Park Slope

Root Hill Closed For A Break, Unclear When They May Reopen


Root Hill Cafe
Root Hill Cafe, one of our favorite places for a muffin (and more) on 4th Avenue, closed yesterday afternoon, and it’s unclear when, or if, they will reopen.

Maria Bowen, who runs the space with Michelle Giancola, confirmed that they’ll be closing for a bit, and says she will update us when there’s any info to add.

“It’s a good time to breathe,” they wrote on Facebook. “And that’s what we need to do. We’re taking a break from the daily grind.”

Root Hill opened at 262 4th Avenue, on the corner of Carroll Street, in 2008, and they’ve been serving up coffee, pastries, sandwiches, and more to folks who live nearby, those headed to the subway at Union, and families in need of a snack after sport practices at nearby Washington Park ever since.

But it hasn’t all been smooth sailing. As 4th Avenue continues to develop, one of the major issues of this particular block has been flooding — following yet another massive deluge last year, Maria told us they’d figured out how to negotiate the water fairly quickly and effectively.

“We’ve learned to live with it because we love the area, and our landlord is a big help,” she said.

Though solutions to the drainage problems are part of a massive project from the Department of Environmental Protection that’s finally about to begin, hopefully it’s not too little, too late for Root Hill, which also hit a bump when they closed a second 4th Avenue spot, Root Hill Burger, just seven months after it opened.

Still, 4th Avenue is ever growing, and a mainstay like Root Hill could continue to attract new customers moving into newly built buildings, while holding on to its existing, and loyal customer base.

“It’s a lovely place run by excellent people, and I hope they are able to recharge and reopen soon,” said neighbor Clare, who alerted us to the closing.

We couldn’t agree more. We’ll keep you posted about their future plans as we hear them.

Comment policy


  1. i think root hill is just suffering from being nothing special…
    i live up the block and while flooding does happen it does not happen enough to effect their business more than a handful of days through out the year
    and after six years if they have not learned where NOT to place their inventory to not be damaged if it floods then there are plenty of other issues there…

  2. Far from being nothing special, root hill consistently has some of the best coffee and pastries in the neighborhood. They are the only reliable (looking at you, Lyceum) non-bodega breakfast/coffee outpost near the subway at union/4th. I hope they enjoy the break and come back stronger when they’re ready–it would be a shame to lose their iced coffee in the mornings!

  3. Guessing your in real estate. You handle one flood or threat of one coming and tell us what you think then .

  4. I hope this place reopens soon. I miss them already! Root Hill has been nothing short of excellent and its hands-on owners have kept up consistently high standards. I’m sure mopping up and drying out the floors and kitchen equipment post-flood must feel sisyphean when it happens so frequently (NB the water run-off park that was created to alleviate the problem on the corner of Denton Place, and the sandbags people living near that corner place outside their doors. The 4th Avenue and Carroll Street corner has been a notorious flooding blackspot for almost 100 years. The water runs down from Park Slope and pools where Carroll Street starts an incline; the water quickly overwhelms the drains which become narrower at this point.

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