Blue Goose Still Closed, But Not For Long, Says Owner

By+graduation%2C+the+Blue+Goose+Tavern%E2%80%99s+barred%2C+graffiti-covered+exterior+will+have+been+transformed+into+a+functional+bar.+%0A%28Kris+Venezia%2FThe+Ram%29

By graduation, the Blue Goose Tavern’s barred, graffiti-covered exterior will have been transformed into a functional bar. (Kris Venezia/The Ram)

 

By graduation, the Blue Goose Tavern’s barred, graffiti-covered exterior will have been transformed into a functional bar.  (Kris Venezia/The Ram)
By graduation, the Blue Goose Tavern’s barred, graffiti-covered exterior will have been transformed into a functional bar. (Kris Venezia/The Ram)

By KRIS VENEZIA

Simon Kajtazi, owner of the Blue Goose Tavern, planned to open his bar in early March, but as any Fordham student who has walked down Hoffman Street knows, the doors are still closed.

Kajtazi said New York City bureaucracy got in the way, as getting necessary permits from the Department of Buildings took longer to obtain than originally expected.

“What’s frustrating is that I thought the permits would take less time,” Kajtazi said. “It’s not like it used to be [a decade ago] when Simon’s Deli opened, when it was easier [to get permits].”

Kajtazi said he finally received the green light to start work on Tuesday afternoon when the final permit from the New York City Department of Buildings arrived. Now the big question is, when will the Blue Goose Tavern become available to the Fordham community?

Kajtazi hopes to begin pouring beer and tequila shots during Spring Weekend, and he said at the very latest, the bar will be ready by the third week of May.

“It will definitely be open before graduation, that’s a billion percent for sure,” he said.

Some rumors spread through the Fordham University Rose Hill campus that Kajtazi had financial problems and was asking students to invest as a way to raise necessary funds. However, he said there is no truth to that gossip.

The owner of the Blue Goose Tavern also received criticism on social media, when the bar did not open in early March as planned.  A few people took to Twitter and accused Kajtazi of ripping students off with the Blue Goose Pre-Paid Card, a promotion which offered perks to those who bought the VIP card.

A Facebook page, Fordham Partytime, criticized the Blue Goose Tavern by sarcastically advertising a made-up event the second week of March.

“Grand Opening of the Blue Goose Tavern this weekend! VIP card holders get unlimited free drinks from 9:00 p.m.-9:15 p.m. Still want to become a VIP? Just slip all the money you have in your wallet under the door. You might notice that the windows are boarded up and it still looks like a rundown barbershop, but don’t worry, that’s just the theme. Doors open at 11. #byob #NotABar,” the Facebook page joked.

Kajtazi said he is not scamming Fordham students and the bar will be completed in about a month. He also vowed to fully reimburse anyone who wants his or her money back for the Blue Goose Pre-Paid Card.

“Later this week I will be making calls and posting on Facebook so that [students who want a refund] can get their money back,” Kajtazi said. “Even people who take their money back, they will still get compensated extra just for going out and trusting and believing in me. Nobody is going to pay to get in if they applied for the Blue Goose Card, and even on special nights, they will not get charged.”

Kajtazi said those who purchased the card will also be invited to a party at the Blue Goose Tavern the day before it officially opens. Students who bought the Pre-Paid Blue Goose Card, and do not ask for a refund, will still get the $350 worth of credit ,which comes with the $200 card.

Victor Bachelot, GSB ’15, paid for the card in February when the deal was first offered. He said he was looking forward to using the card this semester, but does not regret spending the $200.

“I’m frustrated because [The Blue Goose Tavern] was said to open months ago and we’re still going to have to wait an additional month,” Bachelot said. “But, I’m still happy to have the card because I’ll still be able to use it this summer and next year.”

But, not everyone who bought the Pre-Paid Blue Goose Card has the luxury of another year. Christopher Grande, GSB ’14, plans to ask for his money back after investing in the card.

“I will be asking for a refund especially as a senior,” Grande said. “If I was going to have another year or two at Fordham, then I would have stuck with it.”

While Grande is disappointed that the Blue Goose Tavern was unable to open in early March, he has no hard feelings toward owner Simon Kajtazi.

“I think [the Blue Goose Tavern] would have been a nice change of scenery and the deal [for the Blue Goose Pre-Paid Card] seemed pretty sweet at the time,” he said. “At this point though, [the card] is not worth it for me, and as long as I am getting a refund then no harm, no foul.”

When construction of the Blue Goose Tavern finishes, there will be one change to the original plan. Kajtazi wanted to put an island bar in the center as a creative difference from other pubs in the neighborhood, but he had to scrap the idea.

Instead, Kajtazi said the Blue Goose Tavern will have an approximately 24 foot bar on the right, some chairs and tables spread throughout the space and bathrooms on the left.

Kajtazi said a majority of the construction will be finished in about two weeks now that he has the building permits, and he hopes this year’s graduating class will get the chance to visit the bar at least once or twice.

“I feel bad for the seniors who won’t have a lot of time with the place,” he said. “But the juniors going to be seniors, and the sophomores going to be juniors who are over 21, will have a place to go.

“There will be a lot of specials, and it will be worth the wait.”

Tri-Bar will become Tri-Bar once again, but students have to wait a little longer for the Blue Goose Tavern to open its doors.