A few weeks ago Bay Ridge diner Hinsch’s announced it was closing on March 1. And before that, it was set to close in 2011. But co-owner Roger Desmond told Brooklyn Paper that the egg cream mecca is staying open for a little longer. A national burger chain was in line to take over their lease, but according to Desmond the deal fell through. “We’re staying open until we strike it rich or find a buyer,” Desmond told Fork in the Road this afternoon. Though Hinsch’s is still on the market, the family spot will make moves to stay hip, even though the neighbors might not be pleased by that idea.
There are plans to retire the 1950s soda fountain atmosphere and stay open a little longer for the dinner crowd. Desmond said they chefs are testing out some new items like beef short ribs, chicken and waffles, and a Texas meatloaf. “We’re going to glam it up a bit,” he said. He had just returned from picking out window blinds to hang up. “That’ll make it look exclusive.”
This might mean the demise of the old Hinsch’s, one that author Giulia Melucci lamented in Diner’s Journal earlier this month. Her first restaurant meal without her parents took place at Hinsch’s in 1976, and the whole thing cost less than $10.
But as neighborhoods change, so do the places that built them. “This isn’t as busy of a corner as it used to be,” Desmond said. “My parents brought me here to Hinsch’s. But now it’s a lot of first generation people. They don’t know about Hinsch’s and the traditions and the egg salad.”
As Desmond and his crew keep the boat afloat, they’re still on the look out for buyers. “If somebody comes along tomorrow and wants the keys, we’ll give them up.”