New Life for the Former Celestino Space

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Something’s coming for the former Celestino restaurant space at 562 Halsey Street, off of Stuyvesant. The seafood restaurant, operated by the folks behind Saraghina, closed last summer due to lack of business. But this Monday, June 1st, Ella Elka INC. will request a letter of support from Community Board 3 for a liquor license there. About a year ago, word was the owner of the Pink Teacup in Fort Greene planned to open a Cajun comfort food restaurant here called the Blind Pig. Most recent I heard was that the guys from Cafe Lafayette, a cute, cozy, affordable French place in Fort Greene were moving in instead. So are we getting more French for Bed Stuy? Stay tuned for details…

Celestino, Saraghina, Saraghina Bar,

Speaking of Saraghina, what do people think of the bar they opened on Lewis earlier this month? I stopped by yesterday at around 5:30pm to check it out, but it was closed.

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6 thoughts on “New Life for the Former Celestino Space

  1. I think Saraghina is super-overhyped. Unfriendly waiters, average food, really high prices. Due to the lack of competition, I keep going back there (especially when friends come over to visit), although I don’t enjoy it much. I truly hope more options open around here, to take some market share away from the whole Saraghina empire (which seems to be growing).

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    • I agree with you. I think the pizza is good, not great, and the service could be a lot better, too. (Love the space, though.) I’m not trying to knock the biz, but I really can’t understand why it is “the place” to visit in Bed Stuy, and why it’s been heralded as the single most popular restaurant in the area — a big part must be lack of competition. I actually think more visitors to the nabe frequent Saraghina than locals, to be honest. Also agree that I’d love to see more variety.

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      • The space is pretty cool, true. They shot some parts of “While We’re Young” (new Ben Stiller movie) there, which is just going to bring more visitors. Overall, that’s great, but fingers crossed for more variety in the future 🙂

        PS: Btw, have you been to this place in Bushwick: http://www.unionpizzaworks.com/ ? It’s like Saraghina number 2 (same owner I guess), I had a weird deja vu moment.

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  2. My husband and I love Saraghina. We’ve been going there for over 4 years and it’s developed quite a bit. It’s definitely better to go during the week because it’s more relaxed and less crazy busy, but we still often find ourselves there on Fri nights as well. There’s a new pizza chef, so while we always liked the pizza, the dough is great now. We find the food overall to be fresh and delicious — clean flavors and not fussy. Because we’re there once every other week or so, the daily specials are often what we choose from on the menu. You’ve got to give them credit for always changing the menu and using in-season produce. Peaches Hothouse, on the other hand, has had the same old staid and boring menu forever and certainly doesn’t offer much to anyone who wants to eat healthy.

    We love the staff at Saraghina too. As regulars, we know them and they know us. The biggest problem there is the size of the kitchen — that’s what slows things down in terms of potentially long waits for food. While this can be seem as a “waiter” problem, it’s not — capacity in the kitchen is the issue. They’ve also been very receptive to suggestions and solicit our opinion. Just last night we tried a new dessert and I thought the way they served it could be improved to make the various components mingle better. I told them and then as we were leaving they told us they were going to serve it the way I had suggested. That’s an engaged restaurant.

    Still haven’t been to the bar.

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    • Thanks for your comment! The seasonal specials are very good there if you don’t want pizza. Dont get me wrong, I think it’s a solid spot, I think I just wish for more variety in the area.

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  3. The owners of 562 Halsey Street dodged a BIG bullet by not renting to Pink Teacup owner Lawrence Page dba Dinners 4 Winners.

    In a 2013 bankruptcy filing Page/Pink Teacup dba The Gathering Horse, LLC owed over $79,000 in rent, over $20,000 to Con Edison in addition to thousands to other creditors.

    Around the same time Page was in the process of moving the Pink Teacup to Fort Greene. I’ll give you one guess why Page is desperately seeking a new home.

    http://bankrupt.com/misc/nysb13-10360.pdf

    http://www.plainsite.org/dockets/sljvh23a/new-york-southern-bankruptcy-court/the-gathering-horse-llc/

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