Housing development coming to Pipin’s corner

Updated to include comment from Stephen Oliver, owner of Pipin’s Pub.

Pipin’s Pub, a decades-old Bay Ridge mainstay, will become part of a new condominium being built on the site, according to the restaurant’s owners.

Ridge native and business-owner Stephen Oliver said that the watering hole will likely shutter within the next two to three months with plans to reopen once construction on a new development at the corner of 97th Street and Third Avenue is complete.

“Our intentions are 100 percent to be at Pipin’s again in the near future,” Oliver told this paper soon after news broke, stressing that, while hiccups in any reconstruction project are to be expected, he will work closely with the developer to re-assure a prompt re-opening.

The approximately $10 million development – which will also encompass the space next door to Pipin’s, a long vacant site that once was occupied by J.T.’s Restaurant – is reported to include 20 units, 15 two-bedrooms and five one-bedrooms, and, according to Oliver, will be overseen by an undisclosed Ridge-based developer.

While the original plans would have left Pipin’s – open since 1969 – unscathed, Oliver said, once  a neighboring medical office sold its air rights to the developer, the bar owners were left with little choice but to become a part of the new development.

“[The developer] wants us off that corner badly and we were offered a good amount of money to leave,” Oliver admitted, “but my family agreed that Pipin’s should stay there, and that we want to keep it on that corner.”

Though news – and rumors of the restaurant’s (adamantly denied) demise – have traveled fast, Oliver told this paper that the neighborhood’s concern has been a testament to just how popular Pipin’s really is.

“The way rumors fly around Bay Ridge – that’s been a little tough,” said the bar owner. “So many people have expressed their concern, and that’s great. I just don’t want people to think that we wanted to close.

“The little Pipin’s cheeseburger isn’t the only one talking,” Oliver joked, calling the whole venture bittersweet. “It’s a lot bigger than that, and we just want people to understand the timeline.”

Though the eatery could shut its doors for as long as a year, if not longer, Oliver said, there is some happy news on the horizon for the family business.

Pipin’s new digs will be 400 square feet larger than its current space, and the problematic roof can be fixed.

Pipin’s Pub, located at 9701 Third Avenue, is located largely in a zoning district that allows for dense construction with a maximum height of 70 feet, not including the purchased air rights. The back of the lot, on the other hand, has a maximum height of just 35 feet.

No permits have yet been filed for construction.

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