Borough president jokes, ‘I know cheesecake!’
By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
For Marty Markowitz, accompanying manager Lee Moudatsos to the dessert display case inside Mike’s Hinsch’s restaurant in Bay Ridge to look at the creamy confections was a recipe for trouble. "It's like sending an alcoholic to a bar,” joked the food-loving borough president.
Markowitz, who boasted “I know cheesecake,” came to Hinsch’s on Monday to take part in a ribbon cutting ceremony marking the eatery’s grand reopening after a remodeling project.
Hinsch’s, a beloved southern Brooklyn institution famous for its homemade ice cream and its old-fashioned egg creams, has been around since the late 1940’s but seen some troubling times in the past two years. The restaurant, located at 8518 Fifth Ave., closed in 2011 when longtime owner John Logue retired, then reopened under new ownership. Earlier this year, however, the new owners announced they were selling the place amid rumors that they were having trouble attracting customers.
To the rescue came Mike Moudatsos and his sons Lee and Tom. The Moudatsos family owns five diners on State Island and decided to branch out into Brooklyn. They took over Hinsch’s, updated the menu http://www.ilovehinschs.com/Hinschs_Lunch_Dinner_Menu.html to include dishes such as spinach and goat cheese salad and shish kabob, and put together ambitious plans to renovate the eatery. They decided to keep then name Hinsch’s for historical value. The original name of the restaurant was Hinsch’s Confectionery, a nod to its role as an ice cream parlor-candy store.
Mike’s Hinsch’s boasts a well-lighted interior featuring red and silver booths and large prints of photos of Bay Ridge taken in the 1940s. One print depicts the corner of Fifth Avenue and 86th Street, with a trolley car traveling past Hinsch’s. “We went for a retro style,” Tom Moudatsos said. Brothers Thomas and Lee Moudatsos run their father’s restaurants.
The restaurant remained open during the renovation.
Markowitz presented Mike Moudatsos with a proclamation to congratulate him and his family on the acquisition of Hinsch’s. “Staten Island was just a warm-up. You’re in the major leagues now. Brooklyn is the foodie capital of America!” he told the owner.
But Markowitz also had a serious point to make. “With all the fast food stuff around, it’s good to have something wholesome,” he said. “If you want the real thing, you come to Hinsch’s,” the borough president said.
US Rep. Michael Grimm (R-C-Bay Ridge-Dyker Heights-Staten Island), who also attended the reopening, said he is a frequent customer of Mike’s Place, an eatery owned by the Moudatsos family that is located near his Staten Island district office. “I love the Greek lemon soup. I order it every time I go there. And I go there a lot,” he told the Brooklyn Daily Eagle.
Small, family owned businesses like Mike’s Hinsch’s are the backbone of the city’s economy, according to Grimm.
The restaurant is doing great businesses, said John Quaglione, deputy chief of staff to state Sen. Marty Golden. “I ate here yesterday morning. It was crowded! We almost had to wait for a table,” he said, adding that his spinach and feta cheese omelet was delicious.
For more information on the restaurant, call 1-855-446-7247 or visit www.ILoveHinschs.com.