From Jimmy John Liautaud to Nathan Handwerker: A Visit to the Country’s Fast Food Chains

Sep 22, 16 From Jimmy John Liautaud to Nathan Handwerker: A Visit to the Country’s Fast Food Chains

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Have you ever noticed how different regions in the United State have their own favorite quick service restaurants? Perhaps it has something to do with loyalty, and where that restaurant originated? For instance, in the Midwest one of the most popular and fast growing franchise chains is Jimmy John’s Sandwich shop. The popular quick service restaurant was founded by Jimmy John Liautaud in the Chicago area in 1983. During the past 33 the restaurant has been growing by leaps and bounds, and just recently signed a deal with private equity firm Roark Capital Group, majority owners of Arby’s, Carl Jrs and other chains that are just getting their feet wet on the East Coast. If you are a New Yorker you are most likely stuck on places like T.G.I. Friday’s. Did you know that the original restaurant of this national chain was located on 1152 First Avenue in Manhattan? Alan Stillman founded Fridays in 1965. Stillman opened up the bar/restaurant with $5,000 of his own money and an additional $5,000 his mother lent him. Franchising of the brand began only two years after the Manhattan location opened, the first store opening in Memphis Tennessee. Yet, through all the changes the restaurant has undergone in the over 60 years since its birth, TGI Friday’s is still a favorite of New Yorkers. As a Brooklynite from Brighton Beach, I must add that my personal favorite is of course Nathan’s Famous. To describe the origins of this iconic hot dog mega chain one must reach back to the very beginnings of the 20th century. In 1916 Polish-Jewish immigrant Nathan Handwerker took his entire life savings of $300 and opened a hot dog stand in Coney Island. The hot dogs, based on his wife Ida’s recipe, sold like “hot dogs” and it wasn’t long before his Surf Avenue store became a destination for fast food on a big scale. The original store is still there, with very little difference in appearance since it first opened. Today Nathan’s has...

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Fearless Development of Brooklyn’s Waterfront Proceeds Apace

Sep 19, 16 Fearless Development of Brooklyn’s Waterfront Proceeds Apace

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The memory of Hurricane Sandy and the devastation it left in its wake seems to be quickly fading for many as developers clamor to bring modern structures into the most vulnerable Brooklyn neighborhoods. Take Sheepshead Bay, for instance. Once a sleepy fishing village, parts of the neighborhood lie within the riskiest of the city’s six designated flood zones, the zone closest to the shore. Yet development has been growing steadily. In 2013, just one year after Sandy, only 13 permits were filed for new buildings in the 11235 zip code section of Sheepshead Bay. In 2014 that number rose to 18, and then in 2015 it rose again to 21. Also up are permits for demolition; 14 in 2013 and 42 in 2015. Today there are at least two noteworthy projects under construction. Already going up is a 28-story condominium tower at 1501 Voorhies Avenue. Muss Development and AvalonBay are partnering on this building which will be the tallest structure in Sheepshead Bay when it is completed in 2017. Its location adjacent to the Sheepshead Bay subway station and the B and Q subway lines makes it easily accessible to Downtown Brooklyn and Midtown Manhattan. Just a few blocks away from the condo a 7-story commercial-residential development is also under construction. The VUE is under the auspices of developer Sergey Rybak. Located on Emmons Avenue, it will have a roof-top pool and deck and 58 units. The property was purchased for $13 million, including buying out a local diner which had operated on that location for over 40 years. The look of the new building, a modern, glass-sheathed design, is also a stark contrast to the brick and mortar style buildings that characterize the area. Push-back has come to these projects and others for basically two reasons. One is the fear that the new, modern designs will change the character of the neighborhood. Modern, high-density condo-towers will not only change the look of the area, but it will also attract a new type of...

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Brooklyn Brewery and Carlsberg UK Sign Distribution Agreement

Sep 12, 16 Brooklyn Brewery and Carlsberg UK Sign Distribution Agreement

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Carlsberg UK signed a deal with Brooklyn Brewery to acquire the exclusive distribution rights from James Clay, beginning as of December 2016. The Brooklyn Brewery is an independent, New York-based brewer that has been producing a selection of specialty beers including Brooklyn Lager, Brooklyn Scorcher IPA, Brooklyn Summer Ale, Brooklyn East IPA and Brooklyn Sorachi Ace. All the beers are brewed under the supervision of the well-known Brewmaster Garrett Oliver. “Garrett himself is a genius”, said Chris Cicero of New York based Smarterwiki. The agreement stipulates that Carlsberg UK will distribute the Brooklyn Brewery beer portfolio using its recently-launched brand and sales division, House of Beers. This division brings the talent of experts to their customers who run premium pubs, bars and restaurants in the major cities in the UK. “Brooklyn Brewery is at the forefront of the craft beer revolution, brewing quality beers that drinkers seek out and enjoy,” said Liam Newton, vice president of marketing for Carlsberg UK. “Brooklyn Lager has seen value growth of 54% over the past year in the UK [Nielsen]. The Brooklyn beer range will complement our existing portfolio of premium, craft and specialty beers and ciders and we will ensure it thrives well into the future, like it has in the...

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Credit Suisse Exec Philip Vasan Moving to BlackRock

Aug 25, 16 Credit Suisse Exec Philip Vasan Moving to BlackRock

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After 23 years at Credit Suisse Group AG, Philip Vasan, 57, will take over as head of investments and portfolio solutions for BlackRock’s US wealth advisory unit. The hire is part of BlackRock’s efforts to develop more individual clients in light of new US legislation which is designed to protect individual client interests in retirement planning. Mr. Vasan’s role will be to find tailor-made methods to combine actively managed mutual funds with index-tracking investments like iShares exchange-traded funds (ETFs.) This will ultimately allow BlackRock to offer more types of financial products that trade in stocks, bonds and other assets. “Clients want both active and index. Our strategy going forward is to offer advisers the range of solutions they need—and in the process create deeper and stronger relationships,” wrote Head of BlackRock’s U.S. Wealth Advisory, Salim Ramji, in an internal memo. The new US rules were set up by the Department of Labor to better manage how the financial industry provides retirement savings advice. Known as the “fiduciary rule,” it is likely that it will benefit the large passive-investing business BlackRock offers by encouraging clients to choose less expensive financial products like ETFs. Philip Vasan built and led Credit Suisse’s global prime-brokerage unit before he ran their US private-banking unit. According to the Wall Street Journal Mr. Vasan grew the unit which brought in about $2 billion in revenue. He also previously ran the global equity derivatives and convertibles unit at Credit Suisse and was the global head of foreign exchange there. Mr. Vasan earned a doctorate in economics at Harvard...

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Downtown Brooklyn Welcomes Ashland Into Its Heart

Jul 18, 16 Downtown Brooklyn Welcomes Ashland Into Its Heart

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The transformation of Brooklyn’s cultural center has taken a huge step forward with the opening of the Ashland residential tower. The tower is located at the meeting point of Fort Greene and Downtown Brooklyn, where the cultural institutions are located with the Brooklyn Academy of Music as the anchor. New York has spent over $100 million in public spaces and arts organizations found there. New developments are sprouting up as affordable housing, retail, and office space grow. Ashland is 53 stories with 304 full-rate apartments sprinkled with 282 affordable units. They range in size studios to three-bedroom apartments with monthly rents for market-rate apartments starting at $2,600 and three bedrooms going for as much as $7,500. The affordable units are distributed by lottery. They will start at $801 for a studio, and a three-bedroom unit will cost $3,649 for a three-person household making between $126,995 and $155,400 a year. There were 82,262 applicants for the affordable apartments. “The location is incredible, as you have beautiful Fort Greene as your front yard, Downtown Brooklyn to the west, and you have all the cultural offerings literally right outside your door,” said David L. Picket, the president of the Gotham Organization, the developer of the...

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Airbnb Under Fire in New York

Jul 05, 16 Airbnb Under Fire in New York

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A recent study conducted by “ShareBetter” entitled “Short Changing New York City,” investigated the effect Airbnb rentals have on the housing market in New York City. The report, which was commissioned by affordable housing advocates, longtime critics of Airbnb, found that 55 percent of the approximately 51,000 Airbnb listings in New York are in violation of a state law designed to promote affordable housing. The law states that it is forbidden to rent out an apartment in a building with three or more units for less than 30 days if the permanent resident of the apartment is not there. The report also states that more than one-third of New York’s Airbnb listings are considered commercial. That means that the properties main function is as a source of income through short-term rentals rather than as a dwelling place for the owner or host. Furthermore, according to the report, Airbnb is directly impeding Mayor Bill de Blasio’s plan to create and/or preserve about 20,000 affordable housing units each year for the next ten years. The study found that in neighborhoods where Airbnb is the most popular rents have risen the fastest. Airbnb, according to the report, has hit Bedford-Stuyvesant, an historically African-American neighborhood, especially hard. The report states that Airbnb is speeding the process of gentrification in the neighborhoods where it is popular, contributing to the scarcity of affordable housing. The study pointed out that hosts in New York City generated about $1 billion in 2015. Airbnb receives a percentage of that revenue. Affordable housing advocates praised the report as further proof that Airbnb was making difficult problems in New York worse. Airbnb criticized the report, saying it is further evidence that entrenched hotel groups, astigmatic politicians and other special interest groups are squashing the positive effects the short-term rental service has on the city. They cited the facts that more customers are brought into minority neighborhood businesses, and that income is generated for people who need the...

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