Monday, August 11, 2014

Once Upon a Tart

Raphael D'Lugoff writes in that "Once upon a Tart on Sullivan Street, south of Houston, will likely close in September." It's been there since 1992.

The rent has gone up to $20,000 a month. You have to wonder, if the rent's too damn high for a high-end bakery and caterer like Once Upon a Tart, then who can afford it?

Once Upon a Tart

From there, the situation gets a little complicated. Navy, a popular restaurant two doors down, wants to buy out Once Upon a Tart--but they want a liquor license in the deal, something that many people in the neighborhood don't want them to have.

The SoHo Alliance told The Villager that Navy's plan is "a Trojan horse to introduce a new party venue." The owner of Navy also ran the infamous Beatrice Inn.


Now signs have appeared inside the cafe, urging customers to "Help save Once Upon a Tart," and arguing that if they don't get a liquor license, they'll be replaced by a corporate chain.

As Soho Strut first made clear, the new venture will be Once Upon a Tart in name only. She writes that the owners of Navy plan to "expand on the concept but keep the name, Once Upon A Tart, to create a restaurant open for breakfast, lunch, and dinner." And that "The only way that [the Navy owners] suggest this is financially feasible is with a full liquor license (liquor, wine and beer)."

The sign doesn't mention the change of ownership, which does feel rather Trojan Horsey.

The sign writers use the "Better Than a Bank" or "Better Than a Chain" scare tactic we've seen so many times. "Do you love the neighborhood?" it asks, then "Stop the Epidemic of Chain stores coming to the Village." And "We don't want another chain coffee shop or corporate clothing store."

The upshot is: Give us a liquor license, or you'll end up with a Starbucks.

Wherever you fall on the issue, you can weigh in tomorrow, August 12 at 6:30, when the Community Board meets again at St. Anthony's on Sullivan St. *CORRECTION: At Judson Church, Thompson. Double check before you go.


Goggla said...

Ugh! I've been walking past here at least twice a day for the last ten years. It's one of the last remaining friendly neighborhood hangouts on this stretch of Sullivan. They have wonderful pastries and the best window displays that change with every season and holiday. This would be a huge loss for this area.

3:04 p.m said...

The Village gets a lot of tarts, especially when weekend comes.

AFineLyne said...

The meeting will NOT be at St. Anthony's. It will be at Judson Church located at 239 Thompson Street at 6:30 tomorrow night.

xpicassox said...

The Tart closed yesterday. A very sad day for those of us who loved it .. I was going htere for 23 years ever since it first opened. Will miss it dearly, and especially all the sweet lovely ladies who worked there, and JErome of course. Farewell .. I feel like a piece of my heart has been torn out. Seriously!

See "Last Day at The Tart"

Sullivan St Resident said...

The community board denied the liquor license unanimously.

Small stores on this quaint block have said privately that they are pleased, because if this space got a liquor license in order to pay the $20,000 a month the greedy landlord is asking, then they will have to cough up that amount when their lease expires. That is impossible for the many mom&pop stores remaining on the block, like Pino's Meats, the nail salon, the dry cleaner, the Chinese laundry, etc. We already lost Joe's Dairy this year.

As a result, this quiet block will soon be overrun by the only retail businesses able to afford the huge rent for these small storefronts: late-night, clubby restaurants and bars.

Finally, the owner of Once Upon a Tart failed to mention he was getting a small fortune to reassign the lease over to Navy's owners.

Anonymous said...

Just walked all the way over there for my "usual" today.
I had no idea…

I am literally destroyed.

Once Upon a tart Re-Opens .. The DannyReport said...

Great News ! The TART Has Re-Opened !!! Yes, Once Upon a Tart is open again. They re-opened on Weds. November 26, 2014 "Oh HAPPY DAY" Let's hope they last at least another 23 Years.