By Paula Katinas
Brooklyn Daily Eagle
Lovers of Greek and Italian food in Bay Ridge and Bath Beach are mourning the loss of two popular restaurants in the southern end of Brooklyn. Yiannis, an eatery featuring Greek cuisine that stood at 6901 Fourth Ave. in Bay Ridge for 35 years, has shut its doors for good. And Casa Calamari, an Italian place at 1801 Bath Ave. in Bath Beach, has also closed.
The two restaurants have closed for vastly different reasons, however. In the case of Yiannis, the closure was the owner’s decision. The fate of Casa Calamari, on the other hand, is tied up in court.
A large blue sign posted in the glass front door of Yiannis informs Bay Ridge fans that the eatery’s owner has decided to take off his cooking apron and retire. “I hope it appeals to me,” the owner wrote in the candid message.
The owner also thanked the patrons of Yiannis for their loyalty to his restaurant over his 35 years in business and for “adding flavor to my life.”
Yiannis was nearly as famous for its selection of breads, including olive bread, than for the rest of its menu.
It’s not clear if a new restaurant will open at the former Yiannis site or if the spot will be taken by another type of business. Yiannis was located on one of the busiest corners in Bay Ridge – Fourth and Bay Ridge avenues – where three bus lines intersect and where a subway station (Bay Ridge Avenue on the R line) is located.
At Casa Calamari, the situation is more complicated. The restaurant’s owners are apparently locked in a dispute with the building’s landlord. The city marshal recently slapped a notice on the front gate of the restaurant informing neighborhood residents that the landlord has taken legal possession of the place.
But the owners are vowing that they will be victorious in their dispute and that Casa Calamari will once again open its doors and serve its famous dishes, including lasagna and linguine in clam sauce.
“We are hoping to be up and running within two weeks,” one of the owners wrote on Casa Calamari’s Facebook page. “We will have a huge party to celebrate.”
The Casa Calamari in Bath Beach has no connection to Leo’s Casa Calamari, the Italian eatery at 8602 Third Ave. in Bay Ridge.