31 January 2007

Monteleone and Cammareri to Finally Open!

I passed by the new combined Court Street home of two Brooklyn culinary institutions, Monteleone pastries and Cammareri bakery, and it looks like the place is about ready to open—good news for those who need quality miniature pastries and prosciutto bread in their lives.

The official name of the business is "F. Monteleone & Cammareri Bakery & Cafe." It has a swanky new awning lit up by five large globe lights. Inside, they've kept the original tin ceilings and terrazzo floors (or, at least, a very nice fassimile thereof). The counter is along the right as it always was and there are a few cafe tables along the left. Given that there were some plates of cookies on the counter, I'd say the grand opening can't be too far off, though there is no sign in the window alerting the public. However, a call placed to the number on the awning reached a man who said the enterprise would open this weekend! Huzzah!

The space previously belonged only to Monteleone, which has been in the neighborhood since 1902, when it was founded on Columbia Street by Harry and Frank Monteleone. Somewhere along the way, the brothers took on two unrelated partners, moved to Court Street and passed away. There is no blood relation to the Monteleone clan among the current ownership, but there is a direct throughline, since the owners once worked for Frank and Harry.

Monteleone sadly closed up shop in 2006, denying citizens superlative almond biscotti; pignoli, fudge drop and sandwich cookies; sfingi; Italian style cheesecake; and, of course, all those Lilliputian versions of classic pastries like cream puffs, eclairs and rum baba. But they teamed up with another name from the past, Cammareri (of "Moonstruck" fame and formerly on Henry Street) and are back. Cammareri closed up its storefront sometime around 2000 but apparently still survived in a wholesale fashion.

The business has taken its sweet time reopening. Construction has gone forward at a snail's pace. At one point, there were reports the contrator had been sent to jail. But if they're not opening now, I'd be very surprised. It has all the earmarks of a finished operation.

No comments: