Brooklyn favorite Prime Meats will officially serve its last dish this weekend — a closure that marks the first step in a major change-up for restauranteurs Frank Castronovo and Frank Falcinelli, collectively known as the Franks. The duo behind Frankies Spuntino Group have decided to close the Germanic restaurant after a 9-year run to make way for a new wine bar, as well as an expansion of Italian staple Frankies 457 Spuntino next door.
Prime Meats will be open from Thursday to Sunday this week with a special farewell menu that includes dishes like wagyu beef tartare, roasted chicken, and bratwurst. After it closes, Frankies 457 will take over the space, plus a new wine bar will be added.
While many diners are sad to see Prime Meats go, Castronovo says the restaurant never got as much love as their often-packed Italian restaurant next door. “We would have days when people would wait in line to get into Frankies, but Prime Meats was half-full, like on a Tuesday. But on Friday, Prime Meats was packed.”
It was “more of a weekend restaurant,” Falcinelli says, but the Italian fare and cozy dinning room at Frankies 457 draws people in every day of the week. Now, the Franks will have extra space to capture more of that crowd. Frankies 457 will expand into another small building in addition to taking over the Prime Meats space, and new items will appear on its menu.
Driving the changes are the restaurateurs’ desire to create a “timeless neighborhood restaurant.” In addition to the new wine bar, dubbed Franks Wine Bar, the duo will also open a new pizza shop with help of Long Island grandma and Sicilian-style pizza legend Umberto Corteo in a nearby space that once held Cafe Pedlar. More information to come on that later.
Prime Meats opened in 2009, and although its name suggests a steakhouse, the Franks say it was never meant to be that: They categorize it as a Germanic. Still, people went there seeking its meats, and soon after its debut, it received two stars in the Times for “simple” but “serious pleasures.” It spent time on the Eater 38, and landed on Michelin’s Bib Gourmands list this year.
It closes Sunday, December 2, and the wine bar opens later next week. Frankies 457 is operating as usual, and the expansion will be underway soon.