04/23/14 2:00pm

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The permanent signage for Nordstrom Rack and T.J.Maxx went up on the front on the Offerman Building at 505 Fulton Street last week. Nordstrom Rack is prepping for its opening next week on Thursday, May 1.

T.J.Maxx is still “coming soon” — and it probably will be soon. We saw an ad on a bus over the weekend. Thanks to a reader for the photo.

Nordstrom Rack Opening May 1 on Fulton Street, T.J.Maxx “Coming Soon” [Brownstoner] GMAP

04/22/14 2:00pm

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Brooklyn-based real estate firm Realty Collective will open an office in Clinton Hill, its fourth location. The official opening of the office at 466 Grand Avenue will take place Sunday April 27, the firm said in a press release.

The new location will also handle business in Fort Greene, Bed Stuy, Crown Heights and Prospect Heights. Its other three offices are clustered in Red Hook, the Columbia Street Waterfront District and Carroll Gardens.

 “Over the past few years, our agents have been migrating into Clinton Hill, Bed Stuy and Crown Heights. So have our listings,” said Realty Collective founder Victoria Hagman in a statement. “It just made sense to open a branch closer to the action.”  GMAP

Photo by Nicholas Strini for PropertyShark

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Sweet Lee’s Desserts was getting ready to open this week at 163 Ralph Avenue when we happened to walk by Sunday. The bakery and cafe will be serving its own made-from-scratch cupcakes, cake and pies, as well as coffee and tea.

Cupcake flavors will change daily and include pina colada, snickerdoodle and salted caramel, according to the bakery’s website. Cakes include german chocolate, red velvet, caramel, lemon and Brooklyn Blackout. The many flavors of pie include blueberry, sweet potato and peach. Everything is made with butter and without preservatives.

The owner, Raymond Williams, named the bakery after his grandmother. He has been in the food business for more than a decade and plans to add espresso drinks over the summer, he said. This should be a welcome addition to this side of Bed Stuy, which doesn’t have a bakery. GMAP

04/18/14 2:00pm

A tipster sent along these photos of Tripp & Cooper Cafe in Fort Greene, which the city closed Tuesday for operating without a permit. The cafe and coffee shop at 80 Dekalb Avenue, across the street from the Long Island University campus, opened in the fall of 2012. It served crepes, coffee, sandwiches and pastries. Click through the jump to see the health department notice. GMAP

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The Heights Cafe restaurant at 84 Montague Street re-opened earlier this month after six weeks of interior renovations. There is also a new menu, with new-American fare such as a lobster roll, oyster po-boy, a burger, veal and wild mushroom meatloaf and a ribeye.

Click through to the jump for an interior shot. Has anyone checked it out? GMAP

Photos by Heights Cafe (more…)

04/16/14 2:00pm

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A convention center is planning to open at 79 Franklin Street in Greenpoint later this year, possibly in October, according to DNAinfo. Currently under construction, the Brooklyn Expo Center will have 28,000 square feet of space for exhibitions and meetings. There will also be a cafeteria and parking.

A reader who lives nearby said it looks like the building is about a quarter done. GMAP

Rendering by Brooklyn Expo Center

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Popular Crown Heights eatery Mayfield plans to open a bar with backyard garden and taco truck at 323 Franklin Avenue, according to DNAinfo. There will be tacos, tortas and weekly specials such as roast pig and pozole.

There will also be movie nights for kids with films projected on the rear wall. Community Board 3 plans to support the restaurant’s application for a liquor license.

Electronic dance music label Dub-Stuy Records recently vacated the space due to rising rents, but is still in business while it searches for a permanent location, said DNAinfo. It’s also going to participate in Do or Dine’s annual Memorial Day celebration. 

Bed-Stuy Record Label to be Replaced by Taco Truck and Bar [DNAinfo] GMAP

04/14/14 2:00pm

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Menswear maker and retailer By Robert James‘s Williamsburg store has moved around the corner, from 241 Bedford Avenue to 193 Grand Street. The new store, which opened in February and had its grand opening party last month, is between Bedford and Driggs, on the same block as Bird.

The locally made wares include corduroy paisley shirts, animal print jackets and skinny ties. The company is known for its friendly attitude and frequent parties. There is also a second Brooklyn store, at 416 Atlantic Avenue, and the original store on the Lower East Side. 

By Robert James Opens in Williamsburg [Brownstoner] GMAP

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Last week, a reader spotted an ad on Fillmore for Manny’s asking $240,000 for the business. “Fully equipped turnkey French style cafe business for sale,” said the ad. The price would include taking over the 10-year lease as well as all the interior fittings and equipment of the cafe, above, which the owners had beautifully decorated with wood panelling and a vintage mantel.

Manny’s opened at 212 Patchen Avenue in Bed Stuy in October of 2012 and closed about a year later, promising to reopen after they put in gas service. They opened as a cafe serving a variety of sandwiches and baked goods from sister businesses Choice Market and Dough but the intention was always to be a full-service restaurant.

Meanwhile, over at Choice Greene, the mini-empire’s grocery store at 214 Greene Avenue in Clinton Hill, the store is now almost empty of goods and fixtures except for one person in the back preparing bagels, another reader tells us. In February, we reported that their sign had come down and they were advertising a “close-out sale” but were not going out of business, according to one of the workers at the counter.

We reached out to the owner for comment and to see if he could share with us his plans for Choice Greene, but have not yet heard back. In the meantime, the ad for Manny’s has disappeared off the Fillmore site. We hope that means they’ve found a buyer, but in any case, we have enjoyed all their businesses (we’re eating a Dough doughnut right now) and wish them well in everything they do.

04/10/14 2:00pm

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Nostrand Avenue’s newest coffee shop, Tinto, is opening this Saturday afternoon in Crown Heights. There will be coffee, pastries, ice cream and other treats for anyone who stops by 715 Nostrand Avenue from 2 to 8 pm on April 12. NUNU chocolates can be ordered via email ahead of opening day at 10 percent off. Owners Johanna and Oscar are also holding an introductory class on cupping — coffee tasting — from 1 to 2 pm.

The class costs $15, and those interested in attending can register by emailing Johanna or Oscar at tintobrooklyn.com. The shop will serve and sell its own house blend roasted in Brooklyn. All the details on the ground opening are here on Tinto’s facebook page.

Tinto Cafe Opening Soon on Nostrand Avenue [Brownstoner] GMAP