Closings: Leonardo's

This Pizzeria Has Since Closed


E-Rock in the Garden of Good and Evil

It is with great sadness that I add a new category of entries to Slice: Closings.

While bouncing from blog to blog last week, I came across word on A Brooklyn Life that a Dunkin' Donuts will replace Leonardo's at the corner of Court and 1st Streets. Apparently, this is old news, but since I don't make it over to E-Rock's place (he lives very close to Leonardo's) as often as I'd like these days, it sort of escaped me.

E-Rock, She-Rock (his wife), and I have spent many a summertime dinner hour there on the spacious patio. (That's E-Rock, in fact, outdoors at Leonardo's in the photo just above.) The staff was always friendly, the pizza was always good, and the outdoor seating area was always ... something else.

What a place. Rope lighting and a life-size statue of Saint Christopher. Green-painted concrete below and a never-quite-full canopy of vines overhead. The patio had the feel of what Carroll Gardens must have been like when it was still called South Brooklyn and before it became part of the hideous concatenation known as BoCoCa.* There was almost an Italian biergarten feel to it, if that's possible. A birragiardino, if you will. (How's that for a hideous concatenation?) It was like going to your aunt and uncle's '70s-era ranch house but having pizza and beer instead of overdone hamburgers and Kool-Aid.

I've never been a big fan of Kool-Aid. Or sweets in general, for that matter. And doughnuts? Eh. But I'm not rallying against Dunkin' Donuts. I've got no holier-than-thou argument against chains and gentrification. All I know is that, like a doughnut, I now have a small hole in my heart at the news of Leonardo's closing. And an empty place in my stomach.

Dunkin Donuts Comes to Carroll Gardens? [A Brooklyn Life]
Unchained Changes [Gothamist]

* Here's a ticket on the clue train: If you actually refer to this area as "BoCoCa" without irony, you, sir or madam, are a moron.