I was surprised the other day, walking down Fifth Avenue in the South Slope, to spot a familiar blue and yellow awning I had been used to seeing in Bay Ridge. It was unmistakably Leske's Bakery, a Swedish icon from the southern edges of Brooklyn which, after briefly closing in 2011, was bought by new owners and reopened. Now, it seems, the owners are intent on expanding. This new outpost is the first of what a clerk told me the owners hope will be a few new Leske's around the city. It's a nice turnaround for a classic Brooklyn business that very recently was on the brink of extinction.
The layout inside is very similar to that of the Bay Ridge store, with the counter and shelves of delicacies to the left as you walk in. I had a black and white cookie, and an almond danish, both of which were fresh and delicious. (I'm not a fan of the iconic black and white city, but I will agree with what others have said, that this is the best example in the city.) I had been unaware of the Leske's tradition of serving free coffee from 5 a.m. to 7 a.m. every day, but apparently this is so.