The owners of Café Dada have brought the historically landmarked space back to its former glory.
The , where before it closed last August, opened on Thursday and is decked out with reclaimed wood and Edison light bulbs.
The shelves, on the Lincoln Place side, from when it was a pharmacy, had to be replaced because of damage, but the prescription sign is still there and now hangs over the second counter, which serves food along the sidewall.
The owners, Murat Ozcan, who is French and also owns on Seventh Avenue, and Gabor Ferencz, who came from Hungary eight years ago, are happy to say they are finally open.
“We are excited, it’s my dream,” Ferencz said on Wednesday afternoon, just as he was putting everything in place for their grand opening the next day. “We put a lot of work into this place for sixth months, 24 hours a day and now it’s a reality.”
How do they feel about filling Ozzie’s shoes?
“I think it was a successful business for 18 years and it’s sad that Ozzie’s is gone,” Ferencz said among the cafe’s tables made out of Argentinian and English wood. “But, I am happy too, because it allowed us to open.”
He said they admired how Ozzie’s drew in Park Slope and functioned as an informal place for the community to meet.
“This space was always a community hub and it will be again,” Ferencz said. “People will be happy to see a historic landmark in brand new shape.”
The café is characterized by dark wood, historic attributes and shabby-chic additions, like how the counters, one for coffee and one for food and wine, are lined with old wooden window shutters.
The name, Ferencz said, is an ode to the Dadaism movement during WWI. And they want artists to feel that their café is a place for them to congregate and even show off their art work.
The front window will showcase a rotating display of artwork, books and even films made by locals.
Ozcan said that their café and wine bar is not just a coffee shop.
“We want to create Café Dada to be a place where artists come together and make something small more than just a café,” Ozcan said. “It’s not just a place to grab your coffee and go, but instead a place for people to stay and be part of the community.”
Although they will have wireless and allow laptops, Ozcan said he wants their patrons to be social.
“We want more discussion, more family and children,” Ozcan said. “We genuinely want people to come here and talk. We aren’t trying to be trendy, we want to catch the neighborhood and keep them here.”
Chef Carl Alioto will be in charge of the food, which will be French-Hungarian cuisine. Alioto has nearly 20 years experience cooking in New York City and last worked at the Flatiron Hotel.
“We are using fresh, organic ingredients and our café will be as farm-to-table as possible,” Alioto said while organic eggs were being delivered on Wednesday.
Their menu will feature croissant breakfast sandwiches, quiches, wood boards with meat and cheese, soups, salads and sandwiches for lunch. One sandwich that sounds particularly good is the Budapest Sandwich with Hungarian pick salami, garlic butter, hard boiled egg, tomato and red bell pepper on a baguette.
Ozcan said they aren’t doing anything fancy, but they are going to make the food well.
“We will serve simple, fresh and quality food,” Ozcan said. “Our space will give a toast to the old neighborhood with a French-Hungarian flavor.”
They will be serving Blue Bottle Coffee Co., which is from San Francisco, California.
Ozcan said they are looking forward to being on the corner of Seventh Avenue and Lincoln Place for a long time.
“I feel great, me and my partner feel amazing and he hope for longevity,” he said. “We took a risk, but we made it.”