04/25/16 9:00am

When Jane Miller Rennert moved to Windsor Terrace 12 years ago, she had no plans to open a restaurantmuch less establish the burgeoning Prospect Avenue foodie empire she now oversees with business partner Jeremiah Fox.

“It was really just being in this community and seeing what the needs are that made us want to do this,” says Miller Rennert. “Windsor Terrace really dictated what we opened.”

The pair originally met at Juice Box Wine and Spirits, which Miller Rennert’s brother opened and where Fox worked as a longtime manager. Almost three years ago, they found a vacant office space one block up Prospect Ave and started working on their dream restaurant project. It took a couple years to turn the quirky, narrow little property into Della. In the meantime, when another space became available across the street, the duo quickly moved on opening two somewhat less ambitious projects: The Prospector, a trendy beer and cheese shop, and The Fox and The Crepes (which serves pancakes, not forest creatures).

The train-car-like dining room (Photo courtesy Della)

The train-car-like dining room (Photo: Della)


With Della, which finally debuted this January, they sought to give “our wonderfully sleepy neighborhood,” as Miller Rennert calls it, a “neighborhood restaurant that over-delivers.” The beautiful little restaurant is worth the wait. (more…)

06/22/15 10:46am
Fancy-pants plates make way for a fantastically simple burger at Franny's family's latest (Photo: Rose's)

Fancy-pants plates make way for a fantastically simple burger at Franny’s family’s latest. Photo: Rose’s

When Franny’s, one of Brooklyn’s long-beloved pizza institutions, moved into a new, larger space two years ago, owners Andrew Feinberg and Francine Stephens branched out into the original spot with Marco’s, an upscale Italian trattoria. When it opened, I found Marco’s quite tasty but definitely too pricey for the neighborhood, and while it got some stellar reviews, the neighborhood seems to have agreed, as Marco’s shuttered just over a year later.

The Franny’s team has held on to the space though, and their latest incarnation seems to have taken that criticism to heart. Rose’s Bar & Grill, which debuted a few weeks back, couldn’t be further from the refined, four-course ambiance that set the tone at Marco’s. (more…)

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01/22/15 11:15am
Facade of the Kings Theatre (photo courtesy of Kings Theatre's Facebook page: https://www.facebook.com/KingsTheatreBklyn/photos/pb.308936483947.-2207520000.1421524233./10152763915118948/?type=3&theater)

The newly restored facade of the Kings Theatre. Photo: Kings Theatre

Yes, there’s been a sad trend lately in which beloved live venues shut down because of lease problems and rent hikes–the latest casualty being Glasslands in Williamsburg. There is however, a flip side to all that. As The New York Times recently reported, the historic Kings Theatre, a once-grand movie palace located in Flatbush that has been closed for nearly 40 years, is making a comeback. On Feb. 3, the Kings Theatre will reopen with an already sold-out inaugural concert by Diana Ross. and a ribbon-cutting ceremony will be held this Friday, Jan. 23, followed by a free performance on Jan. 27 featuring the Brooklyn Youth Chorus and the Brooklyn Ballet. (Scroll down for a full list of scheduled performances.)

The Kings Theatre (Matt Lambros)

The Kings Theatre was restored with its original interior color scheme. Photo: Matt Lambros

There’s been a good deal of ink devoted to the city’s nearly $95 million restoration of the theatre–but what kind of venue will this be? With 3,000 seats it’s nearly a third bigger than BAM’s 2,090-seat Howard Gilman Opera House. (For further reference, there are about 18,000 seats at Barclays Center, though not all are in use during musical performances due to the dead zone behind the stage.) The theatre has been restored to its original color palette and the carpeting and light fixtures that once lined its aisles and walls have been recreated. The venue has also been upgraded for the 21st century with the expansion of the theatre’s footprint from 86,000 square feet to 93,000 square feet–along with improved sight lines, lighting and acoustics. While the architectural elements are all vintage or painstaking recreations, the sound and lighting systems and backstage facilities for staging productions are all state-of-the-art, and designed to attract world-class performers.

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12/04/14 9:18am

Earlier this year we partnered with UncommonGoods to launch the Brooklyn Flag Project. We challenged design-minded folks from all over the borough to create a flag reflecting their neighborhood, with the promise that the top three would be produced for sale by UncommonGoods. Along with former Brooklyn Borough President Marty Markowitz, Tina Roth Eisenberg–the graphic designer known as @SwissMiss, and UncommonGoods founder David Bolotsky, we helped winnow down a fantastic field of entries to eight finalists.

UncommonGoods awarded cash prizes to the top three winners, but decided not to produce the flags for sale after all–they told us that they had hoped to see flags from a wider variety of neighborhoods, though we thought the entries from East New York, Bay Ridge, Flatbush, Coney Island and Ditmas Park nicely rounded out the multiple flags designed for Greenpoint and Fort Greene–locales that lots of graphic designers call home. Even if you can’t buy one of these to hang from your fire escape, we think it’s worth taking a peek at the winners. And, as a bonus, we’ve added in our favorite entry that didn’t win (we’re suckers for a squirrel).

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