Fatty Daddy Taco has finally opened up shop in place of the old Zeke’s in Bay Ridge.
The new Third Avenue taqueria debuted earlier this month, almost two years after it first announced it would be taking over the storied space.
A “coming soon” sign teasing the third-coming of Fatty Daddy – a taco shop with roots in both Cobble Hill and Park Slope – went up at 7720 Third Ave. in early 2017, not too long after its predecessor, Zeke’s Roast Beef, served its last meaty melts in October, 2016.
Now, “exactly 23.5 months later,” according to a manager named Tom, Fatty Daddy is open for business.
Zeke’s Roast Beef was a southern Brooklyn staple. The eatery, which first premiered more than 30 years ago at the corner of 65th Street and Eighth Avenue in Sunset Park, where Park Asia now stands, relocated to Bay Ridge in 2010.
Known for its burgers, fries, fried chicken and its fan-favorite roast beef, the Third Avenue Zeke’s shuttered with barely any public notice at the end of 2016.
Fatty Daddy had remained “coming soon” since then, leaving residents wondering what was happening with the prime piece of Ridge real estate.
Merchants of Third Avenue President Bob Howe said he couldn’t know for sure, but chalked the delay up to the occasionally back-breaking process of bringing a new business to life.
A manager of the new Bay Ridge location who’s been with the business since its inception confirmed Howe’s theory, and said the stall had to do, mostly, with staffing.
“We just never found the right staff and we wanted to do it right,” Tom, a Bensonhurst native, said, adding that, while they’ve secured a team to get things going, there are still some positions to be filled.
“I can only imagine that, for anyone opening up a business, there are probably about 20 steps before you do anything,” Howe said, adding also his joy that Fatty Daddy Taco has finally crossed the finish line.
“People love tacos,” he laughed, “and taco places themselves are wildly popular. You can have a variety of food that’s relatively inexpensive, quick and easy” – sort of like its predecessor.
The new business – at home now for just over a week – describes itself as a “Cheerful storefront for tacos, burritos, quesadillas [and] other Mexican bites, ordered at the counter.”
When first reached for comment on Zeke’s closing in 2016, Howe said that he and other Third Avenue businesspeople hope that whatever business goes in its place “will have at least as long of a run as Zeke’s did.”
Howe’s sentiment holds true today.
“We welcome them to Third Avenue,” he said.
“We’re happy to be here,” added Tom.
When asked what he wanted local residents to know about the new business, the manager said simply, “that we’re open and we’re ready to go.”
For now, Fatty Daddy Taco is open part-time from 5 to 10 p.m. Saturday through Thursday, and 5 to 11 p.m. on Fridays. Owners hope to be open full-time (the other stores are open for lunch) in the next few weeks.
The Park Slope location at 310 Ninth Street first opened in October, 2013; the Cobble Hill shop at 152 Smith Street following suit in December, 2015.