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Wednesday
May072014

El Gran Castillo de Jagua Moves into New Location Up the Block

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.

Monday
May052014

Artisanal Olive Oil, Balsamic Vinegar Shop Coming to 140 5th Avenue

The second location of O Live Brooklyn, which specializes in premium extra virgin olive oils and balsamic vinegars, will be opening soon in the space last occupied by E Lingerie, on 5th between Douglass and Baltic.

The specialty (to say the least) shop already has one location on Broadway in Williamsburg, and at this location they'll feature dozens of single-varietal olive oils and balsamic vinegars on tap, as well as many flavored olive oils, salts, olive wood accessories, and a handful of specialty items, owner Greg Bernarducci told Park Slope Stoop.

“I suspect there are many among you who eat all-natural, organic produce and meats, and fresh olive oil is a natural and beneficial addition to a healthy diet,” Bernarducci added. He'll also be teaching an Olive Oil 101 class.

All products are provided by 90 year-old Veronica Foods, which works with producers all around the world.

Like the incoming shop that specializes in aperitifs and digestifs a few blocks away, this shop will have a rather narrow focus, which can work for it or against it. It's one thing to do one thing and do it well, but it's always a toss-up as to whether or not sales will be substantial enough to turn a profit in a space that's most likely very high-rent. Still, this shop will introduce plenty of items to the neighborhood that aren't yet available, so fingers crossed that they can make it work.

They're currently hiring part-time employees; those with a "knowledge of or interest in food, cooking, and healthy eating" can send their resume to olivebrooklyn@gmail.com, a sign in the window indicates.

Thursday
May012014

Major Fire at Cog & Pearl on Fifth and Sackett

The building on the southwest corner of Fifth Avenue and Sackett Street, home to the jewelry store Cog & pearl, caught fire last night, and it appears as if the whole building has sustained major damage.

Photos tweeted show a stretch of Berkeley Street filled with smoke and flame, and what appears to be a near-completely burned out building. I'll update with more information when it becomes available.

 

 

UPDATE: Many thanks to reader Brook for sending the below photo; the storefront has been completely boarded up as of this morning.

 

Thursday
May012014

Breaking: Terroir Park Slope is For Rent

 

Terroir, the outpost of the popular East Village-based mini-chain of wine bars that opened in September of 2012 in the prime corner storefront on Fifth Avenue and First Street that was last occupied by bar Great Lakes, is for rent. Many thanks to a tipster for sending over the above listing (click for a larger version).

The wine bar anchors one of the best blocks for food in the city, which also includes Calexico, Blue Ribbon, Bonnie's Grill, and Naruto Ramen. It opened with plenty of fanfare, and all signs pointed to it being a success: a great selection of wine, a small if well-curated menu, and a heck of a pedigree (chef Marco Canora and sommelier Paul Grieco are the brains behind it and the four other locations, all in Manhattan).

The listing doesn't mention monthly rent, but one can only expect that it's exorbitant. I've reached out to the owners for comment and will update if I hear back.

UPDATE: Grieco has confirmed the impending closure to Eater: "Yes, Terroir Park Slope will be closing after we find a great tenant to take over the space."

Wednesday
Apr302014

Signage Up at New Gran Castillo de Jagua

El Gran Castillo de Jagua, the Dominican restaurant that's held down the corner of Flatbush Ave, Carlton Ave, and Park Place for 40 years, is days away from closing up shop and moving up the avenue, and signage has gone up at its new location.

The space that the restaurant is moving into has been home to a restaurant for years (it was Parkside Diner, then Z-7 Diner), so there wasn't much buildout needed; the lease has been signed for months so there won't be much time in between the closure and re-opening.

You have to admit, the new sign is pretty awesome.

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