Aug. 5, 2014 By Christian Murray
Cranky’s Café, which was recently re-branded 1682 French Louisiana, has closed.
The restaurant, located at 48-19 Vernon, is now empty and all its signage has come down.
Last Tuesday, an auction was held on site and items such as bar stools, tables, chairs and kitchen appliances were put on the block.
The owner of the restaurant, French native Mina Jons, had run the business for five years, which was established as a cafe.
Initially, Cranky’s served coffee, salads, panini, sandwiches and pastries. However, over time, the establishment started to take on more of a French/New Orleans flavor and started to offer a comprehensive breakfast and brunch menu.
Therefore, in February, the café was renamed 1682 French Louisiana with a focus on creating a New Orleans vibe and offering Cajun food.
The name–1682–represented the year when the French claimed Louisiana.
Jons could not be reached for comment for this story.
I used to love this place for brunch. Several weeks ago I ordered some delivery and was appalled when it took 2 hours to arrive, was cold, and had a hair in it. I understand having a bad day but when I called to complain and see how they could rectify it, they initially refused to let me speak to a manager. When I insisted I overheard them speaking and then after being told to by the owner, the person on the phone hung up on me. I say good riddance to anyone who wants to anyone business like that. Most places in the neighborhood bend over backward to rectify much less than what I was trying to make them aware of.
maybe if the establishments with backyards would be able to use them for service they would see more profits and more attendance.
Service was poor, spotty at best. Food was decent, but brunch was the true (and really only) winner. Rebrands (from crankys to 1791 or whatever) should never happen without serious marketing support, of which they had none. Greedy landlords always ruin things, good or bad.
Please no starbucks or real estate office!
You said: “Most of the new people that have moved here don’t dine here. They only sleep here.”
Based on the continuous (often unrealistic) stream of demands from posters on this site expressing what they want in this neighborhood, I’m not sure I agree with you.
The problem with the dining scene in LIC is that the prices are too high for the level of quality. There also seems to be pushback against places that seem to lack authenticity and warmth.
LIC is a gold rush town, and everyone is trying to capitalize on that. So I expect to see many places come and go, while just a handful will be able to send down roots.
Cranky’s was great for cafe food, then great for cajun food (for NY).
The owner, Mina, was a wonderful presence and service was good at most times. I loved to go there and sad to see it go.
Mina played with the thought of selling it to a new owner for the last two years, part of that was operating expenses.
Good luck to Mina and her husband and hope a new great place will go there.
What is likely to happen is a chain like a Starbucks or a fast food chain will move in because they can afford the rent and don’t need a liquor license. Or another real estate office or something like that. Keep in mind that the place will NEVER be able to have a full bar because it is across the street from a church, so the amount of money that can be made there by a restaurant is lowered.
Steven is correct, it sounds like the landlord is asking for a LOT of control in addition to a very high rent.
Any place (with the exception of one bar on Vernon) that has opened in the past 3 years is paying rent speculating that the neighborhood’s growth will catch up to the high rent. It hasn’t.
Most of the new people that have moved here don’t dine here. They only sleep here.
With so many great restaurants on Vernon and all around the area, not surprised to see this place close. I’m new to the area and love Cajun food. This was not Cajun/Creole, at all. Weird, indifferent service – I had to ask for a glass of wine four times. I wish the staff well and I hope something more interesting opens in the spot.
in response to: ANONYMOUS’s comment about attacking landlords..
truth: Landlord’s often hold the power to be or not to be…
But, I would not say anything without first hand knowledge.
This was a case where the landlord wanted too much control…
I say this only bcz I had a lengthy conversation with the former-owner the night before she packed up her covered wagon & left town for more fertile ground…
I do enjoy the neighborhood and seeing progress in action…
I hope I can be here long enough to witness results !!!
As much as I despise money-grubbing landlords, it’s a little odd to hear posters attacking them for causing restaurants like Cranky’s to close, as if they’ve had no part in what’s happened here.
People who pay $3,000 or $4,000 a month rent who rode into town on their covered wagons to pioneer our neighborhood bear some blame too. Did you think LIC gentrification was going to stop when you decided it should?
Now we’re all faced with this strange “only in NYC” conundrum where the time window between the neighborhood you all wanted to create vs. the unaffordable one that is impossible to sustain narrows by the second.
Is it already time to get on the wagons and find some other fertile place to make the landlords rich. East New York anyone?
You can thank the landlord’s of L.I.C. for chasing out anything halfway decent.
Doesn’t matter if you like the establishment or not, This little town is making it improbable for any establishment to prosper…
“If you’re going to succeed in Business, you got to own the building”
The space will probably turn into a place for either kids or dogs. Or another wine / beer shop. Or a bakery.
I used to go all the time in the early years of Cranky’s, but as the menu got less and less cafe-like and more and more French Creole/Cajun, I began to get less and less interested. And once the name changed and the walls were painted black, I simply lost interest.
Also, this place seemed to do very little marketing and had virtually no social media presence.
Had a great location, but you can’t get by on location alone. Let’s hope for an exciting replacement for this space.
I was always a big fan of Cranky’s breakfast and brunch, and it’s a real shame they’ve gone. I will miss them.
Their cajun food was cooked by people who seem to have never tasted Cajun food. While I am a strong supporter of local businesses, the food was really mediocre and didn’t add anything to the neighborhood. I just hope that a kitchen that knows how to cook replaces it, instead of a chain or Duane Reade.
It always felt the service while friendly was never genuine, which is what turned me away.
I the number of times I’ve been the food was ok, and the neighborhood really needs spots that add diversity.
The service is what really soured it for me. Mina the owner while I’m sure was trying just gave off that aura that she was never present in the moment with the customer.
It’s not that people need to be hand held, but when you’re serving a customer don’t make them feel like the other customers, back of bar, or kitchen is more important than serving them at that very moment. As a result I think no one felt the customer service was any good. Also that mentality seemed to rub off from owner to all other employees slowly as the service here seemed to degrade to the same mediocre level.
I’m guessing that’s their undoing.
Ate here several times, very nice place, sad to see it go, was a nice change of pace from Italian which is predominant here.
Bye Cranky’s, I appreciated all the good meals and good times our family had there. All the best to the owners and workers.
They refused to serve my elderly Mom a cup of coffee when she went in on her own once. Said they weren’t that type of cafe. So. None of us ever went there again. You shouldn’t turn business away…
It had a B rating. Went in there once in 5 years, nothing special.
People complain all the time about all the new residential building going up and why no new Restaurants/Stores/Bars are opening up in the area. Very simple answer people- support your local establishments instead of wining and dining in the after work and on the weekends.
majorly sad, never got around to trying this place, but really wanted to. I guess; I snooze I lose.
I can’t believe this place closed. It was never that busy during the week, but it was packed wall to wall for brunch. You’d think if they could stick it out the last 5 years, they’d be doing well now.