Thursday, July 8, 2010

No more Belgian fries at Ray's (for now)


Scoopy's column in this week's issue of The Villager has several updates on Ray's...Including:

— Ray is receiving his Social Security payments, going back as far as 2.5 years.

Ray is no longer selling Belgian fries. Reports Scoopy: "In a new twist, his property manager, Barbara Chupa, has proposed a deal: Stop selling fries and get a three-year lease; his current rent, $3,700, would increase $200 each year. So, for the moment, Ray has covered his array of Belgian fries signs with sheets of white paper — and yet Chupa still hasn’t provided a lease."

— "Ray still wants to install an Ansul system hood over his deep fryer, which he hopes would satisfy Chupa, allowing him to fire up his golden fries once more — but he won’t spend the $10,000 to do it until he gets her OK."

— He says the new NYC Icy on the other side of Avenue A "has taken half his business."

— Ray may close up the shop for several weeks during a traditionally slow period to have his hernia operation.

[Image by Andrew King Dong via the Save Ray's Facebook page]

18 comments:

Melanie said...

Sounds like Ray is ready and able to do the installation for the cooking of the Obama Fries...Don't forget to chill out at Ray's with something like an egg cream,etc.on these hot days.

EV Grieve said...

An excellent idea, Melanie....

Bowery Boogie said...

i'll miss the fries. hope he can get it up and running again.

Anonymous said...

Funny how EV Grieve CENSORS comments he does not like, even though they are stating their opinion on the ATTITUDES of the employees and owner of this shithole.

glamma said...

good luck ray! good news about the lease. let's just make sure he gets it!!

esquared said...

was there last friday to get some fries (to munch on for the 'une femme est unne femme' screening at tompkins sq park), but was told that they won't be serving fries until after 10pm. i don't know if that's still the case.

them fries will surely be missed.

EV Grieve said...

@Anon
It's fine to state your opinion that you don't like the service at Ray's or the people who work there. It's some language that I don't care for.

Lisa said...

@ Anon - I have never gone into Ray's and not gotten polite service, but then, I am polite to them to begin with. Perhaps they are responding to the way you approach them. As to Ray's being a "shithole", it's a small, old-time New York store; there used to be a lot more of them around before they were glammed out of existence by upscale boutiques, gourmet cupcake bakeries, cell phone stores and the like. If you don't like Ray's then don't patronize it, but also don't insult a hardworking old man who's just trying to get by in a world that's - sadly - leaving him behind. Have some compassion.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like things are coming together for Ray. Good for him and all of the great East Villagers who banded together to help out a friend in need. It's a great story!

Goggla said...

Hmm, but how to afford that new lease without the fries? This has me worried.

Nonetheless, I'm glad Ray is getting his SS payments and am even more happy he's still in business. I'm eating more soft-serve this summer than I ever have in my entire life. :)

Anonymous said...

Lisa,

McDonalds was in New York before there was ever a Ray's. Are they "old-time" New York too?

Lisa said...

@Anon - You're as laughable as your retort. I am guessing that, unlike me, you're not old enough to remember when many blocks on NY boasted small, individually-owned, unique stores, offering all sorts of goods. When I was growing up I lived down the block from a place called Libby's - it had a soda fountain in the back, and the proprietress sold comic books, Spaldeens, toy soldiers, kites, school supplies, cigars and cigarettes, party supplies, newspapers, etc. That was normal for New York. (No surprise a catch-all store like Woolworth's started here and spawned many imitators across the country.) What the hell has McDonald's, the temple to bland, soulless, same-everywhere-you-go consumerism, have to do with a place like Ray's? If you want to eat genetically engineered crap, go to the Golden Arches. If you want a little originality and a bit of the flavor of old New York, go to Ray's. And if old New York doesn't interest you, why are you even reading this blog?

Anonymous said...

Please don't let Ray blow his social security money by handing it over to his greedy landlord or buying that fryhood. The BEST thing Ray could do would be to stop losing money! The longer he goes on, the deeper in debt he's going to be. Its time to recognize that there is no viable market for the menu Ray offers. Look, I like the guy and his story is awesome, but if learned how to make a truly good cup of coffee 10 years ago, he'd be retired in the Hamptons by now. Likewise the icy business. I took the kids to Rays for one of his ices and it took 10 mins, it was a huge serving (too big for the kids) it was just cheap syrup in blender with ice. NYC Icy on the otherhand has a great product of fresh, fast, quality ingredients, imaginative flavors, and a fair price. Ray is't losing business to them. He never had thier business. He's losing business to attrition because fewer and fewer people eat the crap he sells.

Anonymous said...

NYC Icy proves that there IS a market and opportunity for small entreprenurial retail in NYC - IF the product is good and the price fair.

Anonymous said...

My kid's missing the fries already...he was told there will be no flies for "a few weeks", and it's about a month since. Every weekend we go there and he makes :( face. Maybe we should go to Barbara Chupa and show how :( we feel.

Anonymous said...

Flies? Oh yeah, there will be flies alright.

g said...

Aw, HELL NO! Good luck Ray!

Jill said...

Too bad about the fries. You might not realize it, but he made each order fresh from a bucket of potatoes under the counter. They were delicious hot out of the fryer. Many restaurants serve warmed up frozen processed potato meal molded into a fry shape.

The chocolate egg cream is still my favorite, and it is always better if Ray makes it himself. The husband and son always get the chocolate milkshake with extra chocolate.