Big love! A cafe owner’s huge missive to Ditmas Park

Big love! A cafe owner’s huge missive to Ditmas Park
Photo by Elizabeth Graham

Take heart, Ditmas Park — somebody’s sweet on you.

The new owner of Cafe Madeline on Cortelyou Road — known simply as Adell — had “We love Ditmas Park” emblazoned on his front window last weekend, just days after the cafe’s former owner, Alexander Hall, trashed the tranquil community in a scathing blog rant.

“We wanted everybody to know that we love the neighborhood and the people that come in here,” Adell said.

The war of words began when the Ditmas Park Blog published an email from Hall railing against what he called the neighborhood’s penny-pinching coffee drinkers who lounged around his cafe all day. He also accused the neighborhood of having an anti-business slant.

“Everyone that lives in Ditmas Park thinks it is the best neighborhood in Brooklyn and it’s just not,” wrote Hall, who sold Cafe Madeline to Adell in November. Hall also owns the Milk Bar in Prospect Heights and another cafe in Manhattan.

Steamed latte sippers took their ire over Hall’s comments right back to the blogosphere.

“Good riddance to this guy. He seems bitter that in a neighborhood with two coffee shops, his was the worst,” wrote someone named “Jake.”

Cortelyou Road merchants scratched their head when confronted with Hall’s negativity about the area.

“We’re not Prospect Heights or the Lower East Side, for better or worse, but Ditmas Park is a wonderful neighborhood,” said Justine Lacy, who works at Sycamore Bar & Flowershop. “It’s a great mix of people and everybody here is incredibly invested in the community.”

Adell said he’s keeping Cafe Madeline’s name, at least for now, but he is going to make a few changes — including dumping Hall’s sign about time limits for customers, installing more seating areas, and inviting laptop users and other regulars to lounge away without conscience.
“People can stay there for as long as they want!” said the entrepreneur, who plans to keep his cafe open until 10 pm, change the coffee beans, and also offer wine and beer.

“It’s a great neighborhood that’s only going to get better, and we’re looking forward to doing business here,” Adell said.

Calls to Hall were not returned.

Reach reporter Eli Rosenberg at [email protected] or by calling (718) 260-2531. And follow him at twitter.com/emrosenberg.

Fear not, Ditmas Park — Cafe Madeline’s new owner and employees love you.
Photo by Elizabeth Graham