When Stefano Mannino came to Red Hook last winter to size up some for-sale kitchen equipment offered by the then going-out-of-business South Brooklyn Bagel Cafe at 75 Hamilton Avenue, he had no idea he was heading towards the resting place of his third Park Bagels branch. As soon as he saw the
incredible location and space left by the previous business, however, he signed on the dotted line and started to build.
And lucky for us: a little over six months after their opening day, the cafe is doing a roaring trade in fresh, made-to-order breakfast and lunch fare, provided by some of the friendliest people in the City.
The bagel cafe has become a go-to spot for the longshoreman who work the nearby Red Hook cargo docks (the only operational dock left in Brooklyn--all the rest are on the New Jersey side of the Hudson), locals and commuters on their way to and from work, moms, dads, caretakers and kids, as well as those of us who simply cannot resist a good bagel, sandwich or cup of coffee.
Speaking of coffee, if you have already been here and you think their brew is something to rave about, you’re not the only one. “99% of people say our coffee is amazing”, says Stefano Mannino, owner, with the remaining 1% coming in on the “too strong” side of the tracks. Their sourcing team went through over 100 different brands before finding the perfect one, and have settled on a selection that will simply melt your soul. An easygoing $1.25 (plus tax = about $1.36) gets you a cup of regular coffee, and $2.00 will place a delicious, nutty, ka-powwwerlicious espresso into your hands.
All three Park Bagels locations were opened and are run by Mannino, with the help of his two brothers, Vinny and Frankie. Mannino opened his first cafe in 2004 on 86th Street in Brooklyn, and last May he cut the tape on a Staten Island location just a few steps from the Saint George Ferry Terminal.
The Red Hook menu is still being finalized as they continue to take into account all the suggestions and requests being made by patrons, so keep an eye out for exciting new items. Recently added: french toast. They offer tofu cream cheese and soy milk for the dairy-averted, and are currently working on a couple of vegan dishes as well.
Plans are under way to revamp the two already well-used seating areas, and are projected to be ready for spring 2014. The aim, says Mannino, is to make the cafe and garden “more of a destination” with greenery, an inviting, open design, twinkling lights, and easy stroller access. Those with kids, take note!
75 Hamilton Ave.
Brooklyn, NY 11231