Chubby’s Deli on the Corner of Boulevard and Prairie is no more. The location, which has housed a deli for more than 100 years has been bought out by the Bieber family who reside in Suffern.
The location is being transformed in B-Balls Meatballs which will retain the deli component but also will be serving Lance Beiber’s apparently famous meatballs. (I wouldn’t know if they are famous or not but I’ll get to that part in a moment.)
The process of starting a business in the State of New York is arduous at best. There are state, county, town and village laws, rules and ordinances to comply with and depending upon the type of business, there could also be a few federal regulations thrown into the mix as well.
The Governor is taking steps to encourage entrepreneurism in the State of New York. I for one am convinced that forward progress and economic growth in this country will come from small and mid-sized businesses over the next 10 to 15 years. Big business has already outsourced millions of jobs overseas and I don’t see anyone providing an incentive to reverse this trend any time soon. Bonuses and multi-million dollar stock grants are at stake after all.
Walking around the village of Suffern I have heard from a number of business owners about the rules and regulations that they weren’t aware of which in some cases delayed the opening of their new enterprises by weeks and sometimes months. Other business people have told me that they have been subjected to fines and other punitive measures. In most cases, it wasn’t that people did not want to not comply; it was a case of not knowing what they had to do or that they weren’t in compliance.
The Bieber’s told me that the Village of Suffern has been very responsive and easy to work with. The Building Inspector has been helpful and the Village Clerk’s office is on top of everything. Apparently this isn’t always the case in many other areas of Rockland County, across the state and hasn't always been the case in Suffern either.
One merchant who opened up a food service establishment in Suffern earlier this year complained about the fact that when the fire inspector showed up to inspect the fire suppression system, the installer was supposed to be there. The installer didn’t tell the owners this and as a result, the inspection and the opening had to be delayed for yet another week. One can’t blame the fire inspector, he’s following the rules. The blame lies in the lack of information that is readily available.
The Bieber’s used Suffern Chamber of Commerce member Campbell Fire Protection who told them about the inspection procedure and was on hand for the inspection.
There should be a state-level centralized database containing this information. If it was based upon an interview tree, county, local and even federal regulations could be accessed in order to compile a roadmap for potential business owners, complete with the required forms and a realistic timeline.
If the state were to go one step further, it could make a huge difference in the turnaround time it currently takes to get a new business up and running while at the same time also making the state more efficient. What if processing updates were included as well? Business owners could check on the status of their applications and paperwork and state agencies could update this information in real time. Missing a document? Such a system could not only alert the applicant but could also allow the applicant to submit the missing documents as well.
If New York State is serious about business as an economic driver, this type of user-friendly system would be an investment that would pay off in spades.
Back to meatballs in general and Lance Bieber’s allegedly famous meatballs--B-Balls Meatballs in particular.
I love meatballs. I love good meatballs so much that I call both of my children meatballs on a regular basis. Unlike Archie Bunker’s derogatory term for his son-in-law “Meathead”, meatball is to me, a term of endearment.
The store will be serving their meatballs ‘busted’ meaning that I guess (I have to guess because I still don’t know because they still aren't open) they will be smushed when you order a sandwich.
Kelly Bieber, Lance’s wife is a very active member of the R.P. Connor PTA. At January’s PTA meeting, Kelly told Suffern Mayor Dagan LaCorte and me that the store was scheduled to open on February 1.
My wife is a very good meatball maker in her own right so I am somewhat spoiled when it comes to the spherical culinary delights.
Why all the fuss over a meatball? The humble meatball, subject of song, verse and even a movie has a number of components that must be carefully and artfully incorporated in order to not upset the culinary balance which if upset, would in turn designate said meatball to mere mortal meatball status.
In order to attain the often elusive immortal meatball status the type of meat used, ingredients other than meat, texture, taste, size, cooking method and of course gravy must all be taken into consideration.
Let’s end the debate right now—that red, tasty tomato substance that Italians serve with pasta is called gravy. Sauce is a food snobbologist’s term if it’s put on pasta except of course if they bought it in a jar in which case you can call it anything you want to except gravy. Sauce is also the correct term if it’s being put on a pizza. Putting meat into the gravy? It’s called ‘gravy meat’ not sauce meat.
Italians put all kinds of meat into the gravy including braciole—one of my personal favorites after meatballs. By the way, snobbologist is my term for those snooty people who can’t tell the difference between sauce and gravy.
Back to B-Balls meatballs…
So Kelly Bieber gets me, meatball aficionado extraordinaire, all worked up about the new meatball shop that she and her husband are opening and says it’ll be open on February 1st so I put it into my calendar.
February 1, 2012 was a Wednesday and that morning I got an alert—“B-Balls Meatballs is opening today!!”
Wanting to beat the crowd and all, I had a second alert scheduled for 11:45. Meatball heaven here I come!!
When I turned onto Boulevard from Washington Avenue, the store came into view. The first thing I noticed was that there was no sign on the building—one must apply to the zoning board to get their sign approved.
Perhaps not all was lost—maybe they didn’t have their sign yet.
As I got closer, I noticed that the paper was still covering up their windows—perhaps they were having a soft launch—you know, perfect the systems before allowing the masses to flood in.
I parked my car and approached the door—which was locked.
I saw the ‘Closed’ sign in the window.
There would be no meatballs for me on February 1st nor would there be meatballs for anyone else that day either.
Inspections, permits and other administrative red tape had all conspired against me.
The drool marks and scratches on the store’s front windows?
The constant emails, phone calls and pleas? Mine too.
I have even appealed to the neighbors hoping that perhaps they would have some pull but to no avail.
I understand that the Biebers are trying to build a great store that attracts the likes of Guy Fieri from Diners, Drive-Ins and Dives into Suffern for a visit. Their menu has a number of inventive names for various items which themselves could help to make the place a landmark.
All I want is my B-Balls meatball sandwich.
The Acura NSX commercial with Jerry Seinfeld, the Soup Nazi and Jay Leno on Super bowl Sunday—four days after my hopes of meatball heaven were dashed, gave me an idea.
Now at T-plus thirteen days and counting into my meatball ordeal; all will be forgiven, the delays, the dashed hopes of meatball nirvana, everything, I am prepared to wipe the slate clean but only if I get the first B-Balls Meatballs sandwich.