03 June 2010

Put. The. Sign. Back. Up.


Unbelievable.

Of all the boneheaded moves. Ultimate Burgers and Dogs has taken the old "Grocery & Deli" sign down from its Degraw Street storefront in Cobble Hill because it felt the signage was confusing folks. Reports Eater: "A call confirms: a worker there say some people in the neighborhood have complained because the sign has been there for over 20 years. But too many people came in wanting smokes and lighters."

I do not think I exaggerate when I say that bit of old signage was beloved in Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill. It's been there for decades, ever since the small space actually was a grocery and deli. Italian grocery and deli. Call Louis', I believe. It was still there when I moved to the area in 1994. When the deli decamped, the old sign stayed, with its great retro Coca-Cola logos. It stayed through several new businesses, mainly restaurants: Whim, Chicory, etc. They all appreciated the sign. And the neighborhood appreciated them appreciating the sign.

I like Ultimate Burgers & Dogs. The owner's a good guy. He make great burgers, great dogs. But I don't  believe him when he says people still come in the space looking but a pack of butts. Everyone in the area knows it hasn't been a deli for years. And how many strangers walk down that stretch of Degraw looking for cigarettes? He may be imagining that the sign is losing him business. But if business is slow, it's because that block has always been a challenge. There's not much traffic. It's out of the way and no other stores are near that store.

Just put the sign back. If you need to put out a big old banner saying "Ultimate Burgers and Dogs," do it. But keep the sign. You've inadvertently de-charmed your restaurant.

Also, there is this: That building is part of the Cobble Hill Historic District. Did they have permission from the Landmarks Commission to take down the sign and alter the building's facade. Hello?

7 comments:

ironrailsironweights said...

If the location has had several different businesses since 1994, somehow it wouldn't be surprising if it'll be vacant once more before too long. There really are such things as bad-luck locations.

Peter

Brooks of Sheffield said...

I don't want Ultimate Burgers to go out of business. I wish them all good luck. I just want them to put the sign back.

Steve said...

It's just a sign! And not an old one at that. I could understand if it was from the 1940's. But the sign was a relatively recent addition to that corner in the grand scheme of things. And the "retro" Coke sings? that's their standard logo. What's retro about it?

Brooks of Sheffield said...

Just a sign? Oh my.

Carol Gardens said...

I really loved that sign! If I knew where to get those kinds of letters I would find some that spell HOT DOGS and that could be a nice compromise. Now if they serve Pepsi instead of Coca Cola...

MLT43 said...

Gah! Not only is the sign gone, they've replaced it with "burgers" on one side, and "dogs" on the other, both done in a completely ridiculous typeface that is totally unreadable.

Anonymous said...

Ever go to Philadelphia? It's like twenty bucks to go to Philadelphia and after walking around you can take kids (if you have them) to the Franklin Fountain Ice Cream Parlor.

Well, as someone who seems to like signs and peculiar buildings you may want to check out the National Products Building on 2nd Street and Elfreth's Alley (2nd between Race and Arch) ...

Although I didn't take this picture this is what it looks like.
http://www.preservationalliance.com/images/news/news_n_p_b.jpg

The Guild House, on 7th and Spring Garden, may also interest you. http://www.preservationalliance.com/images/news/news_guild.jpg