‘Brooklyn Eats’ bites the dust

The Brooklyn Paper
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The kitchen is closed for Brooklyn Eats.

The annual festival of the borough’s best bites, which has showcased scores of restaurateurs for a decade, won’t be staged this fall.

Organizers say it will return next spring — but in a leaner form.

“Brooklyn Eats is being reformatted,” said Maggie Beaute-Lucien, the director of special events for the Brooklyn Chamber of Commerce. “We’re going to do Brooklyn Eats, but it won’t be the same. It will be smaller and more segmented.”

By that, Beaute-Lucien means it will no longer be centralized under one fancy roof on one blowout night.

The festival normally takes place in October, but won’t happen until next spring at the earliest, Beaute-Lucien said.

Brooklyn Eats began in 1997 as a promotional event by the publishers of “Brooklyn Eats — The Guide to Brooklyn Restaurants.” It drew 200 eaters eager to see what local restaurateurs had to offer.

But by the next year, the event was being held at the just-opened Brooklyn Marriott and drew 30 restaurants. By 2005, that number had doubled.

Over the festival’s life, it went beyond featuring just restaurants and welcomed local manufacturers, food authors and cocktail purveyors.

Restaurants that have participated in the past were surprised to hear that the pots were cold at Brooklyn Eats this year.

“Nobody has contacted me about this,” said Joseph Chirico, the president of the Brooklyn Restaurant Association and owner of Marco Polo on Court Street in Carroll Gardens.

Chirico said Brooklyn Eats has been a great way to meet new customers and other restaurateurs, and he is surprised that they’re retooling the event.

“They’ve done an excellent job all of these years,” he said

Meanwhile, Brooklynites wait to see what kind of changes will be served.

“We’ll make our plans public very soon,” said Leticia Theodore-Greene, a spokeswoman for the Chamber. “I think everyone will be very happy with it.”

Updated 4:32 pm, July 9, 2018
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