It's been known for a few months that the landord who owns the building that's home to Dominican restaurant El Gran Castillo De Jagua has been trying to push them out, and it appears as if he's accomplished that task. They'll be closing up shop at the end of March, but luckily, they're not moving far.
Over the weekend 7-Z Classic Diner, the mediocre eatery that replaced the popular Parkside Diner in 2012 on 7th between Park and Sterling, shut down, and signs were put up in the window saying that "El Gran Castillo de Jagua is relocating to this location." I took a short walk to Gran Castillo, which has occupied the corner space six storefronts away for the past 40 years, and a manager told me that they'll be leaving the space on March 31.
It was previously rumored that they'd be moving into the gutted space up the block last occupied by a mattress store if forced to close, but this is actually far more promising news, for obvious reasons. It's still a decent-sized space, and there's already a long counter and a full kitchen. It appears as if the Z-7 folks packed up pretty quickly and left most of their equipment behind, so hopefully the closure doesn't last for too long.
This stretch of Flatbush Avenue is one of the most-coveted stretches of real estate in the city at the moment, and landlord Stuart Venner of Vlacke Bos Realty has been in the process of booting out other tenants of this prime corner, including a barber shop and bakery Little Miss Muffin ‘N’ Her Stuffin', for months. An emergency care facility is slated to move in the space next door that has been vacant since 2011; hopefully the fact that temp signage has been up for 10 months is not an indicator that this corner will remain vacant for years as well.
Gran Castillo has been the anchor of this block for decades, but it's nice to see that they'll just be moving a few storefronts up. The manager assured me that the menu will remain exactly the same.