Breaking chews! Bar Tano/Bar Toto empire expands in Slope

Peter Sclafani has taken over the failed Pumpkins Organic Market space on Eighth Avenue and will open a third eatery in his Bar Tano/Bar Toto empire.
The Brooklyn Paper / Allyse Pulliam

The owners of Bar Toto and Bar Tano — the sleek, Euro-modern bar-cafes — are expanding their mini-empire to include an all-day cafe in the Eighth Avenue storefront just vacated by the failed Pumpkins Organic Market, The Brooklyn Paper has learned.

Peter and Kristen Sclafani, four-year residents of Park Slope and owners of the neighborhood’s popular Bar Toto and Bar Tano bar-restaurants, say they will open a similar joint at the corner of 13th Street in early spring.

They’re toying with the name Bar Tini, a reference to martinis, or Cafe Giotto, a reference to the master.

“It’s going to be a very European-style cafe/wine bar, but it will open at 7 am, so you can get a cappuccino and stand at the bar and talk to your neighbors,” Peter Sclafani told The Brooklyn Paper. “That’s very European.”

But is it Brooklyn?

“We’re going to see if it works,” he said. “There’s a school right across the street, so we’re hoping people will stop by after drop-off.”

Sclafani suggested that the menu would be similar to the formula that has made Bar Toto, on Sixth Avenue and 11th Street, and Bar Tano, at the still hardscrabble corner of Third Avenue and Ninth Street, so popular (try the white bean bruschetta) — but this eatery will be open for all three meals.

Already, the bar is the buzz of the PS 107 schoolyard (not among the kids, silly).

“It will change my life in a very positive way,” said parent Joel Lovell. “You step into a place like that and you can live the fantasy that you’re in Rome.”

Another parent offered mock concern that the new restaurant would challenge local loyalties.

“This could send shockwaves through the post-drop off kaffee klatsch,” said Edward Lewine, a magazine writer who holds court with several regulars every morning at Ladybird Bakery a block away. “We’ve been at Ladybird for about four years now, so I can’t tell how this new development could play out. Who knows? The group may be riven!”

The Brooklyn Paper will, of course, be following that development.

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