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General News

Baby Blues Luncheonette Features Greek Diner Food and a Dash of Nostalgia

NEW YORK – An enchanting “new modern Greek diner,” Baby Blues Luncheonette, 97 Montrose Avenue in Brooklyn, opened on November 5, Eater New York reported, adding that “first-time restaurant owners Costa Damaskos and Jake Marsiglia… have several years in New York City food service between them.”

“The menu features dilly egg sandwiches, an H.L.T. (halloumi, lettuce, and heirloom tomatoes), Greek salad, watermelon-feta salads, the ‘Zorba plate’ (halloumi, tzatziki, Greek potatoes), Greek yogurt bowls, and baklava banana bread,” Eater reported, noting that drinks include “banana date shakes and Greek frappes, in addition to tea and coffee.”

“Notably, there’s plenty to find among vegetarian or gluten-free options,” Eater reported, adding that “everything is made in-house where possible, while the halloumi and feta are imported, and other ingredients, even down to the maple syrup, are sourced locally.”

“We really wanted to use this as a chance to connect with New York state in terms of produce,” Damaskos told Eater, pointing out the eggs with “bright orange yolks” from “happy hens.”

“The luncheonette’s name is a reference to retro jazz and blues clubs and the owners hope to evoke a similar nostalgia,” Eater reported, noting that “Damaskos’ girlfriend, Leigh Altshuler, is the owner of the Lower East Side’s used bookstore and pickle shop Sweet Pickle Books (he helped design her graphics, and her pickles are proudly featured on the Baby Blues menu).”

“Through Altshuler, Baby Blues connected with Hank O’Neal, an acclaimed photographer and music producer of jazz and blues, who gave the luncheonette several posters that hang around the space, as well as VHS lining the metal blue shelves,” Eater reported, adding that “keeping on theme, Baby Blues has a dedicated audio player for playing some old blues and jazz tapes.”

“Nostalgia carries throughout the room in details like thrifted salt and pepper shakers on each table, as well as the new mugs and t-shirts Damaskos (who operates a design firm) created for the space,” Eater reported, noting that “ultimately, the owners wanted to create a dining room that felt ‘friendly,’ provided good service, and high-quality food, with a vibe that doesn’t feel fussy.”

“So many old-school spots have been disappearing from the landscape, and we wanted to pay homage to that,” Greek-Australian Damaskos told Eater, adding that “he was fascinated to learn about his culture’s ties to diners when he moved to New York City” and “a love of diners and coffee shops has been a thread throughout the duo’s friendship.”

“I’ve been working in delis since I was fourteen, I grew up on Long Island and I’ve been making bacon-egg-and-cheese basically my whole life,” Marsiglia told Eater.

While there are not as many Greek-owned diners as there were years ago, “a new wave of operators like Agi’s Counter, Thai Diner, Golden Diner, Soho Diner, S&P, and MeMe’s Diner (the latter which COVID sadly stole from us), has, thankfully, helped fill the void,” Eater reported, noting that “their interpretations of the old-school comfort foods, particularly in the ‘dumpster fire’ of the pandemic, took on new meaning.”

Baby Blues Luncheonette is open Monday and Wednesday-Saturday 9 AM-5 PM, closed Tuesday and Sunday.

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