What’s cooking along Willoughby Street

August 12, 2015 By Lore Croghan Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Here is AVA DoBro (center), which rises high above Willoughby Street in Downtown Brooklyn. Eagle photos by Lore Croghan

Eye On Real Estate: A cheat sheet for AVA DoBro's new tenants

Welcome to Willoughby.

This is a cheat sheet about your new street.

It’s for tenants who will be moving to AVA DoBro, the eye-catching 826-unit rental-apartment tower at 100 Willoughby St., starting in September.

It’s a sure bet some of you are new to Downtown Brooklyn. Our list will make you knowledgeable about your new home turf in a New York Minute.

Of course, you’ll find your way to the Fulton Mall without our help. The commercial corridor a block away from Willoughby Street has an array of busy retailers like Swedish powerhouse H&M and long-time anchor store Macy’s.

Of course, some of you will become familiar with the really tall neighboring apartment tower whose address is 388 Bridge St. It will be an up-close element of the views out your windows, just as many of its residents now get an eyeful of AVA DoBro from their windows.

* Shake Shack at 409 Fulton St. has an entrance on a pedestrian plaza that’s part of Willoughby Street. We know you’re familiar with Danny Meyer’s publicly traded gourmet burger behemoth. What you might not know is that this location is one of just a handful where the ChickenShack, which is a crispy chicken-breast sandwich, is being sold for a limited time.

* Hill Country Brooklyn at 345 Adams St., which also has an entrance on the Willoughby Street pedestrian plaza, serves up tasty barbecue.

* Just off Willoughby Street, 375 Pearl St. is an Art Deco building that formerly housed Brooklyn Law School. Brooklyn Friends School is now located in the 1920s-vintage property, which has figures carved into the limestone around its front door that are worth a look.

* Hawa Smoothies & Bubble Tea at 44 Willoughby St. sells protein shakes and fresh-pressed juices. For less health-conscious Downtown Brooklyn denizens, it’s the go-to place for bubble tea.

* Super Taco Plus at 51B Willoughby St. is purely a no-frills place — but it serves a tasty steak fajita salad.

* There’s a Beaux-Arts building with a curvy corner that sticks out like the prow of a ship on the corner of Lawrence and Willoughby streets. The address of this 1890s-vintage individual city landmark is 81 Willoughby St. It houses ASA College and various businesses’ offices.

Kechek Realty Corp. bought the building for $1 million in a 1996 foreclosure sale, city Finance Department records show. Kechek Realty’s owners include company President Albert Srour, Jose Kechek and Ernest Maslaton, a 2012 mortgage document indicates.

* The 1920s-vintage Art Deco building at 365 Bridge St. is now known as Belltel Lofts. The individual city landmark on the corner of Willoughby Street was designed by noted architect Ralph Walker. It was converted to condos by David Bistricer’s Clipper Equity — which is the co-owner of the Hotel Bossert in Brooklyn Heights.

* Next door to AVA DoBro on the Duffield Street side of the building, there’s a Hotel Row that includes Aloft at 216 Duffield St., the Sheraton Brooklyn at 228 Duffield St. and Hotel Indigo at 229 Duffield St. These are great places for your out-of-town guests to stay.

* The Oratory Church of St. Boniface has an office at 109 Willoughby St. The twin-spired Roman Catholic church building is around the corner at 190 Duffield St.

* Next to St. Boniface, there’s a landmarked row of four historic homes at 182-188 Duffield St., built between 1835 and 1847. The Duffield Street Houses, as they’re known, belong to First New York Management Co., Finance Department records indicate. First New York Partners is part of Forest City Ratner Cos. Forest City chieftain Bruce Ratner’s name appears in city Buildings Department filings about the buildings.

All four houses are soooo fine, but our particular favorite is the white clapboard house at 186 Duffield St., which has a free-standing Greek Revival portico.

* City Point, the mixed-use residential and retail mega-development on Albee Square, has Willoughby Street frontage. Alamo Drafthouse Cinema will be opening there, along with a strong lineup of interesting eateries.

* Cheesecake mecca Junior’s is a four-minute walk from Willoughby Street. In 2014, third-generation restaurant owner Alan Rosen decided not to sell the building at 386 Flatbush Ave. Extension, which meant the original restaurant would remain intact.

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