Low end discount stores; the meaning of "phat" — Brooklynian

Low end discount stores; the meaning of "phat"


  • Wait, did Phat Alberts close? The one that was across the street? That's a huge store.
  • No it did not. Part of the building is a gym. Part is still Albert's. The building is huge. Albert has many other tenants in addition to PF.
  • edited September 2014
    So noted. It is merely much smaller now.

    Albert is not as phat or as fat as he used to be.
  • I haven't been there for a while, but AFAIK Phat Albert hasn't been reduced in size. It never occupied more than the first floor.
  • edited September 2014
    When I was last there, it occupied much of the building:   http://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20131120/prospect-lefferts-gardens/planet-fitness-moving-into-phat-albert-discount-shop-on-flatbush-avenue

    ....back when "phat" was not usually a derogatory term.
  • Yeah I'm sure they are occupying same amount of space as they did before Planet Fitness. Any who, now we've beaten that horse, I am so excited about having more dining choices in our 'hood. And btw, I was never aware that "phat" had ever been a derogatory term.
  • edited September 2014
    The definition of Phat seems to vary by the individual. From about 1983 - 1995, I remember it standing for "Pussy, Hips, Ass and Tits". Frequently heard in this context, "yo, that bitch is phat!", wherein the woman of the speaker's affection was wearing very little clothing and was believed to be sexually available.

    Then, from about 1995 - 2005, it meant the equivalent of hot, cool, da bomb, etc. It no longer referred to a woman's curves. As a result, the term was applied to women, men, and places that were fun.

    Since around 2005, the term evolved again, and seems to have a similar meaning as "ghetto fabulous". http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=ghetto+fabulous

    Urban dictionary does a pretty good job covering the various defintions of phat, and covers it over several pages:

    I am sure it meant different things to different people over the same time period, based on clique, geographic region, etc.

    Phat Albert:
    My memory of Phat Albert occupying the majority of the building stems from around 1997. Back then, I remember it as being a pretty good place for local teenagers to buy name brand clothing and sneakers. Over time, it seems to have lost that market and become a deep discounter. When I was last in the store (approx 2008) its quality and service was below Kmart and Target. It was like Caldor, Zayre, Rock Bottom, Ames, Family Dollar and Dollar General. Most of these stores are now gone.

    It would not surprise me if the owner closed what remains of the store soon to pursue a more profitable use.

    Bluebird Cafe:
    Yes, it does look lovely. I hope to stop in sometime next week. It would not surprise me if it is one of several sit down restaurants on that part of Flatbush by 2016.
  • "When I was last in the store (approx 2008) its quality and service was below Kmart and Target. It was like Caldor, Zayre, Rock Bottom, Ames, Family Dollar and Dollar General" 

    WAY below Kmart and Target. Of the others you list, I sometimes shop at Family Dollar and Dollar General, when I'm in Vermont, and their service too is much better than PAs.
  • How does PH compare to Dollar Tree or Dales?

    ....these are places that tend to forego hangers because bins are easier.
  • Never heard of them
  • They are small chains, located mostly outside of the NYC area.

    ...we should probably return to discussing the upscale Bluebird Cafe.
  • edited September 2014
    They are small chains, located mostly outside of the NYC area.

    There is a Deals (which is under the Dollar Tree umbrella) on Rogers Avenue and Clarkson. (It is near a NB B44 SBS stop!) There is another one on Flatbush near Avenue D (off of the B41 local stop at Avenue D/Ditmas Avenue, although one can walk back from the Limited stop at Foster is one wanted too).

    I like Dollar Tree for certain items. One can get glasses and individual dishes there for a dollar. Individual bottles of soda are also cheaper there than at Duane Reade/Walgreens. The atmosphere is also a little less depressing than the atmosphere at Phat Albert. One can also occasionally find a shelf-stable carton of soy milk in there. 

    Phat Albert has its place in the community, as would a Dollar Tree.
  • edited September 2014
    Jacks is one of my personal favorite NYC discount stores. ...but they are organized. Maybe they could buy the existing stock of PA, rent the space from Albert and allow him to retire.

  • edited September 2014
    I like Jack's as well. The 32nd Street location has really expanded over the past few years.

    As for Phat Albert, occasionally you can find a really good deal...closeouts from Macy's a department store or Target a discount chain, as long as they are in working order. My main beef with Phat Albert is with the checkout lines.

    I think Phat Albert had another branch on Clarkson near where the Deals is. 

  • edited September 2014
    Yes, I meant to write Deals above, but instead wrote Dales.

    The absolute bottom of this market was the flea market that used to take place at the Queens Aqueduct Racetrack. Super low end stuff that was removed from the shelves of reputable dollar stores years ago, now super cheap.

    Any one know if it disappeared when they opened the casino?

  • FYI for all the ladies out there- went into PA a few months ago for the first time- they have a great selection of sports bras for CHEAP. Good brands, too! 

    Don't knock 'em til you try 'em! 
  • edited September 2014
    There's a bunch of Deals in Brooklyn now: I've also shopped at the one on Fulton and Albany, the one in Canarsie Plaza by the newish BJs, and the one on Utica and I. According to their website, there's also one in Crown Heights at Utica and St. Johns. They're great for a lot of things but (for me) especially party goods. 

    And yes, @whynot_31, the old Aqueduct vendors moved their flea market ... to Fountain Ave. https://www.facebook.com/pages/Aquaduck-Flea-Market/135160023236494?sk=info
  • @nothinlikeabklyngirl -

    I am glad to hear the flea market still happens, but perplexed that you don't seem to be inviting us to the parties you are throwing.

This discussion has been closed.