Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Popular Forest Hills bakery Bonelle to close after all

According to the Queens Chronicle the Ascan Avenue Bonelle Pastry Shop, one of the older bakeries in Forest Hills, will close in January. This, after a local outcry by Forest Hills residents who have treasured the small independent shop for decades. There was even a petition signed by hundreds of shoppers to try to keep it open. But the manager now says they will have to close their doors. Read all about it here: Bonelle Pastry Shop in Forest Hills to close in January

25 comments:

  1. I don't see this as shocking. Older news articles indicate that they had not had a written lease for 10 years and were given a 1-year reprieve at a 15% increase by the landlord. If they know now that they are leaving in January, then they must have looked around for an alternative location, crunched the numbers and come to the harsh reality that they can't make it at any rent increase.

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  2. There are so many empty spots on Austin and QB!

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    1. I agree! I walked along austin the other day and was very surprised by all the empty stores!

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  3. This is upsetting. The lady who runs Bonelle is one of the kindest, friendliest people in the neighborhood and I'm very sorry this is happening to her. Terrible.

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  4. Their pastries range from average to bad, so no big deal, really.

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  5. Agree. Very mediocre product, nothing to cry about.

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  6. You people clearly never tried their carrot cake. One of the best in the city.

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  7. Not surprising, very mediocre business that struggles daily. In order to take on the rent increases in Forest Hills you really need to have an outstanding business. They don't have that.

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  8. Best birthday cakes in Forest Hills. Not huge, but amazing quality. Big loss.

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  9. I agree this bakery was totally mediocre. Sad to see a small business go nonetheless. I hope this is an opportunity for Nick's Pizza to knock down a wall and expand!!! A little bar maybe for waiting patrons??? That would be awesome.

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  10. Most of their products are trucked in from Tom Cat Bakery. The sisters just ice the carrot cake in the basement. There's nothing that special going on here, but the unsophisticated public will do a handstand for anything with icing on it.

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    1. So this bakery is not in fact a bakery after all? They just sell baked goods that are delivered to them by an actual bakery? Have to admit, hearing this makes me care even less.

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    2. Then why are they closing, idiot?

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  11. To me, Bonelle is a prime example of people wanting independent businesses to stay open regardless of how the business is run and regardless of the quality of the products they are selling. I agree with others here that Bonelle's baked goods are mediocre at best. I think every item sold at La Boulangerie is far superior in quality and taste than any of Bonelle's products. Also, the interior at Bonelle looks like it hasn't been updated in at least 30 years. Just because you are nice person with an independent business, that doesn't mean you can sell mediocre products in an old and dreary space and expect to remain in business.

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    1. And La Boulangerie's doors will be open for a long time because of it. It is pretty sad, there are probably about 5-6 eateries in all of Forest Hills that I would visit if they were in a neighborhood in Manhattan. One of them is a bakery and one is a coffee shop.

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    2. I enjoy the fact that Bonelle's interiors haven't been updated and the owner takes time to be kind to customers. The design and personal touch fit a niche, not unlike Eddie's design, though in this case there doesn't seem to be enough of a market for it. While I also enjoy places like La Boulangerie, Financier, or even Martha's, not every bakery needs to look modern, and in many of those cases, the service is impersonal. To each their own, but I like Bonelle's for what it is and will be sad to see it close.

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  12. The fate of Austin Street lay in the hands of 10 greedy landlords. They want maximum return on their properties.

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    1. Pretty sure that small business/restaurant owners also want to maximize the return on their investments. The greedy landlord narrative is as played out as it is inaccurate. Communities support GOOD businesses and keep them open. Landlords don't charge more than the market can bear, or they will have empty storefronts and lost profits. If you can break one of your personal rules and read something from the Post, this article from a few days ago is on point: http://nypost.com/2015/07/28/dont-blame-evil-landlords-for-the-free-market/

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  13. "Landlords don't charge more than the market can bear". Funny, I see plenty of empty stores on Austin Street.

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  14. I have ranted about La Boulan-greed on this board before. I feel sorry for the people who go there. The service is a joke, the prices are insane and the layout is horrible. (How does it take a lifetime to make a latte? Come on.) You have to stalk people to get a seat, which is awkward. The food is good, I'll give you that, but the tiny space does not work. And how did it get around not having a bathroom. It needs to move, expand, lower the prices and hire competent employees.

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    1. Suggestion: since you dont seem to be going there any longer, then why not leave the rest of its happy patrons to deal with all that bothers you. If you cannot deal with the imperfections of a charming local establishment then perhaps you should seek out a place like the local 7 Eleven. Surely they have all the amenities you need to have a cup of coffee and a muffin.

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    2. From NYC.gov

      The City accepts reports about any food establishment with 20 or more seats that has no toilet and was established after 1977. These establishments must provide toilets for their patrons. Food establishments that have been in operation since 1977 or before are exempt from this requirement.

      Food establishments with 19 or fewer customer seats are not required to provide bathroom access to the public.

      Food establishments are not required to allow public access to their employee toilets. Patrons are not permitted to use any toilets where the patron must walk through the kitchen or any food storage or food preparation area.
      Call 311 to report a restaurant with 20 or more seats that has no toilet and was established after 1977.

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    3. So they should expand to supply seating that does not generate revenue? Maybe they're making it precisely because the place is the size it is.

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    4. I think you described your comment perfectly. It is a rant--an angry statement that has no basis in the facts. I've been to La Boulangerie many, many times (at least once a week) since they opened. The service has always been excellent. Yes, there is often a line to order your food, but that just shows how many people love this place. I am more than happy to wait on line to be able to purchase La Boulangerie's excellent and tasty products. And I don't find it overpriced at all. You have to pay for quality. Given the high quality, freshness and deliciousness of their products, I think their prices are very reasonable.
      As for the small size of the place, I think that it is understandable given that the owner was changing careers and opening his own business for the first time. It is very risky to start your own business. It is perfectly understandable that the owner would want to start with a small space in order to give the place a chance to be successful with lower overhead costs. Now that the place has been open a few years and it is successful, I wouldn't be surprised if the owner is now looking for a bigger space.

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  15. No surprise. Another one bites the dust.

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