Another Bay Ridge business bites the dust.
Casa Pepe, the longstanding Spanish restaurant at 114 Bay Ridge Ave. has closed for good, according to a message on its website.
The eatery – which, since 1980, impressed with its authentic ethnic cuisine, as well as its drink specials and happy hour deals – dished out its final eats on Monday, Jan. 28.
The news came as a shock, even to locals who had stopped by in recent weeks.
In a southern Brooklyn restaurant-centric Facebook group, one longtime patron said she’d eaten there the weekend before the restaurant’s closing but hadn’t heard anything about it.
“So sad,” she wrote.
“Great place,” added another reader. “Their seafood paella was to die for.”
Some speculated that perhaps the eatery’s location – more than two avenues away from the closest shopping strip – and lack of parking played a part in Casa Pepe’s demise. Of course, others pointed to the high cost of living that’s pushing out businesses by the dozens in Bay Ridge and beyond.
Still, many mourned the loss of a restaurant that certainly made a name for itself in the nabe.
“I give them a lot of credit,” one local said, noting that “Spanish food [is] not an easy sell” and that the building consists of “multiple storefronts” meaning “good money for rent.”
“I hope someone is retiring and someone else finds an opportunity,” the writer went on. “That location probably employs 20+ employees. Hate to see these places go.”
Casa Pepe joins a laundry list of local businesses that have shuttered in recent months. Councilmember Justin Brannan wrote in an op-ed for this paper that, as of December, he’d counted more than 60 storefronts in his district – which encompasses Bay Ridge, Dyker Heights and Bensonhurst – adorned with “For Rent” signs.
“Not only does it look terrible, but it’s breaking my heart,” he wrote.