Those of you who thought (hoped) Arby's would walk away from the landmarked Gage & Tollner space when the Landmarks Commission rejected their plans for the interior have been badly disappointed today.
Arby's said "You're not getting rid of me that easily," and came back with a new plan, which the city signed off on with a 7-1 vote. Restaurateur Raymond Chera has promised to continue working with the agency "to tweak his designs for large menu sign in the rear of the restaurant," according to Brooklyn Paper.
My personal opinion is that there's no way a fast food joint can work in the context of that 1890s interior. The two things are just antithetical and can't help but get in each other's way. The address needs a sit-down, waiter-service restaurant.
Not everyone agrees with me. "[This proposal] has come a long way,” said Commissioner Roberta Washington. “The sign is the one thing that prevents this proposal from being fantastic."
"Fantastic." Can you believe it, ladies and gentlemen.
"We’re thrilled with the Landmarks decision,” said Chera. “We’ve put a lot of hard work into making sure we properly preserve the historic interior."
Well, I'm no fool. I don't like this, but you can bet that when that Arby's opens, I'll be there ordering a roast beef sandwich. Nothing's going to keep me away from that gorgeous interior once I have the chance to see it again.