By Phil Corso
Bayside’s barbecue and butcher shop has closed on Bell Boulevard, leaving a void of Southern specialty stores in the business district.
Three Brothers Butcher BBQ, which once resided at 40-21 Bell Blvd. since it opened in 2005, closed its big red front gate for good at the summer’s end without explanation. Though the owners of the butcher shop could not be reached, those close to the business have said Executive Chef Tom DiLeo and Manager Joe DiLeo shifted their family-owned business to online catering and no longer needed their location on Bell.
The eatery specialized in barbecue favorites including pulled pork, chicken, corn bread, skillet corn, macaroni and cheese, potato salad and ribs.
Lyle Sclair, executive director of the Bayside Village Business Association, said he heard Three Brothers was still offering catering services, but noted that repeated calls to the phone number listed on the shop’s website went unanswered due to an unavailable voice mailbox.
There are currently no plans in place for the vacant property on Bell Boulevard, Sclair said.
“This is why we hold our Roll Up the Gates events,” Sclair said, mentioning an activity in which the BID showcases its openings along Bell Boulevard to potential tenants. “We want to be proactive so people can fill spaces as quickly as possible, and we have been in touch with property owners to let them know this service is available. So far, we have seen a lot of positive feedback.”
The storefront was once home to Westi’s Quality Meats, which closed for business in 2004 after nearly 40 years in Bayside. Westi’s founder Ossi Maiwald opened the market in 1967, but his son-in-law Steve Celt eventually sold the business in 2004, citing what he said at the time was a changing generation and demographic along Bell Boulevard.
“There’s not many left that were here from the beginning,” Celt told TimesLedger Newspapers of Bell Boulevard in 2004. “It’s a different generation.”
Storefront turnaround could be seen just one block away from Three Brothers, where ongoing construction work has taken place at 41-08 Bell Blvd., next to Martha’s Country Bakery, where workers at the site said a Chinese buffet was being built.
Further down Bell Boulevard, Pace’s Hair Design, at 40-02 Bell Blvd., announced it would be closing its doors for good, making way for a Yogurtland franchise store within the next few months.
Reach reporter Phil Corso by e-mail at email@example.com or by phone at 718-260-4573.