Quickly Sign Removed, Planning Dept. Investigating Second Irving Street Chain Retailer

Quickly Sign Removed, Planning Dept. Investigating Second Irving Street Chain Retailer
By Walter Thompson - Published on June 08, 2015.

Since the Planning Department cited the new Quickly bubble tea shop at 716 Irving St. for violating the city's chain retail regulations, the store has closed and the illuminated Quickly logo has been removed. According to Planning, the business owners claimed not to be a formula retail company when permits were submitted and used the name "Irving Cafe" when applying for permits.

When we stopped by this afternoon, the store was closed for business and the Quickly signage had been removed. The storefront now bears that name "Irving Cafe" on its awning.

Planning said it wants the store formerly known as Quickly to restart the permit application process with health, building inspection and conditional use. If the store doesn't want to be considered a chain retailer, it will also need to remove several other elements associated with chains, such as a proprietary color scheme, employee uniforms, and Quickly's corporate menu. As we previously reported, no merchants or neighbors were notified that Quickly was moving in, another violation of Planning's guidelines.

Thanks to a reader tip from Peter R., we've learned that Planning has initiated a separate enforcement action received a complaint about 646 Irving and has opened an investigation. (Update: No notice of enforcement has been issued.)

According to a permit filed on March 30th, the owners of 646 Irving renovated the space for a new restaurant that included a new bathroom, kitchen, plumbing and electrical work. Located between Amazing Fantasy Comics and Naan 'n Curry, the storefront has seen many different types of businesses over the years; in the late 1950s, it was Fred's Hobby Shop. In the 1970s, 646 Irving was Memory Lane bookstore. Most recently, the space was a lunch/brunch dining area for Naan 'n Curry.

A member of Planning's Code Enforcement team visited the site on June 5th. The building's owner has 15 days to respond to a complaint or come into compliance. So far, we don't know the name of the new chain store moving in, but the property appears to be owned by the Ludmila Reeves Trust and the Mark Wachter Trust.

According to a neighboring merchant, the construction crews he spoke to at 646 Irving wouldn't disclose any details about the incoming business, but he'd heard from more than one party that a bubble tea shop was taking occupancy. Once we have more information about the business proposed for 646 Irving, we'll update this story.