Boerum Hill

Grandma’s House, destroyed by Sandy in South Street Seaport, comes to Brooklyn

July 7, 2015 Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Grandma's House on Atlantic Avenue. Eagle photos by Rob Abruzzese
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When Superstorm Sandy swept through the South Street Seaport area, destroying a number of popular businesses, one of the victims was a restaurant called Grandma’s House. Today, more than two years later, Grandma’s House has been recreated at 364 Atlantic Ave. in Boerum Hill.

The eatery will feature an all-American menu using only items and ingredients made in the U.S. The décor features bright colors, including a lot of red, white and blue. The homey decorating touches make any diner feel like they truly are visiting Grandma at home.

The menu has been planned — recreating the popular fare that Grandma’s House offered when it was located in South Street Seaport — to include the restaurant’s immensely popular barbeque ribs, Grandma’s meatballs (in sandwiches and spaghetti), ice cream parlor specialties like Brooklyn Egg Creams and a wide assortment of all-American dishes, home-baked pies and cakes.

“We will be reusing the old wood-burning oven,” said Frank Heller, one of the key partners, “to make all of our flatbreads in-house…this place will be very kid-friendly and family-style.”

Neighbors who walk or drive by the new restaurant can see the colorful, inviting sign and the homey setting of chairs and tables. But sadly there is no food service yet. The opening of Grandma’s House has been delayed because of allocated Sandy relief funds that have not been released.

Heller has praised the city’s Department of Small Business Services for their efforts, particularly Commissioner Maria Torres-Springer.  But to date, the funds needed by a number of promising relocated businesses have not been unfrozen.

“It’s a significant amount of money for a small operation like ours,” says Heller. “We have been stopped in our tracks until the funds, which are essential to replace equipment destroyed by Sandy, can be released to enable reopening.

“The most frustrating thing is that we couldn’t even file the final paperwork to specify needed funds until we had already relocated into the new place on Atlantic Avenue,” added Heller. “So we have been paying rent for months, with most of our renovation done, awaiting the funds for vital equipment to open.”

Heller, an attorney and longtime resident of Brooklyn Heights, is well-known as a generous contributor to many local institutions and organizations — a “Brooklyn Booster” with an upbeat attitude toward the current Brooklyn renaissance.  But lately, he says, he is frustrated.

“We will be launching a new website after Grandma’s House opens,” he added. “Meanwhile, people can get an update on our special phone line that says what we’re all about.” Just dial 718-MadeUSA.                                    



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