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It’s hip to be square! Bensonhurst legend coming to Barclays • Brooklyn Paper

It’s hip to be square! Bensonhurst legend coming to Barclays

Brooklyn squares: Joe Meza of L & B Spumoni Gardens shows off some of the iconic restaurant’s famous pizza, which will be featured at several stalls inside the new Barclays Center.
Photo by Bess Adler

Bensonhurst’s famed L&B Spumoni Gardens is moving Downtown — by way of the Barclays Center.

Barclays Center officials confirmed this week that L&B Spumoni Gardens’ pizza, as well as the restaurant’s signature ice cream, will be sold from at least three kiosks in the $1 billion entertainment complex, so arena-goers will be able to enjoy a taste of Bensonhurst while catching a show or cheering on the Brooklyn Nets.

Workers at the pizzeria, which has been dishing out its hard-to-resist Sicilian slices on 86th Street between W. 10th and W. 11th streets since 1939, said stadium representatives approached the owners more than a year ago, claiming that their pizza would fit well with the Brooklyn theme they were building for the new center. Eatery owners jumped at the chance, feeling that it would introduce their food to a whole new audience.

“It’ll open up a lot of windows and a lot of doors,” said Camille Barbati, whose grandparents founded L&B Spumoni Gardens. “We’re pretty well known, but not everybody comes this way. People are going to taste it who never had it.”

The mini-Spumoni Gardens spots will sit alongside outlets for other old-school Brooklyn standouts like Nathan’s Famous and Junior’s Cheesecake.

A few members of Brooklyn’s new culinary scene will also be represented: there’ll be an ice cream float wagon from Carroll Gardens’ Brooklyn Farmacy, a fish taco stand courtesy of Calexico in Greenpoint, and even a briny little space for Williamsburg-based McClure’s Pickles.

Barbati said she thinks her eatery’s presence at the Barclays Center will offer customers something they can’t find anywhere else in the world.

“The pizza’s great, of course, but how many people have had our spumoni?” Barbati said.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at (718) 260–4507 or e-mail him at wbredderman@cnglocal.com. Follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/WillBredderman

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