About half a half-century ago, this storefront on President Street near Columbia Street was Cafiero's Italian restaurant. I've always been suspicious of the buidling; I knew it was a well-known eatery once, but could never get the straight dope on it. Everyone always told me it used to be a "famous restaurant," with eyes wide, and then couldn't recall the name of the place. Finally, a local oldtimer who lives down the block from me, and had seen Cafiero's in action, gave me the news.
The name doesn't resonate much today, but once upon a time Cafiero's was one of the preeminent fine eats places in South Brooklyn, an establishment visited by the local mobsters as well as prominent lawyers, politicians and judges driving in from downtown Brooklyn. Story goes Joe DiMaggio wined and dined Marilyn Monroe here once or twice.
The restaurant closed sometime in the early '50s, according to my oldtimer. If you peek through the ever-shuttered windows, you can spy high, ornately designed tin ceilings. I can't find out anything more about it, not a menu, not a picture, not an anecdote. Anybody out there got anything?