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A general store selling hard-to-find items is prepping to open at 518a Willoughby Avenue early next year. Willoughby General will carry bread, cheese, coffee, gifts and a small selection of produce. Co-owner Rachel Tutera said she wants to offer items her neighbors can’t find elsewhere in the area.

“We want people to be able to come here instead of zigzagging all over the neighborhood or going to Manhattan to get staples or odds and ends,” she said. The shop is taking requests on what to carry through its Facebook page. Since Key Food on Myrtle and Throop closed over the summer, locals have wondered where they can buy basic groceries without walking several blocks, Tutera said.

Other items may include locally made honey from the bees in a nearby garden, home brew kits, regional spices, and some magazines and newspapers. Tutera and her business partner, Barbara Lester, hope to open in January with hours from 7 am to 7 pm. They’re signing the lease on the 300-square-foot space this week. GMAP

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True Religion is opening its first Brooklyn store this winter in the old Viva Movil space across the street from the Barclays Center in Park Slope. Signage for the California-based denim brand appeared on the corner of Flatbush and Pacific earlier this week. Thanks to a commenter for tipping us off.

The new store at 162 Flatbush Avenue will have nine-foot-tall digital storefront windows, as well as other technology such as interactive kiosks and iPad checkout, according to Racked and Apparel.  GMAP

 

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Verizon has closed its Viva Movil cellphone store at the corner of Flatbush Avenue and Pacific Street, only a year after Jennifer Lopez came to Brooklyn for its grand opening. Verizon Wireless and J Lo launched the retail stores in July 2013 “to lure Latino shoppers to the brand,” according to Betabeat. A tipster told us they saw the signage coming down on Friday at 162 Flatbush Avenue. What do you want to see on this corner, which is directly across the street from the Barclays Center? GMAP

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Trader Joe’s is supposedly planning to open in the old Greenpoint Savings Bank building at 856 Washington Avenue between Lincoln Place and Eastern Parkway, according to an anonymous source in the neighborhood who blabbed to FIPS. Apparently the Capital One there now is closing.

As well, Key Food across the street will become a Duane Reade, the source told FIPS. Trader Joe’s does love an old bank, as FIPS points out — its Cobble Hill location is in the former South Brooklyn Savings Institution on Court Street. What do you think? Have you heard anything?

Rumorsville: Trader Joe’s Coming to Washington Avenue? [FIPS] GMAP
Photo by Google Maps

Park Delicatessen, a six-year-old skate shop and florist in western Crown Heights, is moving around the corner from Park Place to Classon Avenue. The shop is relocating to 722 Classon Avenue between Park and Prospect Places (pictured) and will be open in its new space by mid-April.

Michael J. Sclafani, who owns the store with his wife, Valentine Leung, told us that the building at 533 Park Place was being sold, but he doesn’t know who the buyer is. The building next door at 537 Park has been emptied of tenants, and there’s an empty lot on the other side of Park Deli, leading us to believe a developer could be purchasing all three. Sclafani said he hadn’t even realized the building was for sale until a friend pointed out the Corcoran listing, which is asking $1,275,000. The building is now in contract with a buyer who plans to pay over the asking price, according to the Corcoran broker.

Park Deli has sold an eclectic mix of street wear, skateboards, graffiti gear and flowers in the old deli space since late 2008. Sclafani said he doesn’t plan to close more than a day while moving to the new storefront. We’ve included a picture of the current space, with its vintage florist sign, after the jump. GMAP

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The long-awaited prepared food shop called Peck’s opened at 455A Myrtle Avenue in Clinton Hill last week. Owner Theo Peck wanted to follow in the footsteps of his great-grandfather Jacob Harmatz, who ran Ratner’s, the famous Lower East Side kosher eatery.

In the spirit of his great-grandad, he puts a modern twist on classics like matzo ball soup (made with confit chicken, egg noodles, carrots and dill), brisket made “sous vide,” and sweet and sour beets with crispy chicken skin.

His modern fare ranges from charcuterie, sausages and pate to casseroles, sandwiches and rotisserie chicken. He also sells artisanal cheese, growlers of craft beer and a range of baked goods, pastries and breakfast foods. And the shop serves coffee and espresso from Philadelphia-based La Colombe.

Before this, the Clinton Hill resident opened Lansky Lounge on the Lower East Side and founded a series of national amateur food competitions known as the Food Experiments.

Prepared Food Shop Opening This Fall on Myrtle Avenue [Brownstoner] GMAP
Photo by Peck’s

Crown Heights residents will be able to satisfy their sweet tooth at Brookie Cookie, a cookie shop opening soon at 1297 Pacific Street just off Nostrand Avenue. Owner Brooke Nycole is expanding her four-year-old business from catering events and selling at various gourmet grocery stores to her own storefront.

Although Nycole recently posted photos of her newly renovated space, she still needs additional funds before she can open her store. She plans to launch a Kickstarter campaign to raise the money, allowing her to open sooner. Her shop will sell a variety of cookie flavors, from chocolate to pretzel crunch, as well as biscotti, muffins, creme pies and gift boxes. She will also sell vegan and “diet” (half-sugar) versions of some of her cookies. GMAP

Apple is “looking closely” at Two Trees’ BAM South site and a converted brick factory building on Bedford between North 3rd and North 4th for its first Brooklyn location, The Real Deal reported. Rumors have been flying about Apple’s first Brooklyn store since 2008, but so far none have come to pass, including a location on Bedford and North 7th. Neither Apple nor its brokers, Open Realty Advisors, commented on the story.

TRD quoted four anonymous sources who contradicted each other. Two said the tech giant is interested in the planned 381-unit rental at 286 Ashland Place known as BAM South (pictured), just a stone’s throw from the Barclay’s Center in Fort Greene. Another two “disputed that information,” said TRD, alleging the current frontrunner is 247 Bedford Avenue, owned by RedSky Capital and Waterbridge Capital.

The Two Trees development has the high-rise metal and glass aesthetic that Apple seems to favor, particularly in its 5th Avenue and Chelsea stores. However, the Soho store is in a converted loft building much like 247 Bedford.

Apple currently has five Manhattan stores: Soho, 5th Avenue, Chelsea, Upper West Side and Grand Central. And they have a sixth one in Staten Island. What do you think would be the ideal spot for them in Brooklyn?

Apple Eyes BAM South, Bedford Avenue for First Brooklyn Store: Sources [TRD]
Rendering by Ten Arquitectos

Property owner Infinity Real Estate recently filed new building applications for 1245 Fulton Street in Bed Stuy, where Planet Fitness inked a lease in October. Although the gym had reportedly originally planned to add a second story onto the existing building, now it looks like the landlord is planning to build an entirely new one-story commercial building with 7,836 square feet. Demolition permits have not yet been filed, and the DOB disapproved the gym’s previous alteration permits. Permits list the architect as George A Fanous of SBLM Architects.

PFit inked a lease in early October for 22,500 square feet, with plans to open in January 2015. Asking rent is $50 a foot. This will be the gym’s 28th New York City location and its sixth one in Brooklyn. If you live in the neighborhood, are you looking forward to having a big chain gym in Bed Stuy?

A sustainable bakery called Little Cupcake Bakeshop will open next spring at 589 Vanderbilt in Prospect Heights, according to co-owner Massimo LoBuglio. The storefront on the corner of St. Marks Avenue, which used to be Pena’s Food Market, will be Little Cupcake’s third location in the city, joining two in Soho and Bay Ridge. Little Cupcake has become known as the world’s first carbon-neutral bakery, because they use energy efficient practices and appliances, green construction, biodegradable packaging and ConEd Solutions wind power, according to their website. And their stores are insulated by recycled blue jeans, just like the Kickstarter headquarters in Greenpoint.

They’ve also hosted fundraisers for endangered species, hungry children in developing countries and environmental charities. And the four Brooklyn brothers who run the bakery enjoy supporting street art: Their Prince Street store hosted a Shepard Fairey mural two years ago, and they plan to have street artist Gilf! paint the Prospect Heights shop. GMAP

Here’s Park Slope reports that makeup superstore Sephora is opening in the old Triangle Sports space at 182 Flatbush, across the street from the Barclays Center. The 96-year-old store shuttered last year in anticipation of the massive arena’s opening, and then sold to real estate firm RedSky Capital for a whopping $4,100,000.

Here’s Park Slope says that the windows have been papered with Sephora signs. The retailer is planning to open its first Brooklyn store at the Municipal Building on Joralemon Street this Friday. If Sephora is indeed opening here, and the signs are not just advertising for its location at the Municipal Building, this outpost will be its 20th store in the city and its second in Brooklyn.

Sephora Coming to Triangle Sporting Goods Space [Here's Park Slope] GMAP
Photo by Here’s Park Slope