Wednesday, November 9, 2022

UPDATED: Pinky's Space is closed for now 2 weeks after the city removes its curbside structure on 1st Street

Photo from Oct. 27 by Lori E. Seid 

Updated: Owners Wesely and Mimi reached out to tell us that they have NOT closed for good, despite the published report. They said they are "currently in a rebuilding phase and will not be closing permanently."


Pinky's Space, the cafe-art gallery at 70 E. First St. has closed two weeks after the city removed its curbside dining structure. And now, the owners are planning to sue the city for property damage and loss of business, Jennifer Gould at the Post reports

On Oct. 27, the city leveled the 50-foot-long outdoor structure, which had morphed into an assemblage of paintings, furniture and plants — topped off by a chandelier and disco ball here between First Avenue and Second Avenue. Co-owner Mimi Blitz estimated she spent $50,000 on the structure.

 Per the Post
"We are still devastated — we haven’t been able to fully reopen and we have to restructure our business model because 90% of our business was from roadway dining," said Blitz... 

"We had a living, breathing business here," Blitz added. "We made sure it looked good and was up to code." 
A DOT spokesperson told the Post that Pinky's Space had received three non-compliance warnings since August. 
"We had no indication they were taking the structure down, taking my whole livelihood down," Blitz said. "Some of the DOT workers were laughing at us. They took the lights, every piece of wood, and the astroturf." 
Pinky's Space first opened in 2018 as a quick-serve cafe offering a variety of sandwiches served on biscuits.


Anonymous said...

Uh, first she claimed the shed cost $25K, but *now* she says it cost $50K. IMO, smells like someone's lying.

And we KNOW she's lying about "oh, I had no idea" and claiming "it was up to code" because if you look at the warnings she got from the city (which were cited at length in another article's comment section about Pinky's), she was well aware that the shed was very much out-of-compliance.

If (as they claim) "90%" of business was from "roadway dining" then they did not have a viable business model.

So now OF COURSE the owners are going to sue the city for the failures of the owners.

For people who claim they're broke, they seem to have money for lawyers and extended lawsuits.

I personally don't believe any of what these owners say. But they sure are good at whining about their self-inflicted woes.

noble neolani said...

Sue the hand which gave you 500 square ft of "free" space at the expense of your neighbors mental health. You nor any other restaurant is entitles to take over public space indefinitely.

Anonymous said...

The place was very pretty indeed. But where did your revenue come from pre pandemic sheds then?

BushwickGrillClub said...

@10:47 AM I was thinking the same thing about the bogus "90% of our revenue" thang. According to the linked EVG article, Pinky's opened in Jan of 2018. That means for 2+ years 100% of their business had nothing to do with "roadside dining." How exactly did they survive for those 2 years?


The comments here are so harsh, you know the owners are actual people with feelings who are going to read them, correct? I walked by their dining shed several times a day, mornings, late nights, and it was never a noise polluting attack on anyone's mental health.

These sheds should not be a permanent thing but at least work with people so in cases like this, they can save their plants, art, and decor.

Exterminator said...

They should learn to work with their original
indoor space. That’s what they chose when
they first agreed to their original lease. If
the business is not viable so be it. I don’t wish them
bad but the city doesn’t owe you this free
outdoor space, at everybody else’s expense.

Anonymous said...

Appreciate that update, which IMO indicates that the owners have been talking out of both sides of their mouth.

Anonymous said...

@NOTORIOUS – I live right by Pinky's... they absolutely were noise polluting. Frequently played loud music and partied through the entire night until even 9AM the next morning. I know quite a few folks would call 311 b/c of it

Anonymous said...

Because a lot of people will still not go indoors for food and drinks

Anonymous said...

While I normally have sympathy for small NYC shops and business, at this point have zero sympathy for restaurants which have benefited from free outdoor space, Federal Covid relief monies, some GoFund Me, and most recently Take Out drinks.

And many new restaurants opening and getting more free space. Not everything can be a restaurant. In fact, with so many restaurants, there is cannibalization.

None of this has been fair.
Small stores (many facing high rent, ecommerce, crime) have gotten no help.
Some landlords are jacking up rent for stores or pushing stores out as landlords seek restaurants willing to pay higher rent.

And even some restaurants not well situated (hydrant, bus stop) could not use sidewalk or other space.

The restaurant shacks need to go.

Anonymous said...

Have you looked inside restaurants in the neighborhood lately? All packed to the rafters. 95% of the population have moved on from the pandemic.

Anonymous said...

I like watching their live stream. He's always there tell anyone who'll listen the story, and shuffling plants around.

Anonymous said...

Everyone deserves to be able to run an independent business, but Pinnky's never had a business or sold any food and drink.

It was not an "art space" or a "chill hang out spot". It was an unsupervised open shed that encouraged a very late night crowd to gather at until 7 or 8am three or four nights a week with the resulting noise (music, motorbikes) and late-night behavior (peeing and worse).

People on the street were scared to walk past the space in the mornings. If the owners cared about their so-called legitimate business they would have stopped the after-parties back in 2020.

No one living on the block is sad that the shed came down.