At 7 a.m. on Monday, will open the doors to their , on the corner of Fifth Avenue and President Street.
The second “finer diner,” owned by husband and wife Matheo Pisciotta and Mary Fraioli, will have the same menu except for a few variations (and it appears that their motto on the sign will be “cool comfort” instead of “a finer diner”), an outdoor café and will be open late night and have a full liquor license—serving beer, wine and liquor.
Their Ninth Street location, which Pisciotta has been operating for almost 15 years with his partner Ben Hoen, is still up and running, but only sells beer and wine and is not open as late as the Fifth Avenue locale.
Community Board 6 unanimously approved a recommendation for Dizzy’s liquor license .
The restaurant will seat 75 people and has big, floor to ceiling windows along its façade on Fifth Avenue and an outdoor café with tables and chairs behind a yellow wooden fence on President Street.
The bar has a nostalgic, retro-kitsch design, which matches perfectly with the rest of the space. It has a classic diner red Formica counter surrounded by a stainless steel rim, industrial-style spotlights hang down from the ceiling and an exposed brick wall stands behind a stainless steel splatter guard.
The sidewall outside of the kitchen is key-lime-pie-green and is speckled with white martini glasses, a pig wearing a cape, hot cups of coffee, club sandwiches, burgers and other symbols painted by a local artist. Pisciotta has dubbed it the “Doodle Wall.”
But easily the best piece of décor (beating out the red sign above the windows that reads, “Eat Big”) is a large portrait of the restaurant’s mascot and inspiration, “Dizzy the Pig.”
Pisciotta said that Dizzy is a made-up caricature that sums up the diner’s mentality.
“Dizzy is a pig that hangs out, eats good food and drinks good drink,” he said, explaining that he hopes his neighbors come and do that exact same thing at his new restaurant. “He’s a fictitious character who represents comfort food, intelligence, happiness and the fact of being utterly satisfied.”
His Ninth Street location draws a big weekend brunch crowd, which he hopes the new location will too, but Pisciotta wants his new outpost to be the late-night hangout for the neighborhood’s revelers.
“We’re serving stuff you want to eat after you leave your favorite bar,” Pisciotta said while he was putting some finishing touches on his restaurant in early April, noting that they will be serving a full list of beeer, wine and liquor with their hearty food, like buttermilk biscuits with sausage gravy, mac-n-cheese or their “Dad’s Favorite Meatloaf,” a perfect combination for a great nightcap.
Interestingly enough, this particular space Dizzy’s took over has a certain place in the lore of urban legend in Park Slope. Allegedly, the corner space on Fifth Avenue and President Street is cursed (the discussion of the corner’s ill fate all started two years ago on a thread on Brooklyian, a blog). But it’s not a curse that involves ghosts and murder, but rather failure.
The “” has been the home for a slew of rotating restaurants that have not had much luck with staying open. was the curse’s most recent victim, which opened in November 2010 and closed in January 2012.
Comida’s predecessor Playa and Cabana Bar, closed after a little longer than a year. Before Playa, it was Night and Day, before that it was Lookout Hill, before that it was Biscuit BBQ and even before all of them it was a laundromat.
But, Pisciotta is not worried about the “curse.” (Either are our readers: according to a poll .) He believes the string of restaurants closed because they were not successful, and also because they did not get the memo.
“I’ll tell you what I think about the ‘cursed corner,’ this place was always meant to be Dizzy’s. It was unfortunate that the previous owners did not know that, it really is. But this corner has been waiting for us—it has been waiting for Dizzy’s,” Pisciotta said while standing in his soon-to-open diner. “And now, it’s time.”