417-prospect-place-121914

Oaxaca Taqueria is prepping to open soon at 417 Prospect Place in Crown Heights close to the Prospect Heights border. The taqueria previously had a spot close by but closed in 2011 because of building issues, the owners told us at the time.

We’re not sure if they’re taking over the small storefront pictured at right, above, or the Spot’s old space on the corner, at left. The Spot was closed when we stopped by this morning and its phone is disconnected.

Workers told us they hope to wrap up construction in a couple weeks. The small chain also has outposts in Park Slope, Williamsburg, and Bed Stuy. It plans to open another location at 71 Hoyt Street in Brooklyn Heights, according to a press release we received from CPEX, which brokered that deal. The New York Times was the first to write about the Crown Heights move. 

Oaxaca Taqueria Coverage [Brownstoner]GMAP

72-ralph-avenue-2-121814

Another bakery is coming to east Bed Stuy. Five-year-old Williamsburg bake shop Cupcakeland is moving and changing its name. Chez Alex is prepping to open this month at 72 Ralph Avenue near Madison, according to its Facebook page.

On the menu will be cupcakes, cookies, banana pudding and other desserts. Its former location, now closed, was 390 Metropolitan Avenue, next to Momofuku Milk Bar.

The neighborhood was formerly starved for fresh baked goods but no longer. Cupcake specialist Sweet Lee’s opened on Ralph and Macon in April. The recently reopened Manny’s sells baked goods and doughnuts made by sister businesses Choice and Dough.

A few blocks away in Stuy Heights, Saraghina opened a bakery in August selling bread, cookies, muffins and other baked goods — but not cupcakes. GMAP

Update: We hear they opened today!

300-malcolm-x-1-121614

The long awaited and highly anticipated remake of the Casablana Cocktail Lounge at 300 Malcolm X Boulevard in Bed Stuy soft opened Friday. The official opening party is Thursday night.

Owners Charles von Herrlich and Jonn Carlson – the artist-owner of Noho’s Von bar and the artist-designer who built Bed-Vyne Brew – kept the Permastone facade but put in new doors and windows (although they’re hard to see under the security bars). Inside, there is a vintage feel and the old Casablanca Lounge sign decorates the bar. Click through for some interior pics we shot through the window this morning.

“Good drinks, tunes and peeps,” according to a neighbor who commented on Facebook.

Anyone been in yet?

Casablanca Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP
(more…)

elsie's 1031 bergen street crown heights 122014

The owner of Crosby Coffee in Crown Heights is starting a doughnut shop nearby at 1031 Bergen Street, where he plans to serve up twists on classic flavors and even a savory doughnut or two, starting in January. Dubbed Elsie’s, the tiny storefront will offer eight to 10 types of doughnuts, pastries, breakfast sandwiches on savory doughnuts, coffee and juices.

Owner Jeremy Mustakas has spent months developing recipes in a commercial kitchen in Queens, and has come up with “playful variations on classic breakfast,” in his words, such as pistachio-vanilla scones and a jelly doughnut filled with fig jam and glazed with ricotta, honey and almonds. There will also be a rosemary doughnut and gluten-free cake doughnuts made with rice flour. Flavors may rotate depending on the season.

When we asked how they’d compare to local favorite Dough, Mustakas explained that his doughnuts would be “a little more recipe-based, and in terms of taste, they are pastry: crispy on the outside, light, fluffy and airy.”

Elsie’s is named after Mustakas’ late grandmother, a native of Naples who loved all things sweet, including zeppoles (aka Italian doughnuts).

Located between Rogers and Nostrand, the shop plans to be open from 7 am to 3 or 4 pm and will offer only window service and delivery. The coffee will come from Plowshares, a roaster based in Hillburn, N.Y., and the dairy from Hudson Valley Creamery. GMAP

397-tompkins-avenue-1-121014

Farm-to-table restaurant Eugene & Co. opened Tuesday after a private party for friends and family the previous evening, a reader who was there told us. The chef of the 44-seat restaurant at 397 Tompkins Avenue in Bed Stuy worked at Le Bernardin and Mary’s Fish Camp, and the owner works for the corporate parent of Dos Caminos and Ruby Foo’s, as we wrote in September. 

Menu items include kale salad, crisp pork belly, a meatloaf sandwich and a cauliflower steak, according to an item in the Times. The restaurant will be open for lunch and dinner, workers told us when we stopped by this morning. Click through to see the interior. Anyone tried it yet?

Farm-to-Table Restaurant Opening on Tompkins in Bed Stuy [Brownstoner] GMAP
Photo below by Eugene & Co.

Update: We just got hold of a menu. Kale salad, salmon rillette, and crispy pork belly are some of the small plates. Entrees are the meatloaf sandwich, a shellfish dish, chicken breast, roasted cauliflower steak, and braised short rib. There are five sides of vegetables, including brussels sprouts, blistered peppers, quinoa salad, and a market vegetable board. There is also a small late-night menu with biscuits and gravy, among other things, and dessert includes milk and cookies and a carrot cupcake. Entrees are $14 to $17.

(more…)

212-greene-avenue-120814

The Finch opened Wednesday at 212 Green Avenue, as Fort Greene Focus was the first to report. The menu changes daily. Last week, dishes included trout with squash and cider sauce, poached hake with turnip chowder, and pork loin and belly with smoked bread pudding and swiss chard for $25 to $30 an entree.

As we mentioned in an earlier story, chef Gabe McMackin previously cooked at Roberta’s, Blue Hill at Stone Barns and Gramercy Tavern. Click through to see the full dinner menu from Thursday.

Anyone try it yet?

Finch Coverage [Brownstoner] GMAP (more…)

167 rogers avenue crown heights 122014

A coffee shop is in the works for the corner of St. Johns Place and Rogers Avenue, right next to the B44 SBS stop. We’ve seen workers renovating the interiors and installing a storefront, and they told us the spot would be a coffee shop. Anyone have any more information?

The building’s main address is 764 St. Johns Place, also known as 167 Rogers Avenue. Above, the Rogers Avenue entrance. Click through to see the St. Johns Place side. GMAP

(more…)

195-smith-street-120414

Yesterday we noticed a green construction shed and a sign proclaiming a brick oven pizza place coming to the old Robin des Bois space at 195 Smith Street, but a little research quickly revealed the sign has been up since 2012!

The longtime owner of the building (not a restaurateur) is busy adding an extension to the rear on the ground floor where the garden used to be, renovating the interior, and changing the two apartments upstairs into four, according to a permit that was issued in February. No idea who would be running the pizza joint — if it’s still on the table — but as Pardon Me For Asking noted two years ago, there are plenty of other places nearby to get a pie. GMAP

245-flatbush-avenue-120314

Thanks to a reader for snapping this photo of Doughnut Plant this morning, which opened today at 245 Flatbush Avenue. This is the Lower East Side doughnut maker’s first Brooklyn outpost.

There is seating inside and the sign on the corner says today’s doughnut flavors include marzipan, citron, gingerbread and panettone. Yum. We might have to check this out in person.

Anyone been in yet?

Signage up for Doughnut Plant on Flatbush in Prospect Heights [Brownstoner]  GMAP

225 rogers avenue crown heights 112014

The owner of Clinton Hill’s Hanson Dry, Chris Buckley, is creating a 1950s-style cocktail bar, Branch Ofc, at 225 Rogers Avenue in Crown Heights. Buckley and his wife Kathryn are in the process of building out the space, which will include a backyard. They said they hope to open this month.

The theme will be “diner meets cocktail lounge,” according to a press release, and the interior will feature green-and-rose-colored vinyl flooring, chrome fixtures, steel chairs, a pinball machine and antique cash registers. The 75-seat bar will serve signature cocktails ($11), five draft beers ($7), four types of paninis and snacks such as chips, pickles and cookies.

They’ll be open from 3 pm to 3 or 4 am seven days a week. The backyard will close at 10:45 pm on weekdays and 11:45 pm on weekends.

The state approved the bar’s liquor license last month. We’re glad to see more businesses opening south of Eastern Parkway in Crown Heights, especially on Rogers. GMAP

486-halsey-street-112014

Bar Lunatico opens with live music, wine and tequila Friday at 486 Halsey in Bed Stuy. The opening party in the small space, which has been empty for some time (and looked as though it was used as housing until recently) will feature musicians Mauro Refosco and Guilherme Monteiro playing Brazilian forró music, according to a flyer.

The business describes itself as “a little space that would feel like home for musicians, lunatics, and lovers of the good things in life.”

The bar will open at 5 pm December 5, and the live music will start around 8 pm. Click through to see the flyer. GMAP (more…)

324-empire-boulevard-112414

After more than a year of preparation, the Lefferts Community Food Co-op opened Sunday at 324 Empire Boulevard in Prospect Lefferts Gardens. They have produce from Miller’s Crossing and meat from Herondale Farm, according to Brokelyn, which was the first to write about the opening. “Most of their vendors are the same ones Park Slope Food Coop uses so we expect the selection to be pretty similar once they’re fully up and running,” said Brokelyn.

Prospect-Lefferts Co-op Opens Sunday With Open Shopping Day [Brokelyn] GMAP
PLG Food Co-op Opening Soon [Brownstoner]
Photo by Lefferts Community Food Co-op