Pickle company Brooklyn Brine's restaurant Pickle Shack is closing up shop in the coming weeks, manager Anton Nocito confirms. The sandwich shop known for its vegetarian and vegan fare will likely have its last day of service on March 1, he says. It opened in 2013 in Park Slope at 256 Fourth Ave. and was well-received, including a New Yorker review that praised it for cooking "simple food well." But Nocito says the restaurant has poor finances, and Brooklyn Brine owner Shamus Jones is "a little over it." "This restaurant has never made any money," Nocito says.
Staff found out about the impending closure about a week ago, Nocito says, though the writing has been on the wall for a while. Nocito, who was friends with Jones, stepped into help at Pickle Shack about nine months ago after Jones and founding chef Neal Harden, formerly of shuttered raw food restaurant Pure Food and Wine, weren't getting along. Instead, Nocito found that "some people just shouldn't own restaurants," he says. "I would say he's been sort of wishing, dreaming, that he could get away from this for a while," says Nocito, who admitted that he's no longer interested in being friends with Jones.
Eater has reached out to Jones for comment and will update if he responds. Meanwhile, Brooklyn Brine is still open, and the staff of Pickle Shack have been on the job hunt. Nocito will be going back to his own business, Greenpoint natural syrup company P&H Soda Co.