Subscribe for FREE with:

pho-co

Bánh mì and beef noodles are on their way to 86th Street, where Pho & Co Vietnamese Street Food is slated to open.

Signs went up recently at the 1927 86th Street storefront, and interior renovations were underway when we stopped by last week.

The spot takes over the location of Boat House Seafood Restaurant, which closed late last year or early this year. It looks like Boat House is still alive and kicking in Sunset Park, though, serving up Vietnamese-Cajun fusion seafood dishes.

Pho & Co will be a welcome addition to 86th Street’s bustling Asian culinary scene, and one of the few – if not the only – dedicated to Vietnamese sandwiches, salads, noodle dishes and soups.

We’ll keep our eyes on this one as the opening date nears. In the meantime, welcome to the neighborhood, Pho & Co.

grimm2Congressman Michael Grimm, facing a 20-count indictment on tax evasion, fraud and illegal hiring practices, may now head to trial in October, a month before elections.

SILive reports:

Speaking at a status conference in Brooklyn federal court on Monday, Assistant U.S. Attorney James Gatta said that motion procedures and hearings in the case could be held by the end of September, with a trial to begin the following month.

… Gatta said that the discovery in the case is “not particularly voluminous” and that the case itself “is fairly straightforward.”

Grimm’s new attorney, Daniel Rashbaum, said that that “schedule may be OK. I don’t know yet.”

He sought a three- or four-week delay so that he could look at the evidence. By then, Rashbaum said, he’d have a better idea “what the discovery looks like in my mind.”

But U.S. District Court Judge Pamela K. Chen said she would give Rashbaum, who notified the court last week that he was taking over the defense, two weeks to “dive into the material.”

Prior to the conference yesterday, observers believed Grimm would not go to trial until after the November 4 elections, when he faces off against Democrat Domenic Recchia. If the prosecution’s request for an October court date is granted, it would be a significant blow to the pol, who will have to fight simultaneously for his seat and his freedom.

vitaminshoppe

The Vitamin Shoppe opened its doors at 2005 86th Street about three weeks ago, looking to capitalize off the new rush of fitness fans patronizing Planet Fitness next door.

The business replaces London Fashion Shoes, which closed for good earlier this year.

It’s hard not to note the unique facade of the building. It has served as a retail location for many years, but some research reveals what many neighborhood oldtimers probably know: it’s the former site of the Benson Twins Theater. Here’s how it looked in the 1980s, as captured by the Department of Finance tax photos:

benson-theater

Although the theater once took up the entire site of what today is The Vitamin Shoppe and Planet Fitness, by the 1980s, as you can see, it was already split up for a retail location.

But just how old is it? Fortunately, CinemaTreasures has that info on hand:

Opened as the Benson Theatre on September 15, 1921, it was a 1,400 seat theatre, located in the shadows of the elevated subway in Bensonhurst, Brooklyn. Designed by architects George Keister & Libman. It was equipped with a Wurlitzer 2 manual, 6 ranks organ. It was run as a dollar theatre by the Golden Theatre chain before it was twinned by splitting it down the middle and renamed Benson Twins with seating for 588 and 400.

Subsequently, it became a first run house. In the final days, it was closed more than it was open, and was closed in 1988 for its current retail use.

According to city records, it came under the ownership of a new company called Benson Theatre Corp in 1972, which is about when it was renamed.

Unfortunately, with the overhaul of the facade by Planet Fitness, little remains of the original theater’s architecture. But eagle-eyed passersby will catch a glimps of the original “B” insignia, and the comedy and tragedy masks above The Vitamin Shoppe. Here’s a photo, but Forgotten NY has an even better one:

benson-facade

Remember parkour, the sport described by The Office‘s Jim Halpert as “the internet sensation of 2004 … and the goal is to get from point A to point B as creatively as possible”? Well, it just happened in Coney Island. And it’s much cooler than when Michael and Dwight did it.

Brooklyn-based parkour collaborative Bullettrun posted the above video over the weekend, showing their members jumping, flipping, rolling and generally being more awesome than the rest of us on the Coney Island boardwalk, Child’s Restaurant, on the beach and in front of housing developments.

The group has been around since 2007, performing their craft in streets, on the stage and on screen. Under the creative direction of Nadia Lesy, who shot the video above, Bulletrun describes itself as a “collaborative, performance, Multi-media Parkour group” that “produces live shows that are presented in theaters, galleries and in non traditional settings, such as a a high school gymnasium and city parks.”

Neat. Now, if you’ll excuse me, I’ve got to go parkour my way over to the deli for a bacon, egg and cheese. Strolling, slowly, while struggling to breathe under the weight of my own man-boobs counts as creative expression, doesn’t it?

Check out more awesome videos from Bullettrun.

Sleeping with the fishes at an 86th Street restaurant. This doesn't look quite... humane.

Sleeping with the fishes at an 86th Street restaurant. This doesn’t look quite… humane.

In Case You Missed It (ICYMI) is our new Sunday feature, giving you a place to find some of the big stories you may have missed this past week.

Of course, you can keep up with what’s going on in the neighborhood all week long. Just follow us on Twitter and Facebook, and sign up for our daily newsletter. If you have any news tips, story ideas, questions or anything else, e-mail us at editor [at] sheepsheadbites [dot] com.

Flyer for Gravesend & Bensonhurst Public Engagement Meeting #1

In an expansion of the state New York Rising initiative to improve resiliency in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, a new committee has been created to strengthen Bensonhurst and Gravesend, with the first meeting scheduled for this Sunday.

New York Rising aims to recruit locals for identifying key community assets and gather their thoughts on the best way to protect them from future disasters.

The workshop this weekend focuses on evaluating the damage from Sandy, gathering feedback and proposals, and creating a vision for the community moving forward. Backed with $3 million from the state and federal governments earmarked specifically for our neighborhood, contracted consultants then use the feedback to draw up several proposals. The ideas are presented to the community for feedback.

The meeting will be held at 10 a.m., at Bensonhurst Park on Bay Parkway.

To learn more about New York Rising, go here. For a comprehensive rundown of the effects of Sandy on the community and key assets the committee is already looking into, check out this presentation.

Source: MichaelTapp/Flickr

D LINE

There are no subway advisories scheduled at this time.

N LINE

All times until October 2014: No trains running between Court St, Brooklyn and Whitehall St, Manhattan. Late night N and weekend R trains are rerouted via the Manhattan Bridge. Use alternate service and stations on the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, or C instead.

R LINE

All times until October 2014: No trains running between Court St, Brooklyn and Whitehall St, Manhattan. Late night N and weekend R trains are rerouted via the Manhattan Bridge. Use alternate service and stations on the 2, 3, 4, 5, A, or C instead.

F LINE

From 11:15 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, Coney Island-bound F trains are rerouted via the M from Roosevelt Av to 47-50 Sts.

  • Trains run express from Roosevelt Av to Queens Plaza.
  • To 21 St-Queensbridge, Roosevelt Island, Lexington Av/63 St, and 57 St, take the Coney Island-bound F to 47-50 Sts and transfer to a Jamaica-bound F.
  • From 21 St-Queensbridge and Roosevelt Island, take a Jamaica-bound F to Roosevelt Av and transfer to a Coney Island-bound F.
  • From Lexington Av/63 St, use the nearby 59 St 4/5/6 station for downtown local service to 51 St and transfer to a Coney Island-bound F at the E/M platform.
  • From 57 St, use the nearby 57 St-7 Av N/Q/R station for downtown service to 34 St-Herald Sq and transfer to a Coney Island-bound F.

From 11:45 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, Coney Island-bound F trains are rerouted via the A from W 4 St to Jay St-MetroTech.

  • To B’way-Lafayette St, transfer to the D at W 4 St.
  • To 2 Av, Delancey St, and East Broadway, take the Coney Island-bound F to Jay St-MetroTech and transfer to a Jamaica-bound F.
  • From these stations, take a Jamaica-bound F to W 4 St and transfer to a Coney Island-bound F.
  • To/from York St, use the nearby High St A station.

From 11:45 p.m. Friday to 5 a.m. Monday, Coney Island-bound F trains skip Sutphin Blvd, Van Wyck Blvd, and 75 Av.

Click to enlarge

Click to enlarge

CompStat reports are produced by the New York Police Department on a weekly basis. We publish the week’s statistics for the 62nd Precinct reports every Friday. The 62nd Precinct is the police command responsible for Bensonhurst and Bath Beach.

Source: Alexander Rabb/Flickr

The owner of the landmarked Shore Theater has been declining all proposals to rehabilitate and reactivate the building, including one by a Manhattan restaurateur to turn it into a sprawling restaurant and culinary school.

The 1301 Surf Avenue building was inherited by Jasmine Bullard following the 2013 death of her father, Horace, a Coney Island visionary who long fought to revitalize the neighborhood during its darkest days. Although the building was on the market at the time of his death, Bullard has declined to hear out would-be buyers, Brooklyn Eagle reports.

“I have clients who are ready, willing and able to write a check for the Shore today,” broker Joe Vitacco told Eye on Real Estate.

He has tried to submit purchase offers to her, but in vain: “She won’t even look at them.”

Vitacco said he has four “solid” suitors for the Shore Theater:

* A “very well known restaurateur” from Manhattan who wants to build a cooking school downstairs and a restaurant on the top two floors.

“The view from the seventh floor is magnificent,” he said, and there’s a Juliet balcony where diners would be able to watch the Brooklyn Cyclones playing baseball at MCU Park.

* A “nationally known athlete” who would turn the Shore back into a movie theater — and no, it’s not Magic Johnson (who isn’t actively involved in Magic Johnson Theatres’ operations these days, anyway).

* A billionaire with a home in Brooklyn who “thinks it’s a beautiful building and should be restored,” Vitacco said.

This interested party made an offer when Horace Bullard was alive, but it wasn’t high enough. Now, “he’s willing to come to the table with more money,” the broker said.

* A real estate developer who is involved in Coney Island.

Vitacco marketed Horace Bullard’s properties for about a decade. When the Shore was Vitacco’s listing, the asking price was $12 million.

It is estimated that it will take approximately $35 million to renovate the 115,000-square-foot, seven-story structure.

grimm2

Grimm

Legal and financial troubles appear to be fueling recruitment troubles at the offices of beleaguered Congressman Michael Grimm if a desperate-sounding e-mail to colleagues is any indication.

Politico reports:

Grimm’s deputy chief of staff sent an email Wednesday afternoon asking downtowners to help her find a health and education legislative assistant.

“As you can imagine it hasn’t been easy to find a qualified candidate who wants to live on the edge and take a chance working for Rep. Grimm,” wrote [Grimm's Deputy Chief of Staff] Blaire Bartlett. “Ideally this person would have legislative experience. Hill experience would be great and NYC experience would be amazing, but beggars can’t be choosers, right?”

I don’t know about legislative assistants, but if he needs some social media help I know a group of 16-year-old girls who’d love to pitch in.