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Paris Health Cafe on Vernon Boulevard will close its doors Oct. 28 after almost 30 years , ‘no longer economically possible’ to run it

Paris Health Cafe on 49-11 Vernon Boulevard, to close on Oct. 28 (photo by Nathaly Pesantez)

Oct. 27, 2017 by Nathaly Pesantez

Paris Health Cafe, the juice shop located on Vernon Boulevard, will end its 29-year run on Oct. 28 due to the unaffordable costs to run it.

The juice shop, located at 49-11 Vernon Blvd., has signs out front and over its counter written by Sung “John” Park, the 58-year-old owner, thanking customers for their patronage. Park did not shy away from writing about the difficulties in paying for rent, too.

“As you witness in the neighborhood, so with ‘Paris’…it is no longer economically possible!” Park wrote.

A letter Sung “John” Park wrote to customers (photo by Nathaly Pesantez)

“I’ve been here for 29 years and two months” Park, a native of South Korea, said. “I’ve seen thousands of customers. It’s very sad.”

Park said that the landlord kept raising the rent on the 870 square-foot shop, and wanted to raise costs higher than what Park was paying—$4,250.

The businessman, who also runs Underpenny Antiques & Collectibles on 10-13 50th Ave., said he remembers paying $900 a month when he first opened the juice shop in 1988 after arriving from South Korea five years prior.

Park does not know what will take the shop’s place after tomorrow, but says he is trying to look for another space within the neighborhood to continue his business.

“I really love Long Island City—I’m not looking for any other place,” he said.

Paris Health Cafe will open until 6 p.m. on Saturday, after which there will be a goodbye party at the store.

“I was happy the whole time,” Park said. “I was happy with my customers. I enjoyed my life here.”

The juice shop is one of several locales on Vernon Boulevard that have shut its doors in recent years, including Alobar, Masso, Juniors, and San Remo.

Inside Paris Health Cafe (photo by Nathaly Pesantez)

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46 Comments

yasss

The wine bar at 50-04 Vernon Blvd is also up for sale.

Both this and the dental office appear to have been rented as well.

This area is changing rapidly. Old business is out. Current owners / operators are not able to sustain business. Alobar is gone. Masso sold.
Tutti Matti is gone. The list goes on

Reply
MRLIC

To MRIRONY,
I never said Trump was a good person. He had policies on Illegal Immigration and building up the Military that Obama has seriously depleted that I favored. Hillary was for everything I did not want. Trump is what he is. Maybe you don’t vote for him, that’s fine. Don’t criticize people who did vote for him. In your world everyone is supposed to think the same way I guess?

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MRIRONY

At least you admit that the person you voted for for president is a horrible person. I’m at least happy that you are personally responsible for the success of a greedy developer of luxury condos. You are what’s killing LIC.

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MRLIC

MRIRONY, maybe you did not interpret my post correctly. I said I knew Trump was no SAINT. His policies were much better than Crooked Hillary’s. I figured I could put up with him for 4 years. Obama had cut the military drastically and our country was heading toward unchecked Illegal Immigration, I HAD to vote TRUMP.

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MRIRONY

Then why have we had so many terror attacks under our spray-tanned president? You voted for the world’s greediest real estate developer.

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MRLIC

Maybe Lazy Yuppies and Hipsters will flock to this antiseptic BOX. I’ll take the person in the store. Why not just get rid off all stores? Most people feel safer having stores in the neighborhood.

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ddgy

Even if his rent stayed the same I doubt he would of profited much leaving things as they are in the store. Sometimes you got to spend money to make money….I am sure he made a good living being open for almost 30 years.

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Sigh.

oh man no. please no. watching another nyc street become a chain housing strip mall is gonna kill me. Why is everyone trying so hard to make nyc look like the suburbs!?

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Anonymous

Neighborhoods change. In this case this is for the better. Remember the LIC of 15-20 years ago? I’d like to forget it…

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MRLIC

I’ll take the LIC of 15-20 years ago any day over this gentrified overpriced monolithic neighborhood. You can;t say it is not overcrowded. It was much emptier 15-20 years ago and safer whether you believe it or not. Just look up COMPSTAT and see how DumBlasio and the NYPD fudge the numbers. King Bloomberg too.

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Anonymous

Really? It was abetter back then? It was an industrial wasteland during the day and crime ridden, full of drugs, and prostitutes by night. Ah those were the days, when you could go for a nice walk in apocalyptic LIC with your children… Give me a break my friend. Stop romanticizing something that provided nothing aside from waste.

sigh.

I am totally fine with Neighborhoods changing, I have watched it happen all my life. But that change should still be true to what NYC is, a melting pot of different and unique offerings, cultures, etc. NOT another block that looks just like every other block in all of Manhattan. I am looking at you Dunkin, Starbucks, Chase. If I wanted to live in a land of chains, I would move anywhere else in the country. Fingers crossed we get something really cool, like a Trini Roti Shop, or something.

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Ugh.

who the eff dislikes this post? Racists? People who wish they lived in CT but cannot afford it? Anyone who is FOR the homogenization of one of the most incredible cities of culture should be hung. Better yet, go lay down in front of that new BQX trolly thingy.

Anonymous

No its not going to be Starbucks. Shitty Indian food at night and they are going to try and copy the same garbage that’s there now for the morning rush.

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big jim

The store looks like it has needed a renovation for at least the last 10 years and is probably having trouble attracting the huge population of “new” LIC residents just due to the look of the place.

If he renovated the place, perhaps he could have had an increase in business allowing him to absorb a rent increase.

I have no idea what the rent increase percentage was and I doubt you do either but a landlord doesn’t want to get rid of a steady commercial rent payer unless the tenant really can’t afford a nudge in rent getting it closer to market rate.

There are apartments over the store. I don’t know the situation but it could be rent controlled tenants paying $60 a month (been there, done that) and needs someone to carry more of the expenses of the building.

Yes, I am a (commercial) landlord. I have good tenants paying 65%-75% of market rate. They pay their rent on time and get yearly increases slightly higher than average and we can all live with that.

Maybe MRLIC or one of you other “greedy landlord” guys should buy the building and continue renting the space to the current tenant at 60% of market rate. Current tenant has failed to change as the neighborhood changed.

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MRLIC

Big Jim, maybe you are a “FAIR” landlord, many are not. Most I have read about don’t even seem to care if their property stays empty. Some people told me the empty storefronts are TAX write offs. I am not sure if this is true. You say you are a commercial landlord. Had you owned a apartment building/condo many of these landlords also try to find ways of getting lower income tenants out. Even the newer buildings with condos/apartments which are called “AFFORDABLE” by the city but are really not try to prevent the lower income tenants from using the amenities of the building, pool, gym etc….Some go as far as giving wealthier tenants a separate entrance (POOR DOOR) NYC stopped this practice from what I read.Just because your income is not higher than another tenants should not mean you can’t use the buildings amenities..

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Fact check

I love the sources this guy credits in his posts. “Some people told me” “I am not sure if this is true” “from what I read”. Haha. It’s like reading a presidential tweet. Many people have told me…

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MRLIC

Yes some people told me. I am not a commercial business landlord. Maybe I am wrong, maybe I am right. Whatever the case it is just one of many that have closed on Vernon Blvd. I guess you would like to see all of them close and nothing come to Vernon because of high rents. This is what is happening all over NYC.. The smaller businesses such as mom and pop’s are being run out and in some cases no business moves there. Why would these GREEDY LANDLORDS want to keep renting to no one instead of someone. This is avery small place we are talking about, I don’t see a sit down restaurant coming there just for space reasons. Wake up already!!!!!!!!!!!!!

Reply
RobLIC

You realize your hero Trump is a pioneer in redeveloping neighborhoods by building for the rich and making it impossible for working people to live in those neighborhoods? And stiffing small contractors who have to sue to get paid?

How some people think a greed, litiginous Landlord President (who built his fortune on NYC government handouts along with Daddy’s money) represent the common people is beyond me!

MRIRONY

So you’re OK with Trump being a greedy landlord that cut heat and water to force out lower income tenants? Or you just voted against your own interests because you can’t think for yourself?

yasss

I enjoyed the fact it wasn’t a pretentious hipster-like store front. Everyone who worked there was very pleasant.
Although i do understand the need to have and maintain a nice image so you are appealing to all consumers in the area.

Where do you own property?

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Anonymous

This place wasnt that good. It was kind of dirty inside and had lackluster smoothies. Just because the place was here for 30 years doesnt mind it should stay another 30. I think the small smoothie/juice kiosk inside the Food Cellar is much better – using all organic products. Just wish they opened earlier than 8am.

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brooklynmc

I liked it for coffee and a bacon egg and cheese sandwich. The bacon was always good and well cooked. No fatty, rubbery bacon. They were always fast and respectful and actually wore gloves when touching food and took them off when touching money. I also enjoyed watching the “old timers”.

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bbwlic

Your point is very true. Places like this stay open when generations stay in a particular neighborhood. Nowadays people move ever couple of years. And business must keep up with the changing neighborhood/times in order to make a profit. You have to keep up with the younger working generation because as much as they say they like “nostalgia” and have respect for the “old timers” they are just going to follow trends and flock to those stores with gimmicks like cattle. Some of this stores yelp reviews were nice but the one where someone posted with a recent pic of a roach in the oatmeal was disgusting. This place also needed a major renovation. I found it very overwhelming (hoarder like). I think many food items on display were purchased from elsewhere and resold. The staff was very nice but nice is not always going to get you business. Much like an apt, they landlord could be nice but if the apt is not updated people stay away.

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Sigh.

This is unfortunate. Their Iced Coffee was great. They were also reasonably priced, much UNLIKE the juice excuse in food cellar. I hope they find a new spot in the hood.

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MRLIC

GREEDY LANDLORDS are chasing this man and other businesses out. Shame on them. Almost 30 years in business there. The Place is practically an institution there.

Reply
Basics

So the landlords are just supposed to keep rent at $900 for 30 years? So as not to be “greedy”? They have costs too. Taxes rise, utilities rise and market dynamics allow these business owners (yes, they own buildings for profit, making them business owners just like the commercial tenants) to charge higher rents over time. They are not running charities. They also have to pay the higher prices for goods and services that we all do on the other end. It only makes sense that higher rents will be the norm when there are more people in the neighborhood and it is growing and flourishing. It’s a good store and I always appreciated a $1.85 egg sandwich. But the reality is, you can’t charge that much and pay the rent. So, you have to either raise prices to make the rent or risk not being able to afford it. It just makes no sense to say, well, we want to keep our prices low cause that’s how it’s always been, when you’re getting squeezed on the other end. Time goes by, things get more expensive, this is how it has always worked. It’s not greed, it’s simple economics.

Reply
MRLIC

Look Trump is not a Saint , I knew that. However he didn’t want OPEN BORDERS as Crooked Hillary did. He wanted a wall which I still support. Illegals get anything they want in the sanctuary city of NY. The taxpayer haas to foot the bill. Mayor DumBlasio & Governor (Corruption) Cuomo spend your tax dollars on them not for legal citizens of the USA.

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MRIRONY

So just to be clear, you voted for a greedy landlord and developer of luxury condos for PRESIDENT, but you think greedy landlords and developer of luxury condos are bad people right? So you admit you voted against your own interests?

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MRLIC

NO, it was only because of his stance on Illegal Immigration.& building up the military. I figured I could deal with him for 4 yrs. I could not vote for Hillary and her DUMB anti -American policies.

DO

Greed. Loss of a sane street to chains and Northside, Brooklyn, tacky. Sorrow for Mr. Park. His antique store around the corner is unique…great for collectors.

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Lisa

With this closure and the wonderful Juniors’s Cafe, my main reasons for being in Long Island City are going. Heartbreaking.

Reply

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