Ridgewood restaurant Rolo’s is opening a Radio Bakery in Greenpoint, at 135 India Street, near Manhattan Avenue. Rolo’s pastry chef Kelly Mencin will head the new venture, joining the team as an owner at Radio Bakery. It’s set to open this spring 2023.
Mencin tells Eater that she’s thinking of the bakery as being “New York-style,” pulling from various influences, and the owners' backgrounds, as they do at Rolo’s, which is Italian, with other inflection points. At Radio, there will be a mix of viennoiserie techniques with croissants, as well as other baked goods: A passionfruit morning bun, spicy Italian croissant filled with ‘nduja, Calabrian chiles, and Parmesan, Rolo’s focaccia, a double chocolate croissant filled with ganache, and daily rotating sourdough breads, among the lot.
The restaurant will have a few stools and will mostly be for day operations. Mencin tells Eater they might eventually explore nighttime events in the space, but to start, the Radio Bakery team is just focused on daytime.
As for the name, it comes from the roll gate on the India Street space, which initially the team thought was formerly home to a Polish radio station, but in fact, turned out to be a television company. Still, the team felt it was a fitting name for a place near Transmitter Park.
Rolo’s debuted in January 2021 from former Gramercy Tavern veterans, Howard Kalachnikoff, Rafiq Salim and Paul Wetzel. Upon opening, it drew questions regarding the restaurant’s role in the gentrification of Ridgewood, per a report by a Grub Street. Despite this, by April 2022, the restaurant continued to garner a following, and received a review from Pete Wells at the New York Times that stated that the restaurant had “remarkable range.” Of Mencin, also a Gramercy alum, in particular, Wells wrote that “her desserts are simple, sensible and meticulous.”
Ahead of the opening, the Radio Bakery team is planning a pop-up with the East Village’s Claud, on Monday, January 30, with a subsequent pop-up held at Leo pizzeria in Williamsburg, on February 11.
Mencin says she’s looking forward to the bakery being situated nearby the Greenpoint Avenue G train subway station, and functioning as a space that commuters and people in the neighborhood can use. To start, she will be mainly at Radio Bakery, but will continue to oversee pastry and baking operations at Rolo’s.