Fulton Mall Arby’s Calls It Quits

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It was just over a year ago that the Landmarks Preservation Commission approved the design for an Arby’s restaurant in the interior-landmarked space at 372 Fulton Street in the Fulton Mall—and just over a half-year ago that the fast food joint opened its doors. Evidently, though, things didn’t work out as planned for the chain, which is already calling it quits. A couple of tipsters wrote in during the day yesterday, and they were still moving out when we stopped by in the early evening. All that hype for an seven month run! GMAP

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  • Well, that was quick. Guess no one wanted roast beef after all. Any word/rumor on what’ll be next?

  • daveinbedstuy

    Cupcake store.

  • I told them they should have opened a

    WHITE CASTLE!

  • Apple Store!!

  • I don’t know if it was hype so much as detailing the strange process of adapting a interior landmark to fit an arbys. The only time I went, on a Saturday afternoon, it was crowded. Too bad – they make good coffee milkshakes.

  • Good. Hopefully something better will move in.

  • more4less

    best Arby’s is in Richmond – tricked out place and staffed with eastern eurotrash (good looking ones too).

    Legion, why wont white castle franchise??!!! I’ve even resorted to begging them but no go

  • more4less

    I’m with Ben, Hooters!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • daveinbedstuy

    Screw Hooters. Rick’s Cabaret.

  • I dont know what will work at this spot.

  • If you are really jonesing for White Castle, there’s one on 4th Ave and 30th st.

  • Not to be an ass, but 11217 predicted this to be the highest grossing Arbys in the country.

  • Kensingtonian

    This sucks! I liked that Arbys and interior was really cool. I was there on a Thursday afternoon around lunchtime and it was pretty busy. Too bad it didn’t work out.

  • Oh, and there’s still one on Willoughby off of Jay.

    I still say I want Amy Ruth’s Soul Food to move in. They were supposed to right after Friday’s left, had a sign up and everything, then it never materialized :-(

  • Fast food certainly thrives in areas such as Fulton Mall, so I’m curious to know why people think Arby’s failed here. Something to do with the landmarked interior/exterior?

  • more4less

    Snappy, there’s 2 white castles right by me (1 on mrytle and 1 on Atlantic). I’m begging them to franchise it

  • By 11217 on January 15, 2010 10:50 AM

    I actually think that’s pretty cool.

    You all sound like a bunch of communists. If Arby’s was the only one to step up to the plate and pay the rent, then stfu.

    Otherwise YOU should have gone and rented the space.

    I think it looks quite cool inside and while I may never eat there, I won’t be surprised to hear this is the highest grossing Arbys in the chain this time next year.

    Mmmmm….roast beef.

  • What about chick-fil-a? Any reason why their only nyc location is inside an NYU foodhall? They don’t franchise either.

  • more4less

    11217, perfect oppty to display you can admit to being wrong. hehe

  • daveinbedstuy

    Bring back the old Chicken Kitchens!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • What’s the rent on that location? Fulton Mall is still known for dollar stores and knock off electronics outlets.

  • Havemeyer

    Fulton Mall still has the highest retail rents in Brooklyn, correct? I learned that here.

  • Chick-fil-a sticks to the Christian bible belt. That’s why McD’s ripped them off.

    The secret to the chicken? Marinaded in pickle juice.

    Nothing like a Chick fil a sandwich with extra pickles washed down with an Orange Julius!

  • nova’, I was told 30K/month.
    Snappy, I believe the entire Amy Ruth’s chain went bust.

  • daveinbedstuy

    Orange Julius!!!!!! can you get that anywhere near here now?????

  • East New York

    Why must the replacement necessarily be a restaurant? The space can be successful if some visionary entrepreneur or business figures a way to bring in a new concept that maximizes the landmarked interior by addressing an audience that appreciates it, while also serving a need in the local/regional community. Now, I don’t know exactly what that would be, but I’m sure there are some smart New Yorkers around that would. The problem is getting them interested and getting someone to front the money.

  • more4less

    JB, chick fila has shown up as far north as southern Jersey. hear they plan to show up in NYC so guess they’ll show up eventually. yeah they dont franchise and to even be a manager, one has to be a good christian else SORRY!!!!

  • I feel bad for all of the workers losing their jobs.

    I ate here a couple of times and liked it too. I think they did some things right, and some things were a bit wonky. I guess because of the interior landmarking restrictions, they couldn’t bolt the booths to the floor, and sometimes you could see the booths moving when people got a bit rough in getting in and out.

    Their space planning was a bit awkward, especially for the gourmet sandwich/salad spot in the middle of the store. The first time I went in it was confusing as to what was a display and what was a working food counter. For what it’s worth, their gourmet sandwiches were really good. I never partook of the regular menu in the back.

    Unless they had changed it since the times I went there, their system of giving customers numbers and calling them out when the order was ready was not very effective, and made everything take longer, and caused people to mill around the counters, which impeded traffic flow. I saw people come in, take one look, and probably head for McDonalds, or Burger King.

    Too bad, because like 11217, I thought it would be highly successful, too. I wonder what will be next.

  • Cracker Barrel please. Or In-n-Out (but that’s just dreaming).

  • AMY RUTH’S IS TOTALLY GONE??? NOOOOOOOOOOOOOO!

    **runs off to the corner to sob violently**

  • No! The website is still up touting their Harlem location. Where did you hear that, gman?

  • Yeah! Can we have a restaurant more formal and sedate than BBQs in Downtown Brooklyn. There is a market for places to have birthday parties, bridal showers and family dinners. Arby’s (not to mention the nail salon in what were the private dining rooms) was just so sad!

  • Randolph – there’s a Chipotle on Montague close to Court.

  • quote:
    Why must the replacement necessarily be a restaurant? The space can be successful if some visionary entrepreneur or business figures a way to bring in a new concept that maximizes the landmarked interior by addressing an audience that appreciates it, while also serving a need in the local/regional community. Now, I don’t know exactly what that would be, but I’m sure there are some smart New Yorkers around that would. The problem is getting them interested and getting someone to front the money.

    totes. if i had the money i’d open up a hardcore sex club. but of course nanny bloomberg and his mommy guiiliani wont allow that. so we will have to settle for something really lame like a chuck e. cheese… which WOULD be fun as long as it was a chuck e. cheese that didnt allow minors.

    why is nyc so lame?

    *rob*

  • Chipotle is yummy but causes some wicked heartburn!

  • Amy Ruth’s went out of business because they don’t know how to make decent grits (not really, but their awful grits annoyed me).

  • Shake Shack!

    ^^^not a serious contribution. I’ve never had the food because the lines are always too long.

  • I was wrong.

    And Jessi, let’s be honest….you love being an ass.

  • There’s a Chick-Fil-A at NYU. The southern folks from my office make weekly pilgrimages.

  • Not quite 100% but I’ll still take some credit on the prediction:

    I would love Arby’s in NYC (although wasnt there one in the village that closed?) but renting this space, with tons of extra costs and headaches due to its landmark status doesnt bode well for the geniuses that are making these business plans.

    March 12, 2009 10:50AM FSRG

  • Have to try Chick-Fil-A. Hear of them endlessly in college football season b/c they sponsor a lot of stuff.

    College football + good fast food = happy me.

  • chick-fil-a is REALLY good.

  • 11217, I’ll be honest. I love being an ass…to you.

    But I will make a prediction, just to keep it fair – it will be a long time before someone rents this place. I wonder how many years they have left on their lease.

  • jessibaby you are probably right – but frankly I think the place would do well as a………

    Gage and Tollner

    The truth is the area and available client base has changed drastically from when it was last a G&T – the multiple hotels, and increased higher-end housing gives a G&T thousands more potential patrons than years ago; and the landmarked interior gives any place that opens, instant credibility in terms of “authenticity” and such a reopening is sure to generate tons of free press and hype.
    A good chef should snatch this place up – bet the rent is cheap too.

  • Jessi,

    I even tried to be nice to you yesterday and looked up the Crumbs hours and posted for you! When can we call a truce? I honestly have no idea what I’ve said to you to make you enjoy being an ass to me.

  • Havemeyer

    I agree with fsrq. And I don’t think that happens all that often! But, yeah. The money’s there.

  • I hear Grimaldi’s is looking for a spot…

  • donatella

    I agree about Gage and Tollner. Too bad they left.

  • NeoGrec

    Gage and Tollner was truly a gem. Edna Lewis, the chef there in the 1970s, was one of the great American cooks of the 20th century. Her book THE TASTE OF COUNTRY COOKING is a classic. Her locally-sourced, seasonal approach is now all the rage. But Edna was doing it decades ago! She grew up in a Virginia farming community that had been settled by freed slaves and the book is full of anecdotes about rural life and traditions. So, even beyond the great recipes, it’s a wonderful read.

  • edna lewis was chef from ’88 to ’92. Not in 70′s. Still owned by descendents of orig. family in 70′s who lived upstairs.

  • babs

    OMG, I actually agree with fsrg. Maybe I need a vacation or something. Seriously, I loved G&T when I lived in Brooklyn Heights. They always had a great New Year’s Eve dinner.

  • Suggestion for trendifying Fulton Mall: How about a Ralph Lauren store like the one in the mansion on upper Madison Ave.? Maybe one specializing in larger sizes for aging Baby Boomers?

  • NeoGrec

    Pete: Thanks for the correction about Edna Lewis. Would be great to a chef of her stature revitalize this storied space.

  • There is a lot of money and brains behind TGIFridays and Arby’s so if they can’t make it there, something else has to be the culprit.

    There is a classic syndrome on this street: The landlords convince an operator to pay an exhorbitant rent, take a large security deposit and then the operator can’t make it. Security deposit is pocketed and process begins anew. While this location is the most glaring and repetitive example of this, there are many similar stories up and down the block.

    Re: Amy Ruth’s: If any organization could have paid the $30k month rent it would have been them as there was a second kitchen on the second floor that would have served as the catering kitchen. Their catering would have KILLED it all over the city but the Amy Ruth’s name/restaurant had just been purchased by a new ownership group that came from outside of the food industry and the realities of big time restaurant operation apparently met them harshly.

    The location is neither fish nor fowl. It is close enough to the Heights and the new luxury towers that it would be tempting to put a higher end place there but it is also close enough to Fulton Mall proper where fast food and sneakers rule and where the well-heeled deign not to tread.

    What can be sold there that pays a $30k per month rent BEFORE a single employee is paid, inventory is acquired, insurance and utilities are paid and an operator can even begin to think about an actual profit?

    Bottom line is that nothing will ever make it there at the rents that the landlord wants. The numbers just don’t work.

  • Another shoe store in the making, you heard it here first folks!