A beloved Jamaican patty purveyor will stay in his Prospect Heights pastry shop despite a landlord–tenant flare-up that almost resulted in another real estate turnover near the soon-to-open Barclays Center.
Paul Haye, owner of Christie’s Jamaican Patties on Flatbush Avenue and Sterling Place, claims he struck a deal with landlord, who last fall sued him over rent, putting the 45-year-old eatery’s future in jeopardy.
Property owner Lina Feng claimed the Caribbean food joint owed her $20,000 in fees for late rent and other bills, but she dropped the lawsuit in exchange for a $20,000 check and a rent hike of $1,300 per month, according to Haye.
“Thank God we were able to come up with the money,” he said. “In the end, it’s quite foolhardy to be fighting with your landlord; she’s always going to win.”
Haye admitted he paid rent late on occasion, but said his landlord invented the $20,000 figure in order to pressure him out and make way for high-end retailers that would cater to a stadium crowd.
But he claims writing a check was a better solution than a drawn-out court battle.
Feng — who came under fire last year for welcoming a controversial planned sports bar to the neighborhood — declined to talk about the compromise, saying, “No comment. Goodbye,” before hanging up the phone.
Before the resolution of the food fight, which was first reported by Here’s Park Slope, neighborhood patty-lovers rallied behind Christie’s, saying Haye’s $2 flaky meat-filled treat — which one online reviewer called “the best damn patties on the planet” — is one of the area’s best and cheapest lunches.
Haye hopes his pastry shop will find new fans among the hoopsters who flock to Nets games this fall, but he fears he might struggle to cover the extra $1,300 in rent he has agreed to pay.
“We’re here for the time being, ” Haye said. “We’re just holding on.”
Reach reporter Natalie O'Neill at email@example.com or by calling her at (718) 260-4505.