2016 will be remembered for … well … quite a few things. And food and drink in our area will indeed be one of them.
Big giants fell down, little engines that could have climbed the hill to success, and much more. As we move into the new year, we wanted to take a look back at every eatery that has flung open its doors to our community, as well as bid us adieu.
Many of these restaurants are independent businesses, which remain the lifeblood of our community (and our stomachs). Below, we’ve started with the openings and divided them up by quarters. The second section is the same format for the closed venues. And yes, you’ll even see a few places in both sections.
What openings have you been most excited about? What do you wish had never left? And, as we welcome 2017, what’s on your wishlist for businesses opening in our area?
January — March
View our full articles with all details here.
Dirty Precious (317 3rd Avenue near 1st Street). The new cocktail bar that also serves small eats started pouring drinks in late March. Read our drinks review so we can tell you why you should make this a regular watering hole. [BKLYNER recommended]
Momo Ramen (78 5th Avenue between St. Marks Place and Warren Street). If you don’t need nifty decor mixed in with your broth, you may just have found your new noodle haunt. Read our dining review of this delicious spot. [BKLYNER recommended]
Nostro Ristorante (710 5th Avenue near 22nd Street). Chef Agostino and Romina Ripa opened this new Italian restaurant in February, with a focus on Neopolitan cuisine. It takes the place of Milan’s Restaurant, a Slovak and Czech restaurant known for its goulash and pierogies, which closed after 20 years.
Prawn Shop (669 Union Street near 4th Avenue). There’s a fantastic mix of sophistication and down-home quality to the food, and the design and usage of the space works very well. Read our dining review to learn more. [BKLYNER recommended]
Seed (242 5th Avenue between President and Carroll Streets). The diverse Turkish-Mediterranean menu will please the meat eaters and veggie lovers alike. The new restaurant takes the place of Ollie & Ry, we think Seed has a good shot at gaining their footing and a following as well.
Sir D’s Lounge (837 Union Street, near 7th Avenue). The sandwich board welcomed in customers on February 18, replacing Tea Lounge, which had been in the space for 14 years before closing in December 2014.
Sushi Yashin (381 5th Avenue at 6th Street). A new sushi place came to 5th Avenue back in February, providing both sushi bar and dining seating areas. The new restaurant replaces the previous Corner Burger. You can read our review here.
Butterfunk Kitchen (1295 Prospect Avenue and Greenwood Avenue). This new place in Windsor Terrace calls itself a “Soul Food Restaurant & Juke Joint” and opened up shop on April 2. Read our dining review and you’ll see why we recommend it highly. [BKLYNER recommended]
Chipotle (185 7th Avenue, between 1st and 2nd Streets). Based on our poll from earlier this year, the neighborhood is somewhat split over whether or not they are ready to embrace one the newest franchises. Chipotle opened in late June after some time.
Fiat Café (80 6th Avenue at St. Marks Avenue).The Italian Bistro began serving up antipasto, pastas, and paninis on April 7, but lasted only four months. We enjoyed our sun-splashed lunch when it first opened. Owner Stephan Iacovelli’s first Fiat Café is still alive and well after doing swift business on Mott Street in Manhattan (203 Mott Street at Spring Street) for almost six years.
Freek’s Mill (285 Nevins Street at Sackett Street). Aptly named after a mill that was built very close to the original Old Stone House on the Gowanus, this new restaurant opened on April 8.
Fresh Bite Mediterranean Grill (168 5th Avenue between Degraw and Sackett Streets). The signage may look the same, but the menu and the owner are brand new. The new Mediterranean grill opened its doors late April. The place has now been renamed to Wholesome Deli, with the same owner.
Hanki Everyday Korean (226 7th Avenue near 3rd Street). With the background of K-Pop streaming from the speakers, this new “everyday Korean” place opened on May 7 with a solid menu. The restaurant mixes the fast food and sit down dining experience. Customers order their meals at the front register, and then have a seat in the back until the order is ready. We feel that Hanki is a singular experience in the neighborhood, serving as an excellent lunch stop, or a quick and satisfying dinner. [BKLYNER recommended]
Josephina Tacos (284 3rd Avenue between President and Carroll Streets – backyard of The Pines). The impressive backyard of Gowanus’ The Pines gained a pop-up Mexican place that debuted in May. While this was a seasonal pop-up, we are hoping they’ll return next summer. Read our review to find out why. [BKLYNER recommended]
La Royale Beer Burger House 492 5th Avenue (between 11th and 12th Streets). The burger and brew place opened in mid-March as is Inne Reckovic’s second attempt at creating a new restaurant since he closed Mezini — the former oyster and hookah spot — in early 2015. We never received official word about what exactly led to Mezini’s closing.
Marleey’s Restaurant (700 5th Avenue between 21st and 22nd Streets). The Caribbean-American restaurant started serving jerk chicken with yucca puree in late February, however, the place would be short-lived. The hours were on-again, off-again, and closed in early June.
People’s Pops (808b Union Street near 7th Avenue). Warmer weather meant that People’s Pops returned to its usual spot. Macaron Parlour rented the space out for winter 2015, but the pop shop returned in mid-April. That said, it may need to look for another Spring pop-up space, as VR Bar has moved in.
Pig Beach (480 Union Street between Nevins and Bond Streets). The spacious outdoors meat & booze place which opened before Memorial Day weekend was located on the sunny banks of the Gowanus. Read our review to find out why we’re big fans. As of December, they’re operating as Pig Beach Burger, a pop-up indoor space with some of the favorites of Pig Beach’s Menu along with some new additions. [BKLYNER recommended]
Smorgasburg at Prospect Park (Prospect Park, Breeze Hill, Located near Lakeside and the Lincoln Road entrance). After camping out in the cold weather down at Industry City last winter and spring, the highly popular food festival moved to Breeze Hill in Prospect Park on Sundays.The sixth al fresco season for Smorgasburg kicked off the season in April, and its tent was pitched in our jewel of a backyard until October 23.
Very Juice Bar (211 Prospect Park West near 16th Street). Oh did Very Juice sit dormant for some time. The original location at 422 Ave P in Midwood has been open since September 2014, and the Windsor Terrace outpost finally opened in early May.
Yami-Ichi (206 Garfield Place near 7th Avenue). The neighborhood has a new izakaya — a Japanese “gastropub” that serves tapas-style plates as well as a selection of sake and whiskeys. Read our review to hear why you should enjoy their nimble plates. [BKLYNER recommended]
Gristmill (289 5th Avenue between 1st and 2nd Streets). 26-year-old Executive Chef and Owner Jake Novick-Finder plans to “inspect every single stem, skin, leaf, and shell to determine if there is a culinary application or use.” His new restaurant opened in the former Brooklyn Central space on July 13.
HENRI’s Backyard (256 4th Avenue between President and Carroll Streets). 18 beers on tap, a “Vietnamese/German fusion menu,” and an outdoor space are three of the main ingredients of HENRI’s Backyard, which opened on July 20. Binh Douglas is also owner of HENRI on Fifth, and has put together a new place that echoes some of the fan favorites from Pickle Shack, the previous gastropub located in this 4th Avenue spot. We enjoyed out first visit — read our review here. [BKLYNER recommended]
Hey Hey Canteen (400 4th Avenue at 6th Street). Owner Kay Ch’ien opened this delicious new spot after closing 2 Duck Goose, her former Cantonese-inspired restaurant which was located in the same space. We were extremely impressed with our first visit, so much so that it made it to our Top 5 Picks of New Restaurants (as of the first half of 2016). [BKLYNER recommended]
Il Sogno Secondo (310 5th Avenue between 2nd and 3rd Streets). This new Italian place opened on August 3, replacing the Indian restaurant Baluchi’s, which closed in March 2015. In addition to the Italian fusion meals on the main menu, the restaurant is also open for bunch.
Juice Press (207 7th Avenue at 3rd Street). Another of the newest franchises to open in our neighborhood did so on Saturday, June 25.
La Cerveteca Cafe and Juice Bar (641 President Street between 4th and 5th Avenues). Owner Joe Komforti has owned 641 President Street since 1991, but the brand new cafe and juice bar opened up on July 12. The segafredo zanetti coffee is “not something you’re going to find in many cafes around here,” he says. You can read more about our first visit, and learn about the movie theater which used to be in the building, and the “legend” of a cuckholded man stabbing Al Capone in the neck during a flick.
Wild (148 5th Avenue at Douglass Street). This gluten-free, farm-to-table restaurant specializing in pizza opened back in July, so we are rather tardy reporting about it. The new culinary neighbor also serves a full menu — including gluten-free chicken parmesan and a “dessert pizza” as well. This restaurant is a franchise, and includes two other locations. The West Village spot is at 535 Hudson Street, and the other Brooklyn outpost is in Williamsburg (340 Bedford Avenue). Here’s our review of the restaurant.
A&E Supply Co. (548 4th Avenue at 15th Street). Co-owner Adam Harvey and Ennio Di Nino have came to 4th Avenue with coffee, donuts, and a sharp sense of humor around Halloween. They’ve expanded to a butcher and bar as well.
The Douglass (149 4th Avenue at Douglass Street). The newest mahogany bar on 4th Avenue is ready for guests as The Douglass Tap & Grill opened up in early October. The Australian pub Sheep Station closed at the end of July, but neighbor and Douglass co-owner Pete Cavanaugh remodeled the place rather quickly. We’re big fans, and think they do darn good pub grub.
Blue Bottle (203 7th Avenue, at the corner of 3rd Street). After holding the Samuel Beckett award for making the neighborhood wait for its opening, the California-based coffee roaster officially set up shop on November 10 in the space left vacant when Ocean Fish Market moved to 5th Avenue back in 2014. Blue Bottle joined our recent large mug of caffeine announcements.
Flora (1021 8th Avenue at 11th Street). The “Pastificio” — or pasta factory — was dropped from the name, and now Flora has opened after being in “coming soon” mode for more than a year. For the time being, Flora will keep daytime hours for breakfast and lunch (closed Tuesdays) until they receive a liquor license and open up their full menu.
Gnarly Eats (447 7th Avenue, between 15th and 16th Streets). Whether or not you think it’s the most attractive name for a place to grab a bite, November’s opening of Gnarly eats offers up a new place for Buttermilk Fried Chicken Burgers, Mighty Wings, Tempura Onion Rings, and Dough Donuts. Now in the summer, expect something a bit different, as they will add Roll N’ Chill ice cream to the mix. And for the Dr. Who fans, you may spy something familiar when you see their front door. Read our review to hear why we found this place gnarly in all the right ways. [BKLYNER recommended]
Mis Grill (370 5th Avenue between 5th and 6th Streets). The new restaurant with the Mediterranean-focused menu replaces Juventino, a popular farm-to-table spot which closed somewhat mysteriously back in January. Mis opened in mid-December. Patch reported that the owners plan on hookah smoking in the outdoor seating area in the Spring.
Oggi Pizza Bar (217 Prospect Park West between 16th Street and Windsor Place). The butcher paper has finally come off. The family who owned long-time Enzo’s Brick Oven pizza, which dates back to 2008, has launched a new pizza place. We’ve been wondering about the Oggi mystery since June. Mystery solved.
Salzy Cocktails and Entertainment (506 5th Avenue, between 12th and 13th Streets). A few laughs with your “Ballsy Salzy?” You’ve come to the right place. Comedian Jennifer Salzman opened up her new cocktail bar lounge on November 30. Formerly The Fifth Estate (which closed in September), Salzy features a menu of craft cocktails and small plates and will host comedy and live music performances.
The Soup Bowl of Park Slope (319 7th Avenue, between 8th and 9th Streets and 741 Union Street at 5th Avenue, both are now open). This warm bowl of love haven has been an annual pop-up in the Uncle Louie G’s space now in its eighth year. Owner and chef Richard Gussoff cooks up over a dozen soups each day, rotating many throughout the week. They keep their website up-to-date with daily choices. It’s no frills, but they do it well. Read our review here. [BKLYNER recommended]
South Slope Public House (426 7th Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets). This brick oven and pizza tavern opened up just before Labor Day weekend, and you can choose from about a dozen types of brick oven pies, as well as snacks, salads, sweets, and it sports a full beer, wine, and liquor menu. There are flat screens aplenty for the sports aficionados. The previous tenant was Windsor Roast House, a “meat-forward” menu which didn’t last for long. That place opened back in September 2015 and closed less than six months later. Check out our dining review from early September.
Starbucks Coffee (444 9th Street at 7th Avenue). The third area Starbucks opened up on September 23, and the short, tall, grande, and venti cups were flying off the shelves (Does anybody ever order a trenta? 30 ounces of coffee sounds a bit frightening). The new outpost joins nearby franchises 166 7th Avenue (at 1st Street) and 164 Park Place (at Flatbush Avenue). Brooklyn Flipsters, which was the previous tenant, closed in December 2015. Caffeinated consciousness has been a significant subject over the year.
January — March
View our full article with all details here.
Bar Reis (375 5th Avenue at 6th Street). The neighbors loved the lush garden and second level accessible by their spiral staircase. The bar closed on February 8 after 16 years.
Cubana Café (80 6th Avenue at St. Marks Avenue). After opening in 2009, the ropa vieja, goat cheese empanadas, and other Cuban specialties pleased many. The place shuttered sometime in January and was Fiat Cafe later opened in its place. Seems that 80 6th Avenue has bad luck in 2016, as Fiat never made it through the fall.
Fresh Bite (168 5th Avenue between Degraw and Sackett Streets). The deli opened last summer, serving a full menu of breakfast sandwiches, burgers, panini, wraps, and deli sandwiches. It closed about eight months later. The place opened under new ownership as Fresh Bite Mediterranean Grill (yup, confusing) in April.
Juventino (370 5th Avenue). The popular brunch spot and farm-to-table restaurant closed in early January after 8 years. While a direct connection has not been proven, Juventino was embroiled in an intense controversy, as nearly two dozen employees, past and present, accused Chef Juventino Avila of sexual harassment.
Moim (206 Garfield Place near 7th Avenue). Chef/owner Saeri Yoo Park told us that she had “many, many great years” in Park Slope. Moim had been in operation since 2007. They closed on January 30. (Yami-Ichi opened during mid-March in the same space)
Elberta Restaurant & Bar (335 Flatbush Avenue near Park Place). The Southern-influenced New American with a touch of the Caribbean closed in early April after about four years.
Los Pollitos II (148 5th Avenue at Douglass Street). The Mexican place closed on Sunday, April 24 after serving its well-known rotisserie chicken for 16 years. It was replaced in July by Wild, a gluten-free, farm-to-table restaurant specializing in pizza.
Marleey’s Restaurant (700 5th Avenue between 21st and 22nd Streets). The Caribbean-American restaurant started serving jerk chicken with yucca puree in late February, however, the place would be short-lived.
Mary’s Bar (708 5th Avenue at 22nd Street). Owner Sylvia Holden announced the closing of Mary’s Bar days before its going away party, which took place on April 24. The bar had been open since 2011 and as of a year ago, had a small flea market in the backyard of their space. But that market led to the complications of Mary’s demise.
Olive Vine Café (54 7th Avenue St. John’s Place and Lincoln Place). This small venue / take-out place served Middle Eastern until closing in May. The same owners still run Black Iris (288 Dekalb Avenue), which is their Fort Greene restaurant.
Roosters Caribbean Tapas (651 5th Avenue near 19th Street). Roosters opened up in late 2014, following a short stint by Sekt — which closed after less than a year. The website announced the restaurant would be closed for renovations until May 1, but it never opened again.
Supercollider (609 4th Avenue, between 17th and 18th Streets). Supercollider opened in May 2013, and has been a haven for quiz nights, movie screenings, and arts exhibitions. During the mornings you could have a cuppa cuppa, and the place was a full service bar at night. About three years later, it was closed. The block is poised for an 11-story mixed-use building as part of a new real estate development valued at roughly $45 million.
Windsor Roast House (426A 7th Avenue, between 14th and 15th Streets). When we spoke with Manager Paul Boomhower soon after the restaurant’s opening back in September 2015, he described the place as a “no-frills, from-scratch, grass-fed, buy-from-the-local-vendors type of experience.” Less than six months later, the meat-based menu was getting mixed reviews on Yelp, and didn’t seem to ever quite fit in with the local clientele.
beet2 (344 7th Avenue, between 9th and 10th Streets). The Thai place shut down at the beginning of July. Owner Inky and her family owned it for the last two-and-a-half years, but beet2 has been open for about a decade. “We just couldn’t afford the rent,” she told us. “We’re going to miss our many regular customers.”
Brooklyn Hot Dogs (149 9th Street between 2nd and 3rd Avenues). We were so sad when this 17-year-old greasy-spoon gem of Gowanus closed down that we had to write an obituary about it. Keep in mind we had just written owners Nanne Tavarez and Bill Nieves a love letter earlier this year.
Fiat Café (80 6th Avenue at St. Marks Avenue). The Italian Bistro began serving up antipasto, pastas, and paninis on April 7 but lasted only four months. It’s one of the few places in the area which both opened and closed in 2016. We enjoyed our sun-splashed lunch when it first opened. Owner Stephan Iacovelli’s first Fiat Café is still alive and well after doing swift business on Mott Street in Manhattan (203 Mott Street at Spring Street) for almost six years.
Jumble Juice (322 5th Avenue, between 2nd and 3rd Streets). Jumble Juice opened up a little over a year ago, and always lacked much of an internet presence. A Yelp reviewer gave the space five stars during her visit on May 30, so the closing happened rather fast. The neighborhood is not lacking in juice bar options, so it’s possible that the competition thinned out the customer base.
Grand Central Oyster Bar & Restaurant Brooklyn (256 5th Avenue between Garfield Place and Carroll Street). The window were papered over at the beginning of July. GM Michael Slimmer confirmed that the restaurant has permanently closed. The 5th Avenue seafood place opened in late 2013.
Sheep Station (149 4th Avenue at Douglass Street). The Australian pub which had been opened for a decade said goodbye with a going away party on July 28. While Australian in tradition, we were a huge fan of their version of poutine when we sampled it back in 2013. Good on ya, Sheep Station. We’ll miss celebrating Australia Day with you.
Station Diner (224 4th Avenue at Union Street). The owner for 4th Avenue staple Station Diner has decided to retire, but the news isn’t all bad. The place that served your waffles with a smiley face closed in August after being in business for 35 years. “It’s my time. I feel I’m ready,” owner Stavros “Steve” Kouimanis told the Commercial Observer.
Surfish Bistro (351 5th Avenue between 4th and 5th Streets). Chef Miguel Aguilar opened up a much larger and grander space at 550 3rd Avenue (corner of 14th Street) around Thanksgiving of last year. At the time, he told us the original restaurant at 351 5th Avenue (between 4th and 5th Streets) would remain open for business as well. “We won’t be closing it,” explained Aguilar. “But the menu will be smaller there. We will serve rotisserie chicken and Peruvian sandwiches. Our full menu will be at our new place.” The 5th Avenue spot did in fact close. An employee at the new Surfish Bistro told us they were doing so to focus on their newer space.
Tea & Tea (427 7th Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets). The bubble teas, char siu ramen and low mein noodles are no longer, as Tea & Tea shuttered in early August. Previous to the quick bite/takeout spot, the space was home to Parco, a coffee shop which closed after beloved owner Alex Pozzan passed away.
Venticinque (162 5th Avenue near Degraw Street). The coffee shop — particularly beloved by your editor — suddenly closed in mid-July. In 2013, Park Slope Stoop said the cafe had the “best soy latte ever.” Check out the 25 reasons we’ll miss this cafe. We are currently reaching out to the owners to find out the reason for the cafe’s closure, and if “foreseeable” means permanent.
Backyard (388 5th Avenue at 6th Street). Owners Jeff and Elizabeth Warner opened the Southern-meets-New England comfort food restaurant with the eponymous outdoor space back in 2011. The couple closed down in October. The pulled pork, lobster, and BLTs had been on our list for quite sometime, especially when it was concerning where to eat and drink outside.
Buttermilk Bakeshop (339 7th Avenue between 9th and 10th Streets). A lump of coal appeared in 7th Avenue’s stocking as Buttermilk Bakeshop closed one of its two Park Slope outposts. However, the news isn’t all bad. Although her 339 7th Avenue spot is no longer baking the cakes, owner Katie Rosenhouse assured us that their 5th Avenue spot is very much warm and alive. “We will continue to be open at 260 5th Avenue [between Garfield and Carroll Streets],” she told BKLYNER. “It will be nice to have everything coming out of one shop!”
El Pollito Mexicano (119 5th Avenue between Sterling and St. John’s Places). Oh, we weren’t thrilled to learn about the closing of this Mexican place which has been in the neighborhood for about 15 years. They ended it all with a farewell party on October 9.
Gorilla Coffee (97 5th Avenue at Park Place). Coffee lovers will soon have to schlep a few extra blocks to get their caffeine fix. Gorilla Coffee at 97 5th Avenue (at Park Place) will close on Monday, January 2. A note posted on the door of the shop reads, “Shuffle On Down to Bergen,” instructing customers to visit the other Gorilla Coffee located nearby at 472 Bergen Street (between 5th and Flatbush Avenues), which will remain open.
Les Deux Amis Bakery & Cafe (427 7th Avenue between 14th and 15th Streets). The French cafe which featured organic coffees never quite caught fire after it opened at the tail end of 2015. We noticed the closure in early September, however we have not heard back from the owners as to why they shut down so quickly. Les Deux Amis replaced the 24-seat La Botaneria which called it quits in August 2015.
Lobo Tex-Mex (188 5th Avenue at Berkeley Place). The Tex-Mex and tequila bar closed their Park Slope home on Sunday, November 20. Neighbors have been enjoying their quesos and margaritas for around 12 years but will have to head over to their Cobble Hill location at 218 Court Street (between Warren and Baltic Streets) in order to continue to do so.
Nana Sushi (155 5th Avenue between Lincoln and St. John’s Places). Nana closed at the end of October, although the owners had posted a sign in early October letting the community know they would not be renewing their lease. “It was a pleasure serving the Park Slope community for 15 long years,” the note read. Although their lease renewal expenses were too much on 5th Avenue, their “sister” restaurant Hachi (631 Grand Street between Leornard Street and Manhattan Avenue in Williamsburg) is still running.
Pork Slope (247 5th Avenue near Carroll Street). Last July we announced that both Pork Slope and Thistle Hill Tavern (441 7th Avenue at 15th Street) were being put up for sale by the trilogy of owners behind Talde Brooklyn. Pork Slope was the first to close its doors.
Scalino (347 7th Avenue at 10th Street). In October, we reported that the 7th Avenue Italian restaurant was up for sale, yet the restaurant was still open at the time. The place, which had been open since 2007, did finally close. The owners opened a second Scalino in Greenpoint in late 2013 which is still up and running.
Thistle Hill Tavern (347 7th Avenue at 10th Street). Owners Dale Talde, John Bush, David Massoni are collectively known as Three Kings Restaurant Group, and the company is making major changes. In July, we reported that both Pork Slope (247 5th Avenue near Carroll Street) and Thistle Hill Tavern (441 7th Avenue at 15th Street) were up for rent. Pork Slope closed a few months back, and Thistle Hill was eventually to do the same. So the shuttering comes as no surprise.
ZuZu Ramen (173 4th Avenue at Degraw Street). “All good things come to an end” was the short and simple Facebook post by ZuZu Ramen, a noodle shop which has been spooning out dishes since May 2009. The restaurant officially served its last bowl on September 8. ZuZu was owned by Jason Crew and Martine Lafond, who recently closed their Australian Pub Sheep Station located nearby at 149 4th Avenue at Douglass Street. As you’ve already read above, The Douglass has already opened in the space of the former Aussie pub.
And what’s coming soon? Stay tuned for our monthly articles which will keep you up-to-date. You can view the “coming soon” section of our most recent roundup here.
Did we miss anything? Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org. We always appreciate your tips and ideas.