We asked, you answered: The best and worst openings and closings of 2019
Readers told us which Brooklyn restaurants they'll miss the most in 2020 and those they're looking forward to.
That gave us an idea: Why not find out which restaurants closed this year that you’ll miss most? And what opened that you’re excited about?
If you’re in the mood to reminisce — and find some newer neighborhood haunts that are a must — then take a scroll through our reader’s picks for best openings and worst closings of the year.
Casey from Facebook said, “Rose Water closing was a huge shock to me. I took my then girlfriend (now wife) there for dinner for the first birthday of hers we celebrated as a couple.”
Farm-to-table restaurant Gristmill opened in 2016 to wide acclaim from foodies and the The New York Times, but as Jennifer on Facebook pointed out, it closed its doors in May of this year.
Hugo and Sons
Known for its affordable prices and Italian and French classics, the restaurant “disappeared without a trace!” according to Jennifer from Instagram.
More than three people pointed to the closing of Italian restaurant Two Toms as this year’s biggest loss. The neighborhood staple was known for serving police officers, firefighters and countless others for more than 70 years.
One reader pointed to Oaxacan-inspired restaurant Claro as a bright spot in the wake of Two Toms closing. It turns out Claro actually opened in 2018, but you might as well give it a try.
La Defense Bistro
On Facebook, Patricia said the French restaurant was “a sweet little spot. Always a good meal, and they had live Gypsy Jazz music during summer brunches with outdoor seating and water bowls for doggos.”
Circles Cafe and Grill
The beloved bistro first opened its doors in 1976 and shuttered this past July. A real estate broker whose company listed the property told the Brooklyn Reporter, “One of their chefs died this past year and they decided to close the business.” On Facebook, Steven simply wrote about the restaurant, “Comfort food.”
Another big loss for Bay Ridge? Casa Pepe shut down after nearly four decades of serving up authentic Spanish cuisine. Stephen wrote on Facebook, “I don’t bat an eye for some of the hundreds of start-ups that don’t survive, it’s a tough biz. But every old stalwart that falls, a bit of old Brooklyn dies.”
In October 2018, the owner of Sancho’s retired after 30 years in business. This October, new owners opened the Spanish restaurant under the same name and menu, according to Brooklyn Eagle reader Dale.
Reader Francine already misses the ice cream at Milkmade. What started as a subscription ice cream service and evolved into a storefront in Carroll Gardens, serving 16 flavors. But after five years, they closed up shop in November.
Neighborhood coffee shop Smith Canteen closed back in June, Dan told us on Instagram. In 2011, owner Kerry Diamond turned the abandoned building — which had housed a pharmacy — into the popular coffee spot. Efforts to find a potential buyer for the shop didn’t pan out.
Back in February, Sociale closed in Brooklyn Heights with the intention to relocate to 320 Court Street in Carroll Gardens, and this summer it became a reality.
Rosemary’s Greenpoint Tavern
This one was a real heartbreaker for many of our readers — sad face emojis and all. The hole-in-the-wall, which sat unchanged for many decades, succumbed to gentrification after a 66-year run back in February.
Another community staple, Mugs, also closed in June after 26 years of business. The owners cited the changing neighborhood as part of the reason.
The home of the “best paczki,” according to Tomas on Instagram, the Polish bakery closed this July after 34 years in business.
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