Greenpoint’s Park Luncheonette on Driggs Avenue, right across from McCarren Park, had a history of being the classic American food spot before it closed down four years ago. Now the team behind Matchless and No Name is reopening the place as of this Saturday. It will maintain the traditional diner feel with some twists: open 24 hours, bar service, and a pizza slice window on the Lorimer Street side.
The goal with the renewed luncheonette is to keep the original vibe with a full cafe serving breakfast and lunch on the Driggs Avenue side, where customers can grab coffee out of the window or sit down to eat lunch. The 24-hour service answers to Greenpoint’s younger population that enjoys a drink out and a late-night food fix.
A team of four partners — Erik Green, Larry Hyland, Nicholas Schneider and Ted Nugent — have been working for the last seven months to open Park Luncheonette’s doors. Julio Gomez is also the designer involved in revamping the space.
“We’ve watched this neighborhood grow immensely. We have had our eye on this corner for quite some time. Seeing it close and reopen,” said Nugent, who, along with Green and Hyland, also own the bars Matchless and No Name right down the street from Park Luncheonette.
The newer partner on board, Schneider, is leading the pizza-slice side of the luncheonette that will open officially next week. Schneider has been around pizza his whole life since his family owns pizza restaurants and he also co-manages the Italian restaurant La Strada with Jenny Olbrich in Rhode Island.
“Somehow the foodie movement has kind of pushed the slice out of this neighborhood. We thought it was a good idea to try to bring it back,” said Schneider.
The Park Luncheonette has been owned by the Kachulis family since 1931, and has experienced different management over the years. Park Luncheonette was featured in Martin Scorcese’s film The Departed before it closed in 2009.
“There are 24-hour diners all around New York, why can’t there be one here?” said Schneider.