UPDATE: Garish 16 Handles Signage Offends Surrounding Neighborhood

The new frozen yogurt franchise has gotten off on the wrong foot.

Update, 3:24 p.m.: As of 2:00 p.m., the sign has been taken down. Newcomer 16 Handles appears committed to being a good neighbor.


They say first impressions are everything. Unfortunately for space at 349 Court Street, the first impression many locals have of their chosen signage is "yuck."

A flurry of posts and comments on local neighborhood blogs such as Lost City and Pardon Me For Asking, among others, decried the oversize orange and green fro-yo sign hung just days ago as a "garish," "horribleriffic monstrosity" and "completely out of character" for a brownstone neighborhood.

In response to the chilly reception online, the Vice President of Operations at 16 Handles, Jon Lake, quickly responded to wave a proverbial white napkin in the air and alert the bloggers and their readers that the company plans to make amends.

"I too agree that that sign is not the right one for the neighborhood," Lake told Carroll Gardens Patch over the phone on Tuesday evening. "Here’s the thing, our franchisees did not do this intentionally. It was an oversight on everyone's part. We are going to be swapping out the sign for one that is a better fit very soon."

When asked if 16 Handles could share a photo of the replacement sign in advance with Patch, Lake said he did not have any at this time but will be responding to locals shortly.

Stay with Patch for updates.

Troy Farmer April 04, 2012 at 12:17 PM
Well-done, Joanna/the Patch. We were just talking over the weekend with our neighbors about how terrible that sign is and how out of touch it seems to put the business with the neighborhood. Nice that they'll be swapping in another sign...but it is somewhat akin to dressing a chimp up in a tux. It's still a monkey, man. Still a monkey.
Anthony April 04, 2012 at 12:34 PM
You know what else is "yuck," all the hideous clothing yuppies wear. And you know what else is "completely out of character" for a brownstone neighborhood, all these condo developments that are sprouting up to accommodate the new money. Go complain about something with more substance instead of a color of a sign.
Louise April 04, 2012 at 12:49 PM
Anthony you are 100% right..none of these new developments are for the neighborhood BUT just for drawing some more of these whiners WITH their lovely style of dressing AND not combing their heads..what is it with this? I always say the old timers must be rolling over in their graves to see what has happened to their old neighborhood. Please wash your heads and find some thing else to complain about. Where did you all come from?
Anthony April 04, 2012 at 01:03 PM
You want "horribleriffic monstrosity?" Look no further than what's across the street from this store. Another condo development that is sure to be an eyesore.
Robin April 04, 2012 at 01:08 PM
Well said Anthony & Lousie. LOL!!!LOL!!
Troy Farmer April 04, 2012 at 01:49 PM
Oh, I'll gladly complain about ugly new condos going up AND ugly new signs in the neighborhood. And I'll have you know I wash my hair every morning. My hygiene's top-notch.
Jenny April 04, 2012 at 02:15 PM
let's hope they actually change the sign to better reflect the neighborhood quickly. thanks for reaching out to them and getting their reaction.
Louise April 04, 2012 at 03:13 PM
Maybe they just need to tone down the colors?
Sara April 04, 2012 at 03:21 PM
It's nice that they're actively responding to the complaints.
Jenny April 05, 2012 at 02:10 AM
that's great that they took it down and were so responsive. thanks for the update.
Danielle April 06, 2012 at 01:50 PM
The new sign is pretty ugly, as well (scroll down): http://pardonmeforasking.blogspot.com/2012/04/new-court-street-frozen-yogurt-store-16.html
Anthony April 07, 2012 at 04:14 AM
I would have kept up the old sign just to piss yuppies off.
Louise April 07, 2012 at 11:02 AM
Then would have made up a petition and boycotted the store until the owners would have just gave up. THEN they would have opened up a quaint cafe with a home made sign with flowers painted on it. Just to keep them happy and in the neighborhood they agreed and once again they get their way....
Troy Farmer April 07, 2012 at 02:32 PM
So what's the deal then, you all just don't want anyone who wasn't born here or who doesn't look like you or your kids living in Carroll Gardens? Or are you just huge fans of super-ugly signs?
Anthony April 07, 2012 at 06:38 PM
I pretty much dislike the yuppies. I'm a fan of everyone else, it's just the snotty yuppies who think they're better than everyone else that I hate. I especially hate the yuppie parents who use their strollers as battering rams. Or the pet owners who leave their dog out in cold for 45 minutes whole they enjoy a hot meal inside. It's those same yuppies that call 311 when they smell D'Amico's coffee coming though their apartment. NEWS FLASH: You live over a coffee shop, idiot. It's THOSE yuppies that I hate.
Troy Farmer April 07, 2012 at 08:39 PM
Okay, I agree that all of that is 100% annoying. Especially the D'amico bit. But I do feel like a lot of us get slapped with yuppie label just because we didn't grow up here. I love this neighborhood and want to remain the way it is as much as possible, which is why we opened a business here and we shop at locally owned places to try to keep the money in the community. So I don't think it makes me a yuppie for kinda disliking an ugly sign on a chain yogurt shop whose profits are going to end up well away from our neighborhood.
Maureen April 07, 2012 at 10:45 PM
Troy - people like you are a great and welcome benefit to our old neighborhood - people that want to keep it a neighborhood. But since when should we have a say on what signage gets put up? Unless the bldg is landmarked, or the sign is shining in your window at night, it really isn't a big concern. What will we stop at? What if I and other neighbors don't like the color of your front door, do we get to complain until you change it? What if neighbors don't like the flowers you plant in your front garden or on your stoop, or your holiday decorations - where do we draw the line? I think people need to be very careful for what they wish for...it will come back to bite ya! Everyone has an opinion, but that's only an opinion and businesses or residents shouldn't be able to be bullied because of all the bloggers. There are alot of stores in the neighborhood that could look alot better in my opinion - just my opinion.
Maureen April 07, 2012 at 11:06 PM
Troy - Also - Good for you that you want to keep our neighborhood business here, and live here - to you it is your home - I agree that the chain shops do not benefit our neighborhood but sorry to say, alot of the people that move here as " transient transplants" - here while we are hip, and off to the next hip area in a few yrs, they want the chain shops - they want Anytown, USA - they take away the special part of our neighborhood when they dont' shop in the Mom & Pop places because everything has to be big box, chain crap. I don't know what business you have, but I say good for you and good luck. Maybe we shop in your store, and if not, I would if I knew who you were! lol
Danielle April 08, 2012 at 12:11 AM
Other than Rite Aid and CVS, I can’t think of any other "big box, chain crap" stores in the neighborhood. Also, anyone (anywhere) can protest an ugly business sign and the business owner can ignore the protests and keep the sign. However, if the owner wants to make money, they might want to be a little more respectful of their potential customers. (Notice that the company agreed that the sign wasn't in keeping with the feel of the neighborhood – perhaps they think the neighborhood is “special,” too - and they will be changing it.) If someone protests the color of your front door, you don't have to worry about business profits and you can feel free to tell that person to mind their own business.
Anthony April 08, 2012 at 03:43 AM
I don't think you're a nasty yuppie and for the record, I do get along with yuppies. I have a nice man who lives next door to me who assimilated to old neighborhood traditions unlike the rotten yuppies who refuse to sign a petition for a block party. But I have to agree with Maureen's post below, why are we spending so much energy and time and effort to change a sign because we don't like the color scheme? How about we harness that energy toward something more valuable and stop more ugly high-rise condos from being built. That's what's killing Carroll Gardens, not some orange sign.
Maureen April 08, 2012 at 04:15 AM
Well, Look around there are quite a few chain stores around- Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins, Starbucks, Union Market, Moo Burger, Five Guys Burgers, Buddy's Burrito, Mezcal, Trader Joe's, American Apparel......And there are many non-chain stores that have really ugly signage, should we go after all of them? My point is that people are free to shop wherever you want, if you don't shop in a store because of their signage ( which is sort of silly as a reason not to shop in a store) that is your choice. But keep in mind, this area needs to have businesses that stay - we do have alot of new business, that unfortunately are here for a short time, then close up. We want to be serviced by good shopkeepers/businesses, we should be good customers as well. I think the neighborhood should worry about more important issues that an ugly sign.
Troy Farmer April 08, 2012 at 01:40 PM
I don't think MooBurger's a chain, but I get your point. And I think we're talking about two different issues—one, us as a community preferring locally run businesses to chains whose profit leave the community and, two, ugly signs. The first is an important issue, the second, not so much. I think the Patch did a good job picking up on a minor issue that some us had and writing a brief article about it and the store owner was responsive to it. The first and more important issue though is a lot tougher to address other then just not supporting these kind of outside establishments. I'm a graphic designer—my wife and I run a small studio up on Dean street—so this kinda thing is just a little more in my mind as is. But I certainly don't think ugly signs is a significant issue or one that should take energy away from other, more significant fights. I do think it's pretty cool though that a discussion about a sign has morhped into a back-and-forth about being part of the neighborhood and local businesses.
Rob April 08, 2012 at 04:09 PM
Troy - you seem to be well reasoned and well intentioned civic-minded individual. Have you ever considered running for office?


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