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High Rent Too Unsavory for Mattituck Subway Owner, Puts Shop on Market

Jim Hooghkirk says he can’t keep up with his rent and other bills and needs to move on.

After three years of trying to keep the Mattituck Subway afloat, owner Jim Hooghkirk has decided to jump ship and move to Florida.

Hooghkirk blames the high rent - he pays $4,300 a month to Cardinale Management, which manages the Mattituck Shopping Plaza.

“I’m falling behind on rent and a lot of bills — I have no choice but to leave," he said.

Hooghkirk, a Riverhead native who used to run a rooming house in Patchogue for those down on their luck, bought the Subway three years ago from a previous franchiser who had opened the store seven years ago and ran it for four — and the Subway was successful during that time before Bahia, a Latin-style restaurant which closed last year, moved in next door.

“I had the money from the hotel when I sold it and figured I’d buy another job and try to make a go of it here — even though everyone told me I was crazy,” Hooghkirk said. “It was tough in the beginning but not nearly as bad as it is now.”

Related:

North Fork Bagel Cafe Closes in the Mattituck Shopping Plaza

Bye-Bye Bahia - Will You Miss It?

Hooghkirk said that during the window between the closure of Bahia last September and the opening of Big City Burgers Atomic Wings in late January, sales shot up significantly. But he says that during the past few weeks since the burger shop opened, people have once again lost interest in $5 Footlongs.

“I just need to move on,” he said. “My family is already in Florida waiting for me. I’ll see if I can sell it, but it doesn’t look likely. I’ve had 18 inquiries so far and then minute I mention the rent — they run.”

Cardinale Management representatives were not immediately available for comment.

Will you miss the Mattituck Subway? Tell us in the comment boxes below.

Erin Schultz (Editor) February 17, 2012 at 06:11 PM
Dianne Prendergast said on Facebook: "their rent is RIDICULOUS"
Erin Schultz (Editor) February 17, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Susan Ippolito said on Facebook: "And everyone wonders why people want/need/have to move off the Island!!"
Erin Schultz (Editor) February 17, 2012 at 07:24 PM
Bill Bladykas said on Facebook: "Jim what part of the rent didn't you understand when you signed the lease"
Erin Schultz (Editor) February 17, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Dan Russo said on Facebook:"Seems to be aa pattern in this shopping center."
Erin Schultz (Editor) February 17, 2012 at 07:25 PM
Kenny Burns said on Facebook: "Plus he has to pay yearly franchise fees I believe? That's a lot of $5 footlongs just to pay rent n franchise fees, not to mention workers salaries, etc..."
Erin Schultz (Editor) February 17, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Stephen Husak said on Facebook: "Its not the rent its bad business plans. Usually with a franchise you dont see this. Thats why they get franchise fees not just for brand regognition but for expert accounting and business planning."
Erin Schultz (Editor) February 17, 2012 at 09:00 PM
Sandy Beech said on Facebook: "Its ridiculous..."
Tom February 17, 2012 at 11:32 PM
I can hear the new jingle now... 20... 20... 20 dollar foot longs! Hey Cardinale, I don't know if your rent is too large, but what I do know is that your parking spaces are too small. Add a store, re-line the lot with smaller spaces. Great business model.
Erin Schultz (Editor) February 18, 2012 at 04:20 AM
Nancy Cocks said on Facebook: "When Giancarlo couldn't make the rent , you knew THE RENT IS TOO DAMN HIGH!"
Erin Schultz (Editor) February 18, 2012 at 04:20 AM
Kenny Burns said on Facebook: "It's the rent when they start you out at a certain amount and than they INCREASE it year after year...he did it to someone in Jamesport that I know, till they said, no thank you...Cardinale doesn't care if half the place is empty...he obviouosly would rather make x amount instead of x+y=more $...not sayin he should be charging no rent, after all he's a business man, but let's not get greedy."
hdhouse February 18, 2012 at 01:13 PM
If they got expert accounting from Subway one would think that this train wreck would be spotted in advance. Subway is after the fee. This isn't McDonald's you know.
indy February 18, 2012 at 02:24 PM
Ha! I didn't answer the "Who's going to replace North Fork Bagels" survey because I feel that no responsible business would pay Cardinale rent.
dave allison February 19, 2012 at 06:18 PM
Cardinale charges the high rents so his family can have their own business (Daniel Gale, Renees, Chaps) for next to nothing. Someday soon the Mattituck Plaza will be a ghost town.
Erin Schultz (Editor) February 21, 2012 at 04:41 AM
Amy Azzara Cirincione said on Facebook: "‎@ Bill, the part where your rent is increased as your business increases. That is not fair. He increases you to what he thinks you should pay by the business you do. and each year it is different. That part.... :)"
Jack Tors February 22, 2012 at 10:57 AM
According to "BlockShopper" Cardinale's real property tax on the property is $41,188.62. Subway alone was paying their taxes on the entire shopping center in less than 10 months. Dave A, they also own the movie theater business.
anonymous February 22, 2012 at 04:17 PM
Everyone in the cardinale family are hard workers. As a family friend I know that each and every buismess owned by a cardinale minds their own business in the community, works hard and earns every bit of what they make. Before you go bashing their family, I'd suggest you get your facts straight and find something better to do with your lives.
matt February 22, 2012 at 04:33 PM
agreed with that person^ i've know the cardinales for years and they are a great family. Worked hard to get where they are. Don't you have anything better to do than talk about someone else's family? all their stores are beautiful aswel
Willard Brimley February 22, 2012 at 05:13 PM
$41,188.62 in taxes for the entire shopping center? Town should take a look at that.

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