Classic food store on its way — but which?

Classic food store on its way — but which?
The Brooklyn Paper / Tom Callan

Gentlemen, start your drooling.

That’s about all you can do right now, given that no one is willing to positively ID the “national chain” with close to a century of experience in the food trade that will be coming to the corner of State and Court streets.

“Leased” signs went up in the windows of the 5,000-square-foot space last week, but even the guy who worked out the deal wouldn’t reveal the name of the chain that will open just one short block from the future home of Brooklyn’s first Trader Joe’s.

Broker Tim King of the Massey-Knakal real-estate behemoth said only that the company is a national chain with about a century in “food production.”

Those tantalizing hints about what might be going into the space, which has 2,500 square feet on the ground floor and another 2,500 in the basement, unleashed plenty of salivating over the notion of a venerable food institution coming to Brooklyn Heights.

A century of experience, eh? That leaves out such foodie paradises as Russ & Daughters (1916), Zabar’s (1934) or even Nathan’s (1917). But it leaves in Gristede’s, Barney Greengrass, Ottomanelli’s and DiPalo, a perpetually packed Little Italy gourmet shop.

The space is too small for a full-fledged supermarket and too close to Sahadi’s, the coming Trader Joe’s or Staubitz to attract an appetizing store or butcher shop. The smart money is still chewing over King’s “food production” hint, but no one’s putting down any bets yet.

King said the food company will make its announcement early next year.