An all-you-can-eat sushi restaurant will open in place of a South Brooklyn staple that shuttered over the summer.
An Asian restaurant named Rakuzen is in the works for the now-vacant property at 6408 Fort Hamilton Parkway, according to a new red sign that decorates the building. The space, located on the border of Boro Park and Dyker Heights, was home to Rocco’s Calamari — a family-owned and well-respected Italian eatery — for more than three fruitful decades.
In early August, Rocco and Lucy Bruno, owners of Rocco’s Calamari, announced their retirement — and the ultimate closure of the famed and iconic restaurant — after 35 years of dedicated service.
“This is truly bittersweet,” Lucy Bruno told this paper when news of the closure first broke. “What I really took away from this are the people we have met. We met people from all walks of life and a lot of them became our good friends. We really feel that we brought the community together.”
While it is unclear just when Rakuzen will officially open, a December 6 post on a Facebook page for the business promised that it would be “coming soon.”
Though it is certainly the end of a chapter, the opening of any new business in the neighborhood, Dyker Heights Civic Association President Fran Vella-Marrone said, is something worth celebrating.
“Rocco’s Calamari was there for many, many, many years,” she said. “It was an institution. It was owned by people who lived in the community, and the business itself was very successful and loved by all.
“But, the fact that we’re getting a new business in that space is great,” Vella-Marrone continued. “We welcome new businesses, and we want those new businesses to come into the neighborhood and be able to flourish and be as successful as places like Rocco’s.”
Rocco’s Calamari had been open since 1981.