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New deli: Brooklyn Heights’ iconic Lassen and Hennigs expanding to Dumbo

Moving on up: Lassen and Hennigs is expanding from its beloved Montague Street location with a second storefront in Dumbo.
Community News Group / Lauren Gill

It is a sandwich spread!

Beloved Brooklyn Heights deli Lassen and Hennigs is expanding to Dumbo after 67 years of slinging pastrami on ryes and black and white cookies on Montague Street, co-owner Thomas Calfa told Community Board 2’s liquor license committee at a meeting on Wednesday night.

Calfa and his brother Chris plan to open the outpost on Water Street between Jay and Pearl streets — this time with tables, so customers can sit and eat their lunch. They also want to sell beer there, and the panel members voted unanimously to give their recommendation for a liquor license.

The pair own the entire landmarked four-story building at 177 Water St., which includes three apartment units, and are planning to open the new store on the first floor, according to plans they filed with the city.

Ted Lassen and Henry Hennigs first opened the business in a different storefront across Montague Street in 1949 and the Calfa brothers’ dad bought it in 1969 then moved it to its current location. The family have since expanded with a full bakery and a catering operation on the second floor.

Today, it is one of a dwindling number of mom and pop shops left on Brooklyn Heights’ main commercial thoroughfare, where high rents have ushered in an influx of chain stores, banks, and empty storefronts where landlords are holding out for a chain store or a bank.

The Calfas also own Monty Q’s pizzeria on the strip and Court Order deli on Court Street.

Reach reporter Lauren Gill at lgill@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow her on Twitter @laurenk_gill

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