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Belleville Briefly Closes, Re-Opens "Under New Management"

If there are a any restaurants in the neighborhood that could officially be under a "deathwatch," Belleville, on the corner of Fifth Avenue and Fifth Street, would certainly be on the list (along with Moutarde and I'm sure a few others). It appears that the French bistro had a close call over the weekend, as they were closed for a couple days and re-opened with a sign on the front window saying that the restaurant is now under new management. 

Oddly enough, during the time that it was closed, another sign on the window claimed that the closure was due to a "refrigeration issue," according to a tipster. 

It certainly isn't as obvious as only being open on weekends, but it's still quite apparent that Belleville is going through a bit of a rough patch at the moment. 

Photo via Belleville

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Reader Comments (32)

i saw the refrigeration issue sign as well, though my interpretation was that they were making updates to their refrigeration system "in preparation for being open for lunch" in the future, as opposed to an actual problem. no mention of new management though.

that said, there's currently a scoutmob deal for 50% off dinner at belleville, wondering if "new management" will honor it? i'd been hoping to get in there for dinner one of these days to try it with the deal.

July 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commentermichele

In the beginning, there was cucina. then there was al di la, then there was moutarde. then there was belleville. it was a heady time: fifth ave., long known for crack vials, A&S pork store and aunt susies, was becoming a dining destination. we rejoiced even in mock french bistro cooking, as long as the bar was made of zinc, the host had a french accent and the wine list had beaujolais.
now, our expectations are much higher, as is the quality of french bistro food elsewhere on the avenue. is it any wonder moutarde closes and reopens with limited hours? belleville has "refrigeration" issues and reopens under new ownership?

July 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterstella

I am not surprise... that was dirty place ,employees were rude and always fighting with each other.I been there few times but always bad experience .

July 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterAmanda

Nice photo, by the way. Makes it look as if it is truly on blvd. St. Germain.

July 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterstella

What is up with all the French restaurants along 5th? Is A.O.C. the only one that is doing well enough to stay open?

July 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterDisco Stain

DiscoStain: Canaille?

July 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterstella

AOC is losing its luster in my eyes, too. The tables are all dinged up, duct tape on the seating benches and other signs of neglect.

Belleville is alright. I've both good and bad experiences there. The brunch is usually reliable, but I've experienced the service issues, too. If there really is new management in place I hope they can tighten the place up.

July 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterFelton

There have been other "management" changes at Belleville, as well as changes in Chefs and overhaul of the menu. As another poster pointed out when this place opened the bar was still low but as newer and better places opened Belleville fell out of favor. I hope that these changes can keep them open and we can award them the "most improved" award soon.

July 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterportie

Had lunch here once. Could not leave fast enough. Never been back.

July 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterBalki

Canaille is some of the best French food you can get. Belleville and AOC are the Disney versions of French.

July 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterdeanstreet

Le Petit Paris Bistro, despite its cutesy name, is quite good. On PPW in Windsor Terrace (so I suppose it's OT here).

July 26, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterstella

I've never been a fan. Went in here a few weeks after a trip to Paris and ordered a Croque Monsieur. I cried. Hard. Not a fan of AOC either.

Still, after all these years, haven't tried Canaille. I really know I should.

July 26, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterCubanSlope

Canaille really is fantastic. Limited menu but that's what you expect from a little French bistro. What it does, it does splendidly.

July 27, 2012 | Unregistered CommenterStoney Stomp

Been there twice in the past couple of months, and met the surprisingly young and very eager new owner. Our dinner last night was surprisingly good and service very nice if a tad slow. I hope this new guy manages to turn it around...

August 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commenterjb

I ate there a couple of months ago. The new owner introduced himself to me. A restauranteur from Paris, he said he "fell in love" with Belleville when visiting Brooklyn and decided to buy it. He brought with him a new chef. He was a nice guy. Said he was going to make a few changes to the menu.

August 1, 2012 | Unregistered Commenteregad

As the manager at Belleville under the prior ownership and continuing with the new regime--- I can attest that the new owners are upstanding and good people who are very passionate about turning Belleville around and have already done much to make the establishment, in my mind, better than ever. The new chef is amazing as well;and is doing a much more innovative and unique take on bistro food. And the lounge has received a much needed facelift; a great venue for parties and lounge acts. Most of all the new owners are charming and gracious. My name is Brian Fraley. If you come to check us out, please introduce yourself and let me know that you saw this post, and I will personally make sure that you have an experience that will turn you into a reopeat customer for long to come.

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