Victory Cafe Calling It Quits

A reader passed along this sad news about the Victory Cafe, a longstanding neighborhood spot on the corner of State and Hoyt. According to her, “They’re being evicted by the landlord… According to some of my neighbors, he has refused to give the Victory a lease for a long time, keeping them month by month, and apparently he’s now kicking the café out for good.” Some nearby residents are planning on boycotting whatever moves in, and City Room just posted a lamentation for the spot. GMAP

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  • why take it out on the new tenant unless it’s the owner or an affiliated entity operating out of that spot. Landlord would still get to collect on the rent and only the new tenant is hurt.

  • Damn – NYT scoops Brownstoner by blogging about this first, then Brownstoner scoops me by editing the post to put the NYT link in it! What next?

  • On another note – assuming the Victory’s side of this story is true, why would the landlord be acting like this? That space on Hoyt around the corner was empty for months and months while the landlord aggressively advertised it for a “cafe-type” business. They must have pretty specific plans for the Victory space to be forcing it out in such a calculated manner, yeah? Better hope whatever’s in the works is worth the bad PR and the ire of the whole neighborhood.

  • Lame. It wasn’t a bad little joint (only been there once) but clearly not a fan of what the landlord is doing.

    Plenty of shuttered businesses in the bowery and the East Village. Can’t wait for Brooklyn’s tawny BoCoCaBlah neighborhoods to be next.

  • Hah. This post was written a couple of days ago–just didn’t get around to running til this afternoon…

  • This has been brewing (no pun intended) for some time. There was the missive posted in the window last year (I found it still up at Eater:

    Apparently there has been no lease for 3-4 years, so obviously the real question is why there isn’t some agreement on what the new rent should be.

    Also, I didn’t see any record in the NY Courts’s website of the litigation that is mentioned in the City Room story, but I am not a master of navigating/searching the online court docket files. Does anyone know what names might be on the lawsuit?

    There’s was also some funny business when the predecessor to the Sweet Cafe (Zoila) a few years ago was forced to leave. I heard that there was some claim about mice, but also heard there was some contention over whether the Victory was complaining that it was too close in competition of offerings in violation of its lease terms.

  • I can not comment on what the LL is doing here, but I was not a fan of Victory. I realize I’m probably in the minority here, but this place will not be missed. Adieu!

  • I go to the victory almost every morning. Normally I’d avoid such a cramped little space – but I absolutely loved this place (Western Empanadas!) and the people who worked there. I will definitely miss it, and sure as hell wont go to the creepy little cafe that the landlord opened next store. Total BS.

  • FYI Nat Hendricks is the LL….

  • Seriously, take it out on the new guy? Way to keep the neighborhood spirit up! (and the storefronts empty)

  • Landlord is the one who puts plants in old black sneakers and calls it his “reboot” project and put a lamp shade on a mangy shrub, labeling it “shade tree.”

    Victory was a real boost to this area when it opened and I’m sorry to see it go.

  • Nat Hendricks is a colossal ass. I know absolutely nothing about this cafe, but I do know that.

  • The LL is a very odd bird. I went to look at his vacant sandwich place a few doors down from Victory several months ago. He told me that he would not permit a stove in there. When I asked him how I would cook anything he told me to make a deal with the bar down the street (he also owned that) to use their kitchen. Really? And if they move, close down or get evicted? What then? “Well, that’s the breaks.” He owns that whole corner and lives above. There is no way I would ever rent from him. Mark my words: the old Victory space will be vacant for years while he tries to find a tenant crazy enough to rent from him.

  • I don’t know about their coffee but the little mexican place across the street, half a block south has the best tamales I’ve ever had.

    You can sit out in the yard and drink beer. Thier food is quite good.

  • I’ve walked by here plenty but never gone in, since I’m not a coffee person.

    I will have to check out the Mexican place.

  • The mexican place (Fast & Fresh Deli) is delicious and not for those of us considering losing weight this year.

    They did a nice job fixing up the garden area for the World Cup last year.

  • Scott –

    The Mexican place is great for breakfast as well.

    Nat Hendricks is an effing moron. I forget what he was charging Zoila, but the new lease he offered them was like a 600% increase (I am not exaggerating). Then the space was empty for like 18-24 months.

  • Victory should move over to Atlantic! There is a cafe “for sale” over on Atlantic between Hoyt and Bond, or Bond and Nevins, or somewhere over there. Seriously, a fully decked-out cafe, furnished and with a big beautiful industrial espresso machine behind the counter, with a 8.5×11 paper in the window explaining that it is for sale. No word on price, or what exactly is included (just fixtures + lease assignment?), just a number for inquiries.

    Oh, and by the way, how is it that Brownstoner didn’t spot a turnkey coffee shop for sale on Atlantic Ave in Boerum Hill?? Where’s the investigation? Get us the dirt!

  • Victory to former Blue Marble space. You heard it here first!

  • Very sad news about Victory, though it didn’t seem to be that well maintained in recent years. Now I understand why.

    On that block of Hoyt Street, Hendricks has tacked up all sorts of garbage–old shoes, plastic containers full of dirt, pointless and outdated flyers. The block looks like hell.
    I’m curious, does anyone think calling sanitation would help clean it up?

  • The art gallery that opened up about a year ago, sdrubbins? Clover Gallery I think? South side of street???

  • I have mixed feelings. It’s a shame when a business like this is forced to close, but there may be two sides. Nat Hendricks was one of the leaders of the “Brownstone Revival” in Brooklyn. He founded the old Brooklyn Brownstone Conference and was it’s president for many years. He also was a president of the Brownstone Revival Coalition and ran the annual Brownstone Fair at Brooklyn Union Gas’s former Montague Street building.

    That being said, I’ve had no contact with Nat for over 20 years; maybe he’s changed–I hope not.

  • Not Clover, DIBS. I forget where it was, I was Christmas shopping at the time and was distracted. It’s definitely on the north side of the street, and I had gotten a cup of coffee at Nunu and was walking west when I saw it… hmm, looking at some Google Maps and streetview, I want to say it might be the place between Bedouin Tent and Bacchus? But I’m not sure. It’s about that size (~12-15 feet wide) with the counter running vertical in the middle and the coffee machine on the righthand wall.

    I meant to go by and find it today, but got out of work too late. I’d really love to find out more. What does “for sale” mean for a cafe? What kind of price does a cafe command? Etc.

  • The place that closed was called LORETTA’s. It was a bit too shiny for me, but pleasant enough. Right next to the pizza place and the bistro and Stan’s place.

  • I was at a meeting once and Nat Hendricks was frustrated he couldn’t get some information he wanted. So I went over to him and offered to provide it. “I’m going to FOIL you,” he snarled. “Why are you going to FOIL me,” I asked; “I approached you with an offer to help.” He repeated his threat. I told him to do whatever he thinks he needs to do. I mean, I was ready to give him whatever he needed so it didn’t really matter to me how crudely he asked for it. Never heard from him again.

    What do you think Bob? Sound like the same guy?

  • Loretta’s is gone already? That sure didn’t last long.

  • Bummer. That’s a terrific little cafe. Sad to see it go. Hope it finds a great new home.

  • What do you think Bob? Sound like the same guy?”

    Not at all; too bad! The Nat Hendricks I knew in the ’70s and ’80s was a great guy :-(