In 2007, Cody Utzman brought something previously unthinkable to Greenpoint’s sleepy Franklin Street: brunch lines. His Brooklyn Label, at the corner of Franklin and Java Streets, drew in crowds with honey cardamom cappuccinos, Balthazar pastries, and a carefully cultivated slacker chic vibe. Utzman left Brooklyn Label in February 2008 due to what he called “un-reconcilable differences with Financial business partners.” For his next act, he opened Papacitos later that year, bringing his interpretation of “Mexican street food” to Manhattan Avenue.
This weekend, per Greenpointers, Utzman opened Cafe Royal, a restaurant, the press release says, “inspired by the hours Cody spent at local bar tabacs in the Burgundy region of France, where as a foreigner, he was immediately embraced by the local staff and patrons.” It will “provide a casual yet artfully decorated venue for people to enjoy barista crafted espresso drinks while sampling French-inspired fare.” Which is another way of saying there’ll be Ceci-Cela pastries and, yes, Stumptown coffee. The place is located by McGolrick Park in the “growing North Greenpoint community,” which seems to be the PR way to say it will appeal to neighborhood gentrifiers, rather than the larger community that’s already been there for decades.