Saturday, April 18, 2020

C&B is selling its tables and chairs — to make room for a larger oven

[Image via Instagram]

Chef-owner Ali Sahin is selling off the tables and chairs in the back of C&B Cafe at 178 E. Seventh St. between Avenue A and Avenue B. (Details below!)

When restaurants are able to reopen for dine-in service following the COVID-19 crisis, C&B will remain a take-out only spot. However nice it was to sit back there and listen to the cafe's turntable playing some classic jazz, R&B or disco... Sahin has plans for that space.

His bread-making has gotten quite popular, and he is in the process of buying a larger oven with the help of a crowdfunding campaign.

As he noted in the campaign pitch:

I always made homemade bread for the cafe, but since the virus hit I’ve been making 30 loaves a day myself to keep the cafe afloat. What I came to realize is that the cafe needs to adapt in order to survive. I want to bring a bread oven in the back so that I can transform the cafe into a bakery and keep the essential supplies coming for the community, while keeping my own people on their feet.

Here's more from an Instagram post this morning:

It is a strange feeling getting rid of these things that gave more comfort to me the last 5 years than any bed or couch I lay down since I left my parents’ home.

Now I need to make some room for the oven as well as some cosmetic upgrades to the back room. So most of our furniture, and tableware are for sale now. Tables are $50 chairs are $30 each. Plates and bowls are $5. If you really need something like this but can’t afford it I will give you a pair for free.

Sahin has been putting in 80-hour weeks — mostly by himself — to keep C&B afloat during this crisis. He continues to pay his staff, whom he didn't want to put in harm's way by coming to work. One C&B employee did volunteer to return to work. The other C&B staffers continue to get paid.

Meanwhile, Sahin's bank informed him this week that there weren't any funds left for his small business in the SBA's Paycheck Protection Program. Eater yesterday reported on some of the NYC "small" businesses who did receive the loans, including $10 million for Shake Shack and Potbelly. [UPDATED 4/20: Shake Shack is returning the $10 million.]

C&B is open Saturday to Thursday from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.


sophocles said...

Best of luck to Ali with his spacious oven and delicious breadmaking. "Sorrows are less with bread."

WHY does Shake Shack need a 10 million dollar loan? There MUST be more to be this story.

Shake Shack is marginally tasty but the constant lines at Madison Square Park were one life's absurdities.

Anonymous said...

Go support Ali at C&B today and every time you need bread. Buy something from him. Having a piece of his cafe in your own home would be marvelous.
The idea of Shake Shack, a publicly-traded company (stock symbol: SHAK) whose market cap is $1.63 BILLION, receiving "small business loans" while our tiny, independently run businesses get nothing is outrageous.
Everyone should be writing or calling their representatives in Albany and Washington to protest this.

Anonymous said...

For Shake Shack to get that money is a perfect example of what's wrong with this country: GREED.

Anonymous said...

No more Shake Shack for me. Blech, what a bad taste and I'm not talking about the food.

Anonymous said...

How do I order? Is there delivery? I'd love to place a standing order of 2 loaves to be delivered every week...

ed anger said...

Government by the rich, for the rich.

Me said...

as a $1.6 billion restaurant chain, shake shack has tons more influence with their bank than an independent single-location restaurant, which I'm sure helped. the government also probably weighed the fact that SS employs tens of thousands of people versus an small restaurant that might employ 10-20. in a way, it makes more overall economic sense to try and save 10,000 jobs than 20, right?

not a SS fan and I'm genuinely upset about the small restaurants that aren't getting the help they need to survive, but just laying out the facts.