Today The Eagle points to a Courier Life article that says the steeples on Sheepshead Bay’s 142-year-old United Methodist Church will not be demolished. The church’s pastor says the congregation brought in a new contractor who presented an affordable plan for preserving the steeples. The news follows previous reports that said the structures were a safety hazard and the congregation didn’t have enough money to keep them intact. The Courier Life story also notes that the renovation will be the first the church has seen in more than 85 years.
Steeples Saved! [Courier Life]
Historic Sheepshead Bay Church To Save Its Leaning Steeples [Eagle]
Steeple Demolition Uncontroversial in Sheepshead [Brownstoner]
Here is the Church, and There Go the Steeples [Brownstoner] GMAP
Photo by wallyg.


The Sanitation Department’s taken a lot of heat over the past couple of weeks for its performance—or lack thereof—in the clean-up the December 27 blizzard. This latest news takes the prize though: According to the blog Sheepshead Bites, NYDS workers piled so much snow on a fence of the Washington Cemetery along Bay Parkway recently that the fenced buckled, causing roughly 30 gravestones to be toppled. [Sanitation workers] were continually dumping snow there for several days, said Washington Cemetery employee Mike Ciamaga, who added that cemetery officials first noticed the broken gravestones on Sunday morning. As of this morning they were still dumping there. The accidental destruction comes less than a month after a couple of hundred headstones at the historically Jewish cemetery were destroyed in an apparent act of vandalism.


Photo by iandavid.

Best “Old Brooklyn” Restaurants?
A Fort Greene newcomer asked New York Times restaurant critic Sam Sifton if he could recommend any “old Brooklyn” eateries, and Sifton replied: “You’ll want to visit the Mill Basin Kosher Delicatessen on Avenue T. You’ll want to have some clams at Randazzo’s in Sheepshead Bay. You should absolutely have pizza at Totonno’s in Coney Island and more at L & B Spumoni Gardens in the Gravesend neighborhood. You should jog back down to Sheepshead Bay to Roll-N-Roaster and get a roast beef sandwich, a meal that has been satisfying high school students for 40 years. You absolutely need a hero from Lioni’s in Bensonhurst.” Any other classic Brooklyn spots to add to this list?

Brooklyn Restaurant Openings
And outpost of Dao Palate is opening at 201 Fifth Avenue (between Union and Berkeley), in a storefront “that’s recently been home to a couple failed Japanese restaurants (Tamari, Hakone),” says Here’s Park Slope… At the forthcoming Brooklyn Heights restaurant Colonie, you can “expect seasonal, locally sourced American cuisine with an open kitchen and counter-top dining,” says ZagatBuzz. To help with start-up costs, the owners raised $15,371 from 91 backers on KickstarterEater says that there’s new signage at the Greenpoint branch of Calexico, and a restaurant called Juniper is opening at Berry at North 7th in Williamsburg… Eater also notes that the owner of Le Barricou is “opening new restaurant Maison Premiere at 298 Bedford in early January. The restaurant is reportedly based on the 1890’s French Quarter New Orleans and will mainly exist as a bar and oyster bar, offering 25 different types of oysters along with cocktails and an ‘old world’ wine.” … And Bed-Stuy Blog reports on the openings of the new Mexican joint Alcatraz and the new market/sandwich shop Cinnamon Girl.

After the jump: 3 new Brooklyn bars, where to eat near the Dyker Lights, and another look at the underrated Umi Nom


Sheepshead Bay doesn’t get a lot of attention around here but this new condo at 1702 Avenue Z caught our eye. We don’t think of the area being known for Richard Meier-wannabe designs. Given the alternative though (like this place we wrote about last year), we’ll take it. The ten three-bedroom units range in price from $799,000 to $899,000. At less than $500 a foot, we bet these’ll sell. GMAP


Closing Temporarily: Lobo
218 Court Street, Cobble Hill; (718) 858-7739
Grub Street reports that Lobo “is closing its Cobble Hill location for a month beginning March 23. The official reason given is ‘renovations,’ but you have to worry whether restaurants that take an extended break during this economy will actually reopen. There’s still plenty of people choking Lobo’s tiny hallway at night, so we’re hopeful.”

Many Openings This Week
Besides Zuzu Ramen in Park Slope, this week will also see the openings of Deniz (a Turkish restaurant at Fulton Street and South Elliott Place in Fort Greene), Anselmo’s Coal-Fired Brick Oven Pizzeria (on Van Brunt and Sullivan in Red Hook), and Lucky Shot Espresso (at 145 Driggs in Greenpoint), says Time Out New York. And according to New York Magazine, the Frankies are opening Cafe Peddlar, a “Viennese-style cafe” at 210 Court Street (near Warren Street, in the old Magaret Palca Bakes space), today.

Coming Soon: Purple Yam, Brooklyn Bowl, and Cherry Hill
Last month, we mentioned that the owners of Soho’s Filipino spot Cendrillon were preparing to open Purple Yam on Cortelyou in April. Now, Ditmas Park Blog says that Cendrillon has closed, but the new spot’s opening date still stands: “The concept of the new Purple Yam is to re-create a kitchen-centered home harking back to the Asian values of hospitality and generosity.” Plus, Down by the Hipster reports that Brooklyn Bowl is gearing up for a May 1st opening, and Gothamist says that the old Lundy’s space in Sheepshead Bay will soon be home to a “19,000 square foot gourmet market called Cherry Hill.”

After the jump: Hanco’s drops prices in Park Slope, Chef César Ramirez at a lunch counter in Downtown Brooklyn, and the O’Connor’s vs. Freddy’s rivalry…


The BSA has made a couple of decisions this week that aren’t exactly endearing them to neighborhood groups. First, they ruled in favor of allowing the Scarano’s infamous Finger Building to rise to its full glory of 17 stories (per Curbed), despite vehement neighborhood opposition. And now it has given the thumbs up to a six-story, 25-unit condo at 1610 Avenue S in Sheepshead Bay, an equally unpopular project. This photo, by the way, is from Google Streetview, so we don’t know how updated it is, but chances are it doesn’t look much different now: “The developer, Samuel Kahan, has not done major work on the building since spring 2006, a year and a half before the Buildings Department belatedly withdrew approval for it, prompting his appeal to the board,” reports the NY Times. Objections go beyond issues of size and scale: slabs of the foundation were found missing, paperwork lost or unfiled, safety tests unconfirmed. So why the BSA’s turnaround? Here’s what the BSA said: No comment.
Sheepshead Condo Project May Proceed [NY Times]


Starbucks may be shuttering some shops across the country, but at least one new one may be opening: the corner of Nostrand Avenue and Gravesend Neck Road could be home to a 1,500-square-foot L-shaped Starbucks with a drive-thru, says Courier-Life. CB15 okayed Starbuck’s app for a zoning variance, though some folks worry having a drive-thru next to a bus stop could pose some dangers. Still, the nabe is fairly used to these kinds of shops. “That area of Nostrand Avenue is already home to a number of other fast-food joints and drive-thrus.”


Red Hook will have its mall (maybe), the Gowanus Canal will have its luxury/affordable complex (maybe), and now another Brooklyn waterfront claims new development. The folks at Bay Breeze, a “European-style luxury condominium” at 3165 Emmons Avenue in Sheepshead Bay, say the first 10% of their pre-sale releases have been snatched up, and now the rest of their 43 units are coming on the market. Condos range from $237,900 for studios to penthouses in the $800,000 area. FIOS and Jacuzzi tubs are cited as luxury amenities, along with the “Cabana Club” with gazebo, sauna and two whirlpools. Hot tubs and fresh fish, anyone?
The Bay Breeze [Web site]


Trader Joe’s: Opening Next Friday?
130 Court Street (at Atlantic Avenue)
Lost City snapped some photos of the newly installed signage at Trader Joe’s and describes the scene: “Burly men were busy loading in boxes through the front entrance. Progress has been made, but a lot more must be done in the next two weeks if the store is to open at the end of September as promised.” The Brooklyn Paper says they’re set to open next Friday, September 26.

James Scores One Star
605 Carlton Avenue (St. Marks Avenue), Prospect Heights; (718) 942-4255
“[Chef Bryan] Calvert owns and manages it with his wife, Deborah Williamson. They live in the apartment smack above the space it inhabits, which used to belong to Restaurant Sorrel. When Sorrel went out of business they pounced, recognizing an easy commute when they saw one… It’s an example of how quietly sophisticated the food at restaurants fashioned as affordable neighborhood bistros has become. No bigger, brasher restaurant around town served me an heirloom tomato salad this summer that I enjoyed any more than one at James.” [NY Times]

The Village Voice “Bagel Smackdown!”
The Voice‘s Sarah DiGregorio and Robert Sistema sampled bagels from Brooklyn, Queens, and Manhattan in hopes of finding the best in the city. They weren’t so impressed with Bagel Boy, which has locations in Bay Ridge and Sheepshead Bay, but Park Slope’s Bagel Hole got high marks — and won the prize for Best Pumpernickel Bagel.

After the jump: More Praise for La Superior, a status report on the Brooklyn Heights Gristedes, early reviews of No. 7, Nigerian in East New York, and more…