Natural Wine Bar Will Replace Bed Stuy’s Georges-André Vintage Café

Photo by Susan De Vries

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Beloved Bed Stuy cafe and community gathering spot Georges-André Vintage Café has closed, we saw when we stopped by last week. The owner is moving back to France, we hear, and the space will become a wine bar.

Kiki & Romeo will serve small plates and only natural wines from all over the world. It will be helmed by partners Nadir Khelifi and Stephane Filippi, who own Manny’s Wine Shop down the street at 562 Halsey. Khelifi also owns Bed Stuy wine store Bouchon and previously owned restaurant Cafe Lafayette in Fort Greene, which closed in 2017.

Dishes will include charcuterie, French deviled eggs and foie gras. “Everything will go with the wines we have,” which will be completely different from the ones at Manny’s and Bouchon, Khelifi told Brownstoner. Originally, the duo planned to keep the cafe format in the morning, but the space is too small to do both, and Kiki & Romeo will be open in the evenings only.

The Manny’s Wine Shop space in 2015, when it was Stuy Bar. Photo by Barbara Eldredge

The decor will be similar. The bar and the big couch and lounge area on the left are staying, and new tables and chairs are going in on the right hand side. A new tile floor was installed last week.

It will open in perhaps one or two months, as soon as the liquor license comes through, said Khelifi. (The space, at 558 Halsey Street, already had a liquor license under the old business.)

“We are super happy and excited,” said Khelifi. “It’s going to be pretty mellow. No loud music all around.”

The wine bar is named after two horses that belong to the cousin of a good friend of Khelifi’s. The cousin is a natural wine maker in the Loire Valley whose farm is entirely horse powered, said Khelifi.

The Georges-André Vintage Café quickly became a neighborhood favorite for its coffee, authentic French pastries from Ceci Cela in Nolita, children’s play area and cozy decor when it opened in 2013. It was furnished in funky vintage finds such as a chartreuse green velvet sofa, children’s books and games, and a blender with rainbow-colored buttons that held business cards.

A former personal trainer, owner Karine Petitnicolas, known by all as SuperFrench, also for a time ran a vintage furniture and clothing store and, later, a movement studio for adults and children across the street. She planned to turn it into a lounge serving beer and wine in the evenings, DNAinfo reported in 2016, and procured a liquor license, but the plans never came to pass.

212 patchen

Manny’s in 2014. Photo by Cate Corcoran

Meanwhile, the original Manny’s, a casual restaurant and cafe located nearby at 212 Patchen Avenue, also closed up shop this month. Opened in 2012 by another set of Bed Stuy-based French entrepreneurs, the husband and wife duo behind Choice Lafayette and Dough, it went through a series of ownership changes over the years and was briefly connected to Manny’s Wine Shop. Most recently, it was run by Sheila Akbar, one of the co-founders of Bed Stuy Fresh and Local next door. Both spaces are now empty.

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