In the two years since Barclays Center opened its doors, 100 local businesses have closed, and chains like Shake Shack have arrived on Flatbush Avenue and nearby. (Opening soon: Doughnut Plant and Patsy’s Pizza). But some small businesses have survived and prospered by learning how to capitalize on game nights and concerts, according to a report in the Commercial Observer.

The owner of Cake Ambiance, the five-year-old dessert spot at 452 Dean Street, said the shop has gotten 20 to 40 percent more foot traffic since Barclays Center opened. He lures customers from the arena on game nights by offering free samples.

Two doors down, the little Italian cafe Broccolino has seen more business before and after events at the arena. Owner Giuseppe Piazzolla claims his local customers don’t mind the crowds from the stadium, because they come between 7 and 10 pm — when the game or the concert is happening. Business has been so good that he plans to open a pizzeria in the vacant storefront next door.

Two Years After the Barclays Center Opened, Which Local Businesses Have Won and Lost? [NYO]


In Queens, you can find history in the most unexpected places. Take this gas station in College Point that Scouting New York visited last month. The typical retro service station has a sign in the window that says, “EST. 1868.” Hmm, that’s before the invention of the automobile.

It turns out that the Farrington family business was once a blacksmith shop that made horseshoes, so they’ve always been involved in the transportation industry. Sometime between 1917 and 1920, they adapted with technology and started servicing cars instead.