After 40 years of holding down the highly visible corner of Flatbush Avenue, Park Place, and Carlton Place, Dominican restaurant El Gran Castillo de Jagua, one of the last holdouts of quality, inexpensive, no frills food in the area, closed up shop yesterday and moved up the block, into the storefront at 355 Flatbush Avenue that was last occupied by Z-7 Classic Diner.
The space hasn't changed much from its days as a diner (it was given a slight upgrade after the previous occupant, Parkside Diner, shuttered), except for the fact that the counter has been removed and replaced by the steam table. The rotisserie, which used to roast chickens in full view of customers, has been moved into the kitchen, so its scent (affectionately known as "El Carneviento") will no longer waft out into the street. The menu is essentially unchanged, save for about a dollar price difference (the Cuban sandwich has gone up from $5.50 to $6.50; prices are still quite cheap).
While it's certainly sad to see such a longtime tenant kicked out of its location (word is that a medical clinic will be taking over the entire corner), it's nice that it can move essentially lock, stock, and barrel to a nearby location.