Business Impact

Many of our  Prospect Heights businesses are negatively impacted by the Vanderbilt Open Street and Underhill redesign, yet their struggles have been disregarded by the groups that run the programs. For the past few months, UNPCH volunteers have been canvassing local businesses to ask them directly how the Vanderbilt Open Street impacts them.

While it’s true that some Vanderbilt bars and restaurants benefit from increased business during the Open Street, Vanderbilt has a more diverse economic ecosystem. Many of these other businesses and their customers rely on vehicular traffic more than foot traffic. So far, 16 Vanderbilt businesses have told our volunteers that they are in fact losing customers and business when Vanderbilt is closed. One such business is Mitchell’s Soul Food, which has told us they will be forced to close their doors this year after 40 years if Vanderbilt is closed Sundays again. Multiple businesses on Washington and Underhill also report losing business when Vanderbilt is closed. 

Throughout the 2023 Open Streets season, UNPCH volunteers also conducted random surveys of attendance on the Vanderbilt Open Street. It was observed that only 7 establishments consistently placed additional seating in the street to serve patrons. Other restaurants opted to utilize their outdoor sheds and sidewalk seating instead. 

Some businesses have agreed to allow us to share their views and how their business is being impacted here. Others have asked to remain anonymous for fear of retaliation, which we are sad to say, has been reported from multiple businesses that spoke out against the program. Given this unfortunate  threat of retaliation, we are including some testimonials here anonymously. All testimonials have been shared with our elected officials however, to provide them a more rounded perspective of the impacts these programs are having on our larger community in hopes they will help to negotiate an equitable solution for everyone.

Has your business been impacted and you would like your voice heard? Please fill out our Impact Statement Form and let us know.

Vanderbilt Businesses

  • 656 Laundromat

    To Whom It May Concern: I am the manager of the 656 Laundromat on 656 Vanderbilt Avenue. I am writing because I am opposed to…

  • Anonymous Vanderbilt Business Owner

    To Whom It May Concern: I co-own a business on Vanderbilt that is not a restaurant or a bar. The Open Streets (OS) on Vanderbilt Avenue has…

  • Anonymous Vanderbilt Business Owner

    To Whom It May Concern: I am writing to urge you to take whatever steps you can to ensure that Vanderbilt Open Streets does not…

  • Foodtown

    We are Foodtown of Prospect Heights located at 632 Vanderbilt Avenue Brooklyn NY and we are writing to inform you that we OBJECT to Vanderbilt…

  • Mitchell’s Soul Food

    To Whom It May Concern: I am the manager of Mitchell’s Soul Food Restaurant, a restaurant that has been serving customers for 40 years, located…

Underhill Businesses

  • Art Bar and Cafe

    To Whom It May Concern: I am co-owner of the Art Café and Bar located at 884 Pacific Street. I’m writing because I am displeased…

  • Cheryl’s Global Soul

    To Whom It May Concern: I own Cheryl’s Global Soul, a restaurant I’ve been running on Underhill Avenue since 2006. I have felt a drop…

Washington Businesses

  • House of Hair

    To Whom It May Concern: I am the owner of the House of Hair, a beauty salon located at 615 Washington Avenue, and am writing…

  • Pooch Purrfect

    To Whom It May Concern: I am the owner of Pooch Purrfect at 789 Washington Avenue. In addition to selling pet supplies, we run a…

  • Washington Transmission

    To Whom It May Concern: I am the Proprietor of Washington Transmissions Inc. Our repair shop has been on Washington Avenue for over forty years.…

  • BK Sub

    To Whom It May Concern, I am the owner of Brooklyn Sub. I started the business 21 years ago. Since Open Streets and the installation…

  • The Bakery on Bergen

    To Whom It May Concern: I am a proud second-generation Brooklynite. I opened the Bakery on Bergen in 2014. Customers say it is the best…