Stop the presses.
, on Fifth Avenue, will close on Tuesday, June 5. They have served Park Slope from their flagship location, between Union Street and Berkeley Place, for exactly ten years with their pressed sandwiches, burgers and “killer” Belgian fires.
But come June 18, will take over the space, serving their Italian-American sandwiches inspired by old Brooklyn delis, superettes and bakeries.
Press 195, owned by Brian Karp, Chris Evans and Jimmy Volz, has two other locations, one in Bayside, Queens and the other in Rockville Centre, Long Island and they will stay open.
Press 195’s manager, Cameron Lewin, said his most of his staff will make the jump with Zito’s.
“I told my dad I got a new job without even updating my resume,” Lewin said while standing behind the bar at Press 195. “I think Zito’s will bring that youthful energy in this space, and I think we could use it. We are all really excited to work for them.”
But, Lewin is a bit nostalgic.
“It’s a bummer seeing anything go and we have regulars who have been coming for ten years. It was a good run for a little business,” Lewin said, explaining that Press opened in June 2002. “This spot allowed them to open two more spaces, so they have done well.”
Lewin will be managing Zito’s new restaurant.
“The Zito’s owners have a great hustle and they have an aesthetic that you need in order to be successful in Brooklyn and especially Park Slope,” Lewin said.
Zito’s plan is to make a quick turn around and lose no time on Fifth Avenue. Co-owner Marcello Bucca, whose partner is Enzo Conigliaro, said that on June 7, two days after Press closes, they will hang their sign and start installing the steel belted façade. The whole transformation, Bucca said, will hopefully only take 13 days.
They are keeping the inside layout, but will replace the granite bar top with a wood one and replace the tables with butcher-block tabletops. Instead of counter service, it will have full service with waiters.
“My whole thing was to make sure we weren’t wasting any time, the space is beautiful as it is, but we are going to give it a Zito’s touch,” Bucca explained. “We’re going to go over there, put on some Beastie Boys and Biz Markie and throw some marinara sauce on the wall and make fresh mozzarella.”
Bucca said they have been thinking of expanding even though they have not been open for even a year yet on Seventh Avenue, between Seventh and Eighth streets.
“This is perfect for us, we always wanted to be on Fifth Avenue with its energy and combination of young and old restaurants,” Bucca said while eating a sandwich in Zito’s on Friday. “I figure anywhere the , we can benefit from their spill over.”
Bucca also said they will expand the menu for the restaurant-style space, which also has a 44-seat backyard. They will serve breakfast, featuring an Italian breakfast sandwich with pancetta, melted provolone and fried eggs. They will also have a frittata and will be brewing Stumptown Coffee.
Zito’s new location will be right next to , which serves beer (and ) and sandwiches. When asked if he is worried about competition, Bucca said he is looking forward to adding to Fifth Avenue’s restaurant row.
“In Manhattan’s diamond district there’s over 400 jewelers and they all feed off of each other,” Bucca said. “We’re coming to make Fifth Avenue better and I think we can all help each other’s business.”
He said Fifth Avenue has been getting a lot of new life and attention and that they are just happy to finally be a part of it. But more than anything, the duo is happy that their business has done so well that they are ready to open their second location.
“We’re just two kids from Bensonhurst who married two sisters and tried to accomplish our dreams and follow our vision, and we did,” Bucca said.
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