Cobble Hill News

Jim Mamary’s empire shrinks

Following the news of Cafe Bueno’s closure, today’s Real Deal features an article on the decline of the Jim Mamary (best known for Patois) restaurant empire. Staffers from Cafe Bueno learned that the restaurant would be closing at their December 1 staff meeting. Since 1963, part of the complex at the intersection of Smith and Pacific Streets that also once included Trout, also closed last week.

“They said they needed to pull in $17,000 by week’s end and they were only pulling in $13,000,” said an employee at Bueno, who requested anonymity. “Now I’m back to square one, looking for a job on the holidays.”

Mamary has had a hand in creating at least 23 restaurants in the borough since his first Brooklyn venture, the Italian eatery Restaurant 101, opened in Bay Ridge two decades ago.

Sometimes he merely helped design and build the spaces; he sold his stake in others; and 11 of his restaurants have closed or were transformed into new ventures.

For now, he owns a stake in five restaurants: Gowanus Yacht Club, Zombie Hut and Black Mountain Wine House in Carroll Gardens, Café Enduro in Prospect-Lefferts Gardens and Pomme de Terre in Ditmas Park.

But his immediate future plans include moving his family from Ditmas Park to New Jersey, and pulling out of day-to-day operations in Brooklyn.

“I’m going to try, at this stage of my career, to just really build and design, and find the right person to run it and/or [take over],” Mamary said. “The days of me owning and operating are over.”

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