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New Japanese Restaurant Coming to 128 Meserole

By on Sunday, April 14th, 2024 at 11:08 pm

Katabaru is taking over the space once occupied by Apollonia and NiteNite

Renovations of the restaurant space have been ongoing for several weeks, but signage recently went up on the door announcing Japanese cuisine and cocktails.

The new restaurant will be called Katabaru, according to a freshly added sign on the front door and side door of the building. The exterior was painted several weeks ago.

Even with the windows papered over, it has been evident renovations were happening inside, including the removal of a partition wall separating the space into two storefronts.

Like many retail spaces in East Williamsburg, the the building’s retail space had been vacant for years before it was finally brought up to modern standards in the last decade.

The first new business to operate in the space in the late 2010s was Bearcat which tried offering a little bit of everything, from brunch to taco dinners to a neighborhood bar scene. It was pretty mid at most of it, closing too early to really foster a bar crowd, and not serving coffee late enough.

Eventually, around 2018, Walter’s Foods owners, Danny Minch and Dylan Dodd took over with plans for a new Mediterranean concept. Walter’s Foods in Williamsburg served up classic diner brunch and American bistro food. Th Grand Street location closed and then opened as a sports bar in 2019 before closing permanently. The location is is now Chino Grande.

Minch and Dodd opened Apollonia, a mediterranean wine bar, in 2019. The menu was by Jordan Heissenberger, according to Time Out, and used the front of the store as a gallery space. Apollonia closed just before the pandemic in January of 2020.

That made way for Karasu, a pop-up that operated during the summer months using an outdoor space.

Eventually this gave way to NiteNite. Designed as “hangout” with food, the goal was to get people to linger and drink when it opened in June of 2021.

The storefront on Manhattan Avenue was subdivided off as a separate space. It was here that Apo, a coffee shop, opened, serving standard espresso drinks and pastries. The new shop’s name was derived from the first three letters of Apollonia — and the shop reused the metal sign. Opening in the pandemic, it also had a street facing window for service and outdoor cafe tables with overflow using the dining shed since the hours didn’t conflict with NiteNite

The last of the businesses to operate was Apo, which closed permanently in April of 2023.

Furniture for the new restaurant was brought in earlier this month. Although the outdoor dining area — one of the best in the area — has since been removed, the new paint and a new exterior light fixture foretold the coming of a new restaurant.

Katabaru is taking over the space once occupied by Apollonia and NiteNite

So far there seems to be no official web presence and nothing on instagram.

128 Meserole Street



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