Bay Ridge grows more ethnically diverse, storefronts evolve

November 07, 2011 11:02AM

Brooklyn’s Bay Ridge, an area that was once predominantly Italian, is becoming more ethnically diverse, according to Crain’s, a shift that’s reflected in the area’s shop-front retail.

Cangiano’s, an Italian speciality food store shut up shop on Third and Ovington avenues last month after 100 years, following the closure of Richard & Vinnie’s Prime Meats On Third Avenue And 87th Street, which shuttered in July after 43 years.
“We’ve always been known for our Italian cuisine,” said Michael Esposito, a lifelong Bay Ridge resident. “But this place just isn’t hardcore ‘guido’ anymore.”

Almost 22 percent of Bay Ridge’s residents have Italian ancestry, according to census data cited by Crain’s, down from 32 percent in 1990. Increasing numbers of Chinese, Egyptians and Russians call the neighborhood home, the data shows.

Ethnic eateries such as Nordic Delicacies, which sells herring salad and Norwegian meatballs, and a Middle Eastern and Mediterranean spot called Aunt Halmies Halal, both opened recently in the neighborhood. [Crain’s]