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The New O'Connor's Finally Revealed

One year and eight months since it closed, the newest incarnation of beloved classic dive bar O'Connor's, on Fifth between Bergen and Dean, has been revealed. If you were a fan of its old-school throwback scrappiness, avert your eyes:

The new facade has been revealed, and it looks like just about every other standard Irish pub in the city. An improvement over the previous sparse black-panted brick? Sure. Anything special? Not really.

As for the interior, the folks at the Brooklyn Eagle got a look last week (above). All traces of its past have been scrubbed clean, and even the 80 year-old antique bar and back bar have been needlessly banished to the junk heap. The new bar is a plain slab of walnut, with some knee-scraping stone underneath. It's hard to tell, but by the direction of the sunlight it looks like the bar has also been moved to the other side of the room.

There are also "some walls with walnut paneling, others with newly exposed brick, a stone fireplace and leather upholstered banquettes," according to the newspaper, as well as a big room in the back, and a second floor where they'll host "small weddings, First Communion and christening parties." No sign of the antique phone booth owner Mike McMahon removed and promised me he would return.

There's a kitchen, and food including corned beef and cabbage will be on offer. A name change is also in store; when it opens it'll no longer be called O'Connor's, which is probably for the better.

Park Slope needs an Irish pub.... We want a place you can bring your mother, your grandmother, and the kids,” owner Mike McMahon said, without a trace of irony.



Joe's Pizza on Seventh Closed for 'Renovations'

Joe's Pizza, the traditional pizzeria on Seventh between Carroll and Garfield, has closed up shop, with a sign in the front doorway saying that they're "temporarily closed" and reopening soon.

The pizza here is good if not spectacular, and the space is no-frills and old-school. They've never really stood out from the pack, so the owners probably decided to invest in an upgrade more substantial than a new sign, which is a couple years old at this point. Construction paper is up, which also indicates that something is actually going on inside (as opposed to the owners bluffing, which is somethimes the case).


Closed for Business: The Walk-In Cookbook, 72 7th Avenue

The Walk-In Cookbook, the experimental gourmet shop that opened last August on Seventh Avenue between Lincoln and Berkeley, closed down today. Owner Filip Nuytemans sent an email around to their mailing list announcing the closure a couple hours ago; here's that it said:

We have enjoyed providing you with our recipe offering hoping to have brought something new and different to your dinner table.  Unfortunately, we are unable to make our concept work in brick and mortar and we are closing the store today.  We would like to thank you for your support, it has been a pleasure getting to know many of you.  Our best wishes to you and your families for a great 2014.
The Walk-In Cookbook Team

The shop took a unique approach to cooking a meal: they provided you with the recipe and all the ingredients needed to cook a meal from scratch, down to the teaspoon. The ingredients for about 15 rotating meals, from fish tacos to green chicken curry, were available at any time, along with a handful of pantry staples.

It was a good idea, but never really found a niche in the neighborhood, and not many predicated that it would even stick around as long as it did considering the fact that it was usually empty. Those looking to cook a meal can usually find everything they need by going to the supermarket, and the fact that shopping here would result in no waste wasn't enough to change people's habits.


Luke's Lobster Confirmed for 237 5th Avenue

Back in September, a rep from Luke's Lobster, the popular mini-chain specializing in lobster, crab, and shrimp rolls, confirmed to me that they were planning on opening in Park Slope. All signs pointed to them coming to the long-abandoned double-storefront at 235-7 5th Avenue, between Carroll and President, and yesterday the company's VP Ben Conniff confirmed to the Brooklyn Daily Eagle that that's indeed the case.

The 600-square-foot space will also include a spacious back yard, and because a lot of construction is required it likely won't be open until spring.

“When we open a restaurant, we like to put down roots there and become invested in the community for the long term," Conniff told the Eagle. "We feel that Park Slope has the biggest community of residents and businesses with that commitment to their home and their neighbors, and that's the vibe we want in our shack – regulars and friendly faces, and lot of frequent diner cards on the wall.”

The two storefronts were the longtime home of Joe's Shoe Repair and the His & Hers Social and Athletic Club, and had been scaffolded for the better part of the past 7 years before facade reconstruction began a couple weeks ago.


Trois Pommes Patisserie is For Rent

The storefront at 260 5th Avenue between Garfield and Carroll, home to Trois Pommes Patisserie since May of 2007, has been put up for rent. Halstead is listing the space for $8,500/month.

Pastry chef Emily Isaac opened the bakery, which fires up the ovens at 5:30 am every morning, after a four-year stint as head pastry chef at the famed Union Square Cafe, and her pastries, cakes, tarts, cookies, croissants, and quiches have a devoted fan base. The shop had a moment in the sun about five years back, when her whoopie pies were featured front-and-center in a New York Times feature, setting off a citywide trend, and last year her Cronut interpretation sold like hotcakes as well.

While some might feel that there are too many bakeries in the neighborhood, my personal opinion is that there can never be enough, especially when they're helmed by someone with as much skill as Isaac. So stock up while you can, because it might not be around for much longer.

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