Openings & Closings: Pasta, Pizza, and Pacos

Openings & Closings: Pasta, Pizza, and Pacos

Welcome back to this week’s openings and closings. This week we have lots of hellos and only a few goodbyes— one sponsored by thousands in back taxes. Welcome new empanadas, several new coffee spots, and new cocktail bars.


Bay Ridge

Aleli Cocina Mexicana

7804 3rd Avenue, between 78th and 79th streets.

Aleli Cocina Mexicana opened up in Bay Ridge four weeks ago. The restaurant is bright, with both bar and table seating. Guests can try dishes like the octopus tostada, chicken adobado, fish tacos, or short ribs.

Brooklyn Brew Cafe

310 79th Street, between 3rd and 4th avenues.

Brooklyn Brew Cafe’s interior. Courtesy of Brooklyn Brew Cafe.

Brooklyn Brew Cafe softly opened in Bay Ridge in early December. The spot serves dark roast drip coffee, both savory and sweet pastries, with plans to expand to include sandwiches and homemade soups for the season. There is plenty of room to work, with both high and low top tables.

The Dandy Lion Cafe

8901 3rd Avenue, between 89th and 90th streets.

The Dandy Lion opened in late December to Bay Ridge residents. The spot, which has valet, serves breakfast, brunch, and dinner, as well as bubble teas and smoothies. Dishes on the menu include build-your-own omelettes, pancake tacos (they call them pacos), stuffed waffles, and burgers.


Love, Nelly

53 Rockaway Avenue, between Sumter and Marion streets.

New York style arepa with ham, egg, and cheese. Courtesy of Love, Nelly.

The team behind Butter and Scotch will open a new Columbian bakery in Bed-Stuy this Spring. The shop will have empanadas, arepas, and lots of sweet treats like cakes, cookies, and more, the team told Bklyner. Instead of booze, this new bakery will only be serving coffees and teas for a more daytime vibe, among a tropical decor.


Indika House

934 Broadway, between Jefferson and Melrose streets.

Bushwick’s new Indian restaurant, Indika House, opened in early January. They’re serving Indian classics, like tandoori grilled lamb chops, saag paneer, and chicken tikka masala. They also have a lunch special for $10.95, which includes an entree, rice, naan, and yellow lentils. Indika House is bright and exciting on the inside, with full-wall murals, low tables, and lots of stools to hang out on.

Carroll Gardens

Gatsu Gatsu

196 Smith Street, between Baltic and Warren streets.

This new izakaya-style spot opened in January in Carroll Gardens. Plenty of cocktails, like the baburi sake, an adult bubble tea, and the osake, a riff on a Manhattan, are on the menu. Guests can also treat themselves to food like gyoza, mazemen, ramen, and spicy cucumber salad. Gatsu Gatsu also advertises as an event space and is available for parties.

Pop Pasta

288 Smith Street, between Union and Sackett street.

Pop Pasta has put up signs in the windows of the former The Grocery space, Pardon Me For Asking reports. This will be the first brick-and-mortar location for the group, which sold their signature spaghetti donut at Smorgusburg and the Bronx Night Market.

Savelli Restaurant and Bar

195 Smith Street, between Baltic and Warren streets.

Pardon Me For Asking reported a potential new tenant at the long-empty space on Smith Street. Signs for Savelli Restaurant have gone up, and lights have been seen on inside, but further investigation yields no clues as to when the spot may open, or what it may serve when it does.

Coney Island

Teraza Restaurant and Lounge

825 Surf Avenue Floor 2, between Shell Road and W. 12th Street.

Teraza in Coney Island opened in early December. The space is incredibly beachy, with a boat host stand, wicker-style detailing, and large windows. Guests can enjoy duck liver mousse, arctic char tartar, baked potato, and brioche with custard.

Crown Heights


800 Franklin Avenue, between Eastern Parkway and Lincoln Place.

Exterior of Chocolatte. Rachel Baron/Bklyner.
Exterior of Chocolatte. Rachel Baron/Bklyner.

This new kosher coffee shop opened in December, the third for the mini-chain in Brooklyn. They serve bourekas, sachlav, and avocado toast alongside espressos and other coffee drinks. They take a lot of care in purchasing high-quality coffee beans and crafting espresso beverages. The whole menu is kosher certified with many vegan and vegetarian options.


Baku Grocery Store 

937 Coney Island Avenue, between Newkirk and Ditmas avenues.

Residents on the Ditmas Park Facebook page shared news of Baku, a recently opened grocery store selling Eastern European goods. The spot has cheeses, jams, teas, and lots of sweets, and has a bright and spacious interior.

Fort Greene

Joe & Sal’s

353 Myrtle Avenue, between Carlton and Adelphi streets.

Joe and Sal’s had their grand opening last week, after having originally planned to reopen in November. The spot will serve the usual pizza parlor suspects, like minestrone, chicken rolls, pasta, and of course, thin crust by the slice. This is the second location of Joe & Sal’s in Brooklyn.



2268 W. 7th Street, between 86th Street and Avenue V.

This Gravesend empanada restaurant opened in December. They serve a wide variety of the dish, including cheesy spinach, curry chicken, and guava with cream cheese— over 20 different kinds in total. The empanadas are $2.50 each, and can be eaten with one of their sides like french fries, rice, or potato salad.

Park Slope

Bar Goto Niban

474 Bergen Street, between 5th and 6th avenues.

Grub Street reported that cocktail bar Bar Goto expanded to Park Slope at the end of January. The bar can hold 40 people at the 16-seat bar, the report said, and will serve small bites as well as their revered cocktails. Guests can try dashi popcorn, takokyu, or korokke.

DDT The Bar

847 B Union Street, between 6th and 7th avenues.

Park Slope will soon be home to a new bar. DDT has been teasing the opening on Instagram, showing photos of the nearly-finished low-lit bar and sharing details about the spot. The TVs will play sci-fi, anime, kung-fu, and wrestling, for one, and all of their mixers will be freshly squeezed. No word on an exact opening date yet.

Pasta Louise

803 8th Avenue, between 8th and 9th streets.

This new pasta spot is coming to the old Polo Cafe building. According to new signs, they’ll be serving fresh pasta, salad, soup, wine, and ice cream. They’ll also be focusing on community outreach: They’ll initiate the Pasta Rose scholarship for Brooklyn kids who’ve lost a parent to cancer. Plus, they plan daily meal donations to hospices, business mentoring sessions for students, and other monthly events. The shop will be run by Allison Arevalo, who runs the Instagram account Pasta Friday, and has even written a book all about the dish.

Prospect Heights

Beer Street

550 Vanderbilt Avenue, between Dean and Pacific streets.

Vanderbilt Avenue location of Beer Street. Courtesy of Josh Meckes of Beer Street.

This will be the second location of Beer Street, opening soon in Prospect Heights. In addition to the brews, a menu by Foster Sundry will be available to guests, as well as a full bar. The spot is nearly five times larger than the original Williamsburg location, with 26 total taps.

Red Hook

Pilot Kombucha

71 Commerce Street, between Van Brunt and Richards streets.

Pilot Kombucha will finally open their Red Hook taproom space on February 10. The spot was set to open months ago, but was delayed for a variety of reasons. Guests can enjoy kombucha flights, refill growlers, and stock up on Pilot merchandise.

Sunset Park

Rice N’ Shine 

5309 7th Avenue Basement, between 53rd and 54th streets.

Rice N’ Shine in Sunset Park opened up recently, serving dishes like crossing bridge noodles, rice noodles, and mapo tofu. The spot occupies a small basement space, and is nicely decorated with a green wall and plenty of seating.


Aura Cocina and Bar

315 Meserole Street in East Williamsburg, between Bogart and Waterbury streets.

The interior of Aura Cocina & Bar. Rachel Baron/Bklyner.

This new Cuban-Asian restaurant will open soon in East Williamsburg. The spot is still designing the menu, and has neon lights and plenty of lounge style seating.

Masti Indian Grill & Chaat Bar

184 Havemeyer Street, between S. 3rd and S. 4th streets.

Williamsburg’s latest Indian restaurant opened to the public on January 22. Masti aims to bring the Famous Curry Bazaar, a London restaurant, experience to Brooklyn, with dishes like curry with chicken, lamb, bone-in goat, or paneer, chili onion naan, or nimbu salmon tikka. There is no liquor license, but Masti serves a variety of teas and will soon launch a non-alcoholic cocktail menu.

McCarren Park Restaurant

Park located at 776 Lorimer Street, between Bayard Street and Driggs Avenue.

Brooklyn Paper reported last week that the Parks Department was planning on collaborating with the team behind the since-closed Brooklyn Night Bazaar to turn the McCarren Park House into a restaurant. Details on the place are still vague, but they will be applying for a liquor license. Brooklyn Night Bazaar, which closed in November, was a Greenpoint entertainment venue.

Rome To Brooklyn

755 Grand Street, between Humboldt Street and Grand Avenue.

This new East Williamsburg spot opened up last Friday. Pizza is, of course, on the menu in both sweet and savory form, as well as focaccia panini, pasta, and panzerotti.

Tea Time 

749 Grand Street, between Humboldt Street and Grand Avenue.

This new tea shop opened recently in January. The spot has fruit, milk, and pure teas, as well as small bites like beef ball, meatballs, and kelp. Popsicles are also on the menu. Tea Time BK has plenty of room to enjoy your food inside, while you hang about the several tables.


Grimaldi’s Coney Island

1215 Surf Avenue, between Stillwell Avenue and W. 12th Street.

Grimaldi’s was shut down yesterday after failing to pay $89,000 worth of back taxes, the New York Post reports. The closure won’t affect other restaurants with the Grimaldi name, like the Dumbo location, which was closed in 2008 for the same reason. Officials told the Post that the restaurant would reopen once owners agree to a payment plan.


847 Union Street, between 6th and 7th avenues.

Park Slope’s New Zealand restaurant Kiwiana announced to their Instagram followers that they were permanently closed as of the first of January. “It’s been wonderful to be part of the milestones in our customer’s lives and cook for your friends and family,” they wrote. The shop has since been papered up.

Taco Chulo

318 Grand Street, between Marcy and Havemeyer streets.

This Williamsburg taco spot announced that it would be closing at the end of March to their Instagram followers. Known for their margaritas, ladies nights, and brunch parties, Taco Chulo was part of the community for nearly 15 years. They wrote “There will always be love and tequila. Williamsburg is changing and so must we,” in response to a goodbye comment on the announcement.


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