — who had never been a community activist before — brought down one of the city’s biggest and most connected restaurateurs.


Feel empowered?

[Image via the Post via Women Make Movies]

12 comments:

Curt said...

A true hero.

Alex in NYC said...

She rocks.

Lisa said...

"Here’s a guy who almost single-handedly brought Union Square Park...back to life"

Gee, that statement might surprise the founders of the Greenmarket, which drew people to the park a full decade before Myers' Union Square Cafe opened. But since we're not trendies I guess we don't count.

Let's just hope he doesn't decide to try and open in the East Village now that he's been shut out of NoLita.

Anonymous said...

Good for her

Anonymous said...

Can we get her to help us prevent a bar from opening in the old Raven space on 12th and A?

T.E.V.B. said...

GOOD.

Goggla said...

There is power in numbers and loud voices. When people take action and ban together, things get done. This woman is inspiration for those who lose hope in conflicts where it appears that a bully will win just because they're big.

EV Grieve said...

Well said, Goggla! That was the sentiment that I wanted to get across...

Jill said...

It seems as though Meyer backed down due to her activism and he should get credit for listening to his new potential neighbors. I wonder if he hadn't done that if CB2 would have approved it (of course with loser stipulations that can't be enforced).

EV Grieve said...

How soon before there's a Shake Shack on the Bowery?

Arthur said...

I was looking forward to having Shake Shack in the neighborhood. Great burgers, good neighbors, and local people--what more could you want?

Anonymous said...

This woman is awesome. You go girl!!! I would love to know more about the secret to her success. Perhaps Grieve can interview her...