Thursday, August 12, 2010


Sasha, co-owner of The Oak and the Iris Cafe with her husband Rodrigo, has responded to people's e-mails asking her why Yoshie's and Miss Katie's sing-a-longs will no longer be held at O&I.

She writes that
Yoshie canceled his sing-a-longs because he was too busy to continue holding them.

She says that the decision to cancel Miss Katie's sing-a-longs was an
unhappy one for her, and she regrets that parents feel disappointed. Miss Katie's sing-a-longs were Miss Katie's events, for which the cafe provided space. Sasha has contacted a friend of hers--the owner of Kaleidoscope (1519 10th Avenue, at the corner of 16th Street)--and her friend is willing to provide space for Miss Katie's sing-a-longs.

The sing-a-longs, Sasha explains, were attracting twenty-five children, each accompanied by a parent or caregiver and a stroller, making the cafe crowded to the point of being unsafe. At most of the sing-a-longs, the cafe's property suffered damage: in the past month, two chairs were broken,
dishes were broken, books were torn, a child opened the drink refrigerator and threw bottled drinks on the floor, and cereal boxes were sent rolling around on the floor.

In addition, the cafe's regular customers weren't going to the cafe on the afternoons of the sing-a-longs. Sales during those afternoons totaled only $15. Out of the $5 per person that Miss Katie charged, the cafe received between $3 and $8.
Cleaning up afterward was time-consuming for the cafe's staff. Sasha says that for two years, she tried to think of the sing-a-longs as being similar to charity events for the community, but the sing-a-longs had turned into a financial loss for the business.

For now, the cafe continues to offer a musical story time on Wednesday afternoons that is geared toward babies and one-year-olds. It's possible that a children's art class will be held at O&I, with a limit of ten children, first come first served.

The Oak and the Iris Cafe continues to welcome children. The cafe is built around families, as evidenced by the children's play area and the children's menu.

The Oak and The Iris Cafe
2826 Fort Hamilton Parkway (corner of E. 4th Street)
(718) 208-7713