St. Clair Diner Likely to Close with Building Sale

Thor Equities purchased the building at 292-294 Atlantic Avenue for $5.4 million, and plan to redevelop with upscale retail.

Get ready to say goodbye to the , as last week the Brooklyn Eagle reported that Thor Equities purchased the building at the corner of Atlantic Avenue and Smith Street for $5.4 million, with plans to redevelop the first two floors with upscale retail.

Yesterday, Eater NY reported that they spoke with employees at the Boerum Hill restaurant, who didn’t know what was in store for the business, but their insiders said the diner has about three months left. 

In May, Brownstoner reported on the building’s listing, mentioning that the restaurant’s lease expires in 2017, but “the space can be delivered vacant.”

"I'm a big believer in the transformation that's about to happen because of all of the new residents. It's a wonderful opportunity to buy the best corner in all of Brooklyn," Joseph Sitt of Thor Equities told the Wall Street Journal earlier this week.

The St. Clair Diner opened in 1920, and its owners had renovated the restaurant in 2007, according to Eater.

lois December 24, 2011 at 02:11 AM
If the restaurant has a lease thru 2017, how can the bldg be delivered vacant?
HECTOR DAVID LEBRON December 24, 2011 at 02:59 PM
...and the comments of Joseph Sitt reflect what has gone wrong with this entire area. I've lived in Cobble Hill and Carroll Gardens for most of my 51 years and the closing of another long established neighborhood business heralds the arrival of another "hip"(which by now practically means cookie cutter) retailer or another "cool" bar. People who rattle on about what a great neighborhood this is don't even know what that comment means.
Giacomo December 24, 2011 at 03:56 PM
Right on Hector. What a shame.
Tony December 25, 2011 at 03:46 AM
Great! This place was a dump
Tom December 26, 2011 at 05:31 AM
Hector you said it was a "long established neighborhood business", well, if you don't adapt to your ever changing environment, especially in New York, your business is dead. That's the nature of business, meet your need of your customers. The customers changed over time.
Giacomo December 26, 2011 at 05:17 PM
Tom, it's not going out of business for lack of business, the building was sold by the owner and the new owner wants to put in upscale retail. It's being put out of business by the new owner according the article.
Tom December 27, 2011 at 01:32 AM
Giacomo, I live next door to this business, it was a not success put it that way. I understand it is rent/owner issue, but usually a successful business should go through that.
Michael Brown December 27, 2011 at 02:39 AM
It is being put out of business because it can not afford to pay market rate rent; that is the definition of an unviable business. They should only be in business if they can pay a lower rent than all of their competitors? I'd like to pay less rent than my neighbor, I think I could run a pretty profitable business that way!
Giacomo December 27, 2011 at 03:12 AM
Yes, your so right Michael, thank God markets can never be over inflated. Lets terminate their leases in favor of bank branches and chain stores that can afford to pay the overpriced "market" rents. What could possibly go wrong with that system? Im sure they will prove to be good neighbors and long term assets for years to come Never mind that they historically pay less wages, to fewer local employees for shorter periods, and employ less, or no local vendors (truckers, accountants etc) than the local small businesses. Otherwise we'd see block after block riddled with empty storefronts where the Mom & Pops used to be and an economy rife with long term unemployment and instability. Oh wait...never mind.
Tom December 27, 2011 at 03:27 AM
Giacomo, New York is about embracing change and that's the bottom line. What was in this location before this diner? Another shop that could not make it? Think about it. And we can't have banks branches everywhere... I agree with you on this one, I hate when one pops up.
Michael Brown December 27, 2011 at 03:31 AM
So you're a proponent of centrally planned retail decisions, rather than a free market?
Giacomo December 27, 2011 at 04:58 AM
I'm a proponent of a vigorously regulated free market, common sense and responsibility to the community. How's the unregulated free market working out for the majority of Americans?
Michael Brown December 27, 2011 at 03:57 PM
So a central planning office, or you, should be able to dictate what store is allowed to rent in what location, and also set the rent? That doesn't sound very American to me...
Giacomo December 27, 2011 at 04:58 PM
Sigh...one last time..try to follow the ball..a regulated free market would lead to a healthier less boom./bust cycle economy. This in turn would tend to eliminate unrealistic, overinflated and unsustainable bubbles like the phony real estate "boom"of the 2000's which lead to unreasonable "market" rents and purchase prices for real estate which drove out local established businesses and residents, and put so many new homeowners in underwater mortgages which they will probably never recover from, and thus lack he money to help drive the economy. It's a vicious cycle. I know that goes against your apparently Ayn Rand-ian philosophy, but remember, Rand , after railing against any form of govt. regulation (of markets, industry ,even cigarette manufacturers), ended her life collecting Medicare & SS under her husbands assumed name because she couldn't afford to be treated for her lung cancer in a free market under regulated health care system.
Michael Brown December 27, 2011 at 05:26 PM
I'm not saying I'm for or against regulation of market rents; all I'm doing is pointing out that you are apparently advocating a system whereby landlords can not charge a free market rent for retail space; in effect, rent stabilization for stores.
Giacomo December 27, 2011 at 05:52 PM
I can't imagine how I could possibly make my argument more clear, that healthy regulation of the markets would prevent the bubbles that create the over inflated rent/sales markets, that have been factually proven now to be detrimental to our economy and individuals. You'll find no mention of a "central planing office" or regulation of individual landlords in any of my comments. That's your canard, not mine.
Jeff December 27, 2011 at 06:52 PM
Hi Giacomo, what are you reading righ now? Alice in wonderland?
Michael Brown December 27, 2011 at 07:01 PM
"...regulation of...rent". So, you would like to see rent regulation of retail spaces. Rent regulation in NY is done by a central planning board that regulates the rents that individual landlords can charge.
Giacomo December 27, 2011 at 08:27 PM
WTF Michael. This is exhausting. Where are you quoting me saying I'm advocating direct "regulation of rent". Where is that quote in my comments?
Michael Brown December 27, 2011 at 09:12 PM
"...regulation of (the markets would prevent the bubbles that create the over inflated) rent(/sales markets)..."
Tony December 28, 2011 at 01:54 AM
This Giacomo is just a joke, at least we have fun reading his posts
Giacomo December 28, 2011 at 04:26 PM
Michael, that's "markets" as in the now discredited but still unregulated Wall Street/Banking practices that are widely acknowledged to have facilitated the housing bubble and collapse that tanked that tanked economy.
Michael Brown December 28, 2011 at 10:55 PM
So you're saying that the retail rent market needs regulation like those markets? To keep from getting overheated, as you believe it is now, and that is the cause of St. Clair leaving? I'm saying that businesses like St. Clair either need to evolve to stay competitive in a changing market, or they will be displaced by a business willing to pay market rate rent (yes, most likely a bank or clothing store). You're saying that landlords, like Mr. Sitt, should subsidize operations like St. Clair's (through artificial depressing of rental rates?) so that they can stay in business, despite being able to pay a lower rent than others?


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