NEW YORK – Baby Blues Luncheonette, 97 Montrose Avenue in East Williamsburg, Brooklyn, was featured in the New York Times on February 21 as “a Greek diner for the 21st century.”
“There’s the H.L.T. with grilled halloumi, lettuce and heirloom tomatoes on Pullman bread, with the option to add bacon and avocado,” the Times reported, noting that “the real play is to order the Plato plate with scrambled eggs, bacon, warm pita, half an avocado and grated halloumi. It’ll cost you $20 before tax and tip — not bad for an increasingly expensive corner of Brooklyn.”
The restaurant owners, Greek-Australian Costa Damaskos and Jake Marsiglia are the restaurant’s owners and “have several years in New York City food service between them,” Eater New York reported.
“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.
Baby Blues Luncheonette is open 9 AM-3 PM, closed Tuesday.
Follow on Instagram: @babybluesny