The Gristmill Restaurant Opens in Park Slope -- Jake Novick-Finder

Park Slope’s 5th Avenue is getting a new seasonal American restaurant with a wood-fired oven at its center, a Brownstoner reader has told us. We initially thought it would be the high-end, custom-built Stefano Ferrara oven used by the space’s previous tenant, the pizza spot Brooklyn Central, which closed last summer. But a representative for the restaurant told Brownstoner there is a new one, also custom-built, on its way. (more…)


The long-anticipated Flemish brasserie Witlof from Radegast Hall’s owners opened at 292 Bedford Avenue two weeks ago. When Brownstoner happened by Friday night, the restaurant was doing a brisk business, with patrons spilling out to tables on the sidewalk.

The restaurant’s polish and classic decor, with distressed iron decorative panels and Edwardian-style windows with gold lettering, is a big change for this corner. The venue’s prominent corner entrance is once again elegant, after decades of being boarded up and covered in graffiti. (more…)

Carroll Gardens Bar Fawkner

A new falcon-themed bar is opening at 191 Smith Street in Carroll Gardens this Saturday, September 19. Created by the team behind Gowanus’s Bell House and Park Slope’s Union Hall, Fawkner is, according to a press release, “Falconry meets exceptional bar food and craft beer in a casual setting.”

The 2,300-square-foot space has a 25-foot bar, fireplace, nooks and a backyard. Menu items include a fried chicken Sandwich and boudin blanc. Fawkner’s interior design is partially inspired by wings of the American Museum of Natural History and 1940s-era travel advertisements. (more…)


A Brownstoner reader emailed us this juicy tidbit about the bar and restaurant replacing Celestino at 562 Halsey Street in Bed Stuy:

I have some news for East-Bed Stuy/ Stuy Heights readers. My neighbor, my wife and I passed by the old Celestino location on Halsey and Stuyvesant ave on Monday night and to our surprise the lights were on! We went in and had a drink. The bartender and someone else who was possibly the owner/manager were very nice and welcoming. We were told that the space is a bar (full liquor license) that will eventually serve small plates/tapas and is tentatively called “Stuy Bar.” To our eyes, the interior/exterior have not been changed since it was Celestino.



The owner of Chez Oskar and Lola in Fort Greene, painter Charlotta Jansen, has bought the building at 373 Decatur Street in Bed Stuy and plans to turn the retail space into a restaurant.

An LLC bought the property from the longtime owner for $1,550,000 in July, public records show. The same month, the former owner filed an application with the building department to “renovate eating and drinking place. No change to use, egress or occupancy.” (more…)

UMD Urgent Care Brooklyn Heights Coming to Montague Street

Empty no more! Another long-vacant storefront on Montague Street is showing signs of life. When Brownstoner walked past just the other day, we saw that a UMD Urgent Care will soon occupy 109 Montague.

The location was previously a Crumbs cupcake shop. The bakery closed abruptly in June of 2014 just before the chain filed for bankruptcy. For a year, the storefront languished.

Original California Taqueria accused of rent nonpayment

Cobble Hill’s Original California Taqueria is known by locals for its nachos and namesake California-style burritos — and for allegedly not paying rent in seven years. Landlord Ramon Palermo claimed in 2013 the eatery at 187 Court Street owed him $312,000 in back rent, a sum which Palermo advertised on a sign attached to the top of his blue Subaru Forester.

“CALIFORNIA TAQUERIA Continues to ABUSE the Landlord: ‘WWII VET.’ REFUSES TO PAY RENT…OWES $312,000,” the sign read, according to an article in the New York Daily News at the time.

While business remains active at the 25-year-old Mexican restaurant, its future is in question. As it happens, the building was recently listed for sale. Asking $3,850,000, the 2,318-square-foot mixed-use building lists two first-floor retail units and one second-floor, three-bedroom, two-bath apartment with a terrace.



A Caribbean-themed bar with all sorts of inventive cocktails opened in late July at 419 Tompkins Avenue in Bed Stuy.

Lovers Rock is across the street from BBQ joint Peaches Hothouse and around the corner from Bed Vyne Cocktail but its immediate block is mostly residential and, at the moment, teaming with the construction of big apartment buildings at 410 Tompkins and 420 Tompkins.


Macri Park Williamsburg closed

Williamsburg dive bar Macri Park — which hosts weekly drink-and-draw events and drag queen bingo at 462 Union Avenue — closed last night with no prior warning, just a chalkboard sign out front that read, “Last day for Macri Park. Let’s Drink.”

According to Next Magazine, it will reopen on September 11 as a gay bar. (more…)