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Tuesday
Oct012013

Caramello Has Been Closed Since Last Weekend (UPDATED)

Owner Nicoletta Grippo

For those who are fans of Caramello's gelato and baked goods, you might be in for some bad news: Caramello, the shop that opened on Fifth between Union and Berkeley last June and sold some of the highest-quality, most authentic gelato you'll find outside of Italy, has been closed since last weekend. The interior hasn't been touched, however, and it has an "A" rating from the DOH, the phone line's still active, and there's no indication on the website or otherwise that it's closed for good. It just seems like one night the roll-down gate closed and it was never raised again.

I've reached out to owner Nicoletta Grippo, who comes from a long line of gelato makers, but have yet to hear back. The gelato she makes, which uses only fresh ingredients and comes in varieties both classic and unique, is nothing short of delicious, and her baked goods and pastries are nothing to sneeze at either.

One thing that I always thought Caramello had working against it was its layout: the gelato counter was tucked in the back of the shop as opposed to being up front and visible from the sidewalk; when the excellent L'Albero dei Gelati opened in July eight blocks away they put their gelato front and center, and the sidewalk line has been a near-constant presence ever since. Gelato is usually an impulse buy, and if you can see it you'll be far more likely to buy a cup.

I will update if and when I hear back from Nicoletta. I hope that this underappreciated neighborhood gem isn't done for good.

UPDATE 10/2: Caramello just posted this on their Facebook page:

"Hey all! You guys have probably noticed the absence of treats and coffee this past week-- things are a brewin' so keep an open eye for changes; big and small! Thanks for the love you'll see us again soon."

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Reader Comments (41)

It was a matter of time . Caramello just couldn't compete but if it had been further away it probably still would have thrived.

I feel most bad for Sterling who got this one all wrong.

October 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJbob

You're right about the visibility layout issues about Caramello. I always thought the coffee machine? blocked your view into the store. Unfortunately, the skinny storefront makes it difficult to really rearrange. I wish them the best.

October 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternormality

It was just too far for anyone to walk to!

October 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTed ReTurner

What a shame! One of my favorite spots in the Slope.

October 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRenanit

I hope this isn't true, their gelato is better than anything I've had including L'Albero dei Gelati.

October 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRick

This is tragic. This gelato was to die for. L'Albero dei Gelati tastes like water in comparison. I do hope that the closure is temporary.

October 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterWaddler

Literally my favorite little spot in Park Slope. Really disappointed about this. That L'albero has good sandwiches, but their gelato didn't hold a candle to Caramello. And the rest of the desserts here were just oh so perfect!

October 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterIna

Just recently tried L'Albero and I have to agree that Caramello was far better. L'albero was a little twee for my taste. Caramello was sophisticated and grown up while L'albero seems more like a playpen for screaming kids.

October 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEd

She should have done more marketing. The Caramello website never went live, no presence on facebook, very little reaching out to the food blogs it seems. You basically had to walk by and even then, you wouldn't necessarily know what it was. BUT it was a little secret for those who knew about it and sadly that secret may be what shut it down.

I'm still praying it's not gone for good, but it would seem so. Shame as the construction of the space took FOREVER.

October 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEd

I loved this place, best gelato ever! But totally agree about the layout. Gelato in the front NEXT TO THE REGISTER! It was annoying to go to the back to taste the flavors, then go to the front to pay, then go to the back to order.

October 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterMissPhoebe

I used to think it was only Republicans that thought in black and white but lately its PSers on this blog. Why does liking one place require you to trash another? Caramello was good, Albero De Gelati is good. Dinosaur is good, Morgans is good...

Ok all the yogurt places still suck but whatever.

October 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJbob

Dinosaur isn't really good though. It's serviceable.

October 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterEd

Morgans is not good, it's excellent. Caramello was not good, it was great.

Nice to have some excellent places around instead of so many mediocre ones. Seems many can't tell the difference between good and great.

dinosaur is so meh, it's like the dumbed down version of barbeque. Can't say much about L'albero, sure it's good, but Caramello was the best in the neighborhood by far. Nothing wrong with being disappointed that some of the best places around are closing up while the mediocre ones flourish.

October 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterRick

Shitting on Dinosaur is so ridiculous, yet so many PS blog idiots love to do so at the mere mention of it. This is what's called defining yourself by beign exclusionary and not inclusive. I've eaten at 3/4 of the famed BBQ spots in NYC for the past ten years. Dinosaur can hang with any of them.

Please tell me this isn't so with Caramello. With Ample Hills going the way of overpacked tourist destination (and one who has drastically cut down on their flavors),. Caramello is, by far, the best ice cream/gelato shop in the neighborhood. Their baked goods selection was also increasing, with cookies that give Momofuku's a run for their money. yes, they could promote the shit out of that gelato more, but it is heavenly.

The newer spot on southern fifth is alright, but lacks the selection and, sorry, just isn't as good.

I have to laugh at the person saying it's doing bad business because it's too far. What's the matter, mommy and daddy only bankrolled you enough to afford the South Slope? Slope Wars would love that one.

October 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTed Nelson

Ted, I think they were being facetious about the location thing.

Great product alone doesn't always make a business successful. Brand matters, marketing matters, staying relevant and fresh matters. L'albero is still new guy in town. Let's see in a year or so if it is still is doing well, despite the inferior that everyone is saying it is.

October 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenternormality

Caramello and L'Albero di Gelati both have literally the exact same rating on Yelp-ie an excellent one. They both have similarly rave reviews in many other places as well.

I used to think people who ate ice cream were happier people.

October 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJbob

Why do you need to act like the Blog police, JBOB?

Everyone has their own opinion and it's really tiresome that EVERY SINGLE TIME someone voices one that differs from yours, you jump down their throat.

You do it here, and you do it on all the other blogs too. It's just incredibly immature, bordering on pychotic.

Give it a rest.

October 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTim

@Tim

That's spelled p(s)ychotic

October 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJbob

No surprise. Caramello couldn't hold a stick to Dinosaur. One of them had to go.

Am I doing this right?

October 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterFelton

You people are crazy! Caramello was serviceable but inferior to L'albero. L'albero's gelato may not scream sugar because they have a more refined product that doesn't just rely on sweetness.

October 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterTheodore

Yeah, sorry. Carmello was no where near as refined, interesting or tasty of a product at L'albero.

October 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterYo

Caramello lays waste to all other frozen-treat joints in the slope - FROYO included. Full stop.

If they just opened Caramellos in every ice cream/yogurt/froyo/popsicle/flavored ice location in the neighborhood, we would all be better off and lead happier, sweeter lives.

With that location closed, I am still holding out hopes that we'll get a Pretzel Time / Cinnabon combination franchise to move into the 5th avenue scene. Then we're cookin'!

October 1, 2013 | Unregistered Commenterslopeadope

Don't get your panties in a twist Ted. I haven't seen anyone shit on Dinosaur. I've only seen people point out the fact that Dino is just not that good. Fort Reno is better and Morgans is in another category all together. It's simply about the quality - that is it. I'm sorry you don't have much a discerning palate when it comes to BBQ. Judging by the Yelp reviews - you are not alone.

I will miss Caramello. The people in there were nice and I stopped in a couple of times a month. Also - the gelato was divine.

October 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterReal Parksloper

You say Caramello, I say Cacamello. And Morgans? BBQ for snobs who don't know any better.

@Tim people who follow Jbob are asses
@Ted people who name drop Momofuko are asses
@Ina people who use "literally" are asses
@Felton yes that's it exactly

That is all.

October 1, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterJust Shlopin

The gelato at Caramello was mediocre, I'm sorry, and for one reason: it was too sweet. The sugary taste dominated any flavor. I'm sorry they're closed, but it was not great gelato.

October 2, 2013 | Unregistered CommenterNSloper

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