On Monday John Barclay, proprietor of Bushwick mainstay Bossa Nova Civic Club, announced on Facebook that he was no longer involved with Juno, the upscale-diner “date spot” that he opened up with the help of the same investors from his nightclub venture back in December. “It had become clear that the spot wouldn’t survive without the funding that I can’t provide,” he wrote, wishing the place well.
Prior to the switch-up in ownership, Juno was showing signs of strain– pulling back on service hours that are notoriously difficult for restaurants to make profitable. “We loved serving you coffee and lunch every day but our bank did not,” read an update to Juno’s Facebook page when those services were discontinued last month.
When I swung by last night, business was fairly steady for a rainy Tuesday evening. Kristan Andria, a Sheepshead Bay resident who started Monday as the new manager, indicated that he was brought in by the owner, Mickey Berlianshik (also a principal at Bossa Nova Civic Club), to run a tighter ship.
“I have to clean up a little bit, because a lot of things are going the wrong way. I want this place to stay in this area,” said Kristan. “This type of business you really have to pinch every little penny to make it succeed. That’s what I want to do now. Bushwick is getting very popular.”
Kristan emphasized that there were no hard feelings about Barclay’s departure. “It’s still his place, you know? He built this. I told him this is his home, basically. They did a wonderful job,” he said.
That said, Kristan may reconfigure the bar, give the front area more of a cocktails vibe, and add seating by replacing tables with booths. There will also be a few menu changes befitting the restaurant’s Roman name, meaning “pasta dishes– with prosciutto, zucchini, stuff like that.” The plan is to order some “new machines” and incorporate a selection of handmade pastas. “We’re going to do everything in-house, and just sort of roll with the seasons.”