Zito’s Sandwich Shoppe to open in Bay Ridge instead of Coney Island

Bensonhurst-born hero-makers drawn to “hipper, cooler” Bay Ridge

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Sandy swamped their People’s Playground dreams, so now they’re seeking higher ground.

Park Slope hero hub Zito’s Sandwich Shoppe was set to open a location on Coney’s Jones Walk in the summer 2012, but first insurance delays, and later the October superstorm washed the plan away. So Zito’s owners decided to instead open an outpost in a neighborhood that’s coming up just as fast — Bay Ridge.

“We found a space and it happened to be perfect timing,” said the popular eatery’s co-owner Marcello Bucca.

Bucca said opening on Third Avenue between 76th and 77th streets in Bay Ridge — scheduled for Jan. 20 — will be a homecoming of sorts for himself and his partner Enzo Conigliaro, both originally hailing from Bensonhurst. But Bucca — who attended the Ridge’s Xaverian High School and who currently lives in neighboring Dyker Heights — said that unlike their native neighborhood, Bay Ridge is becoming a magnet for the same cool clientele that chows down on their meatball parm and pork braciole sandwiches in the Slope.

“Going back to Bay Ridge is quite nostalgic in a way,” said Bucca. “But Bay Ridge is also getting hipper, getting cooler. It’s becoming extremely popular, and people are going that way because of the higher rents in Park Slope and Windsor Terrace.”

Cheaper rents are also part of why Bucca and Conigliaro were interested in opening in the Ridge. The pair had to close their second location on Seventh Avenue between Seventh and Eighth streets after the rent skyrocketed by $10,000. The two now have a 15-year lease on a storefront in the Ridge at just a fraction of that cost.

Bucca says the new spot will be both a step forward and a throwback for himself and for the neighborhood. The new location will slice and serve salume from Faicco’s Pork Store on 11th Avenue in Dyker, and bread from Bensonhurst’s Il Fornaretto Bakery on 17th Avenue. At the same time, it will also pour trendy Stumptown Coffee and Six Point lager, along with 75 other domestic craft beers and two Finger Lakes wines. And the setting will feature an exposed brick wall, hardwood floor, old-school hip-hop playing over the speaker system, and soccer games at all times on four flat-screen TVs.

“Being Italian, you grew up eating this food because it filled you up,” the sandwich man said. “Nowadays, with how we’ve progressed as a culture, we’re taking it to a different level and bringing it into 2014.”

Bucca and Canigliaro aren’t the only Southern Brooklynites to make a return after hitting it big Downtown. Bay Ridge-born cupcake power couple Matt and Allison Robicelli opened a new bakery on Fifth Avenue between 90th and 91st streets in November 2013.

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at or by calling (718) 260-4507. Follow him at
Updated 10:16 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Excited from Bay Ridge says:
This sounds great! Good luck guys.
Jan. 16, 2014, 6:03 am
Charles Jensen from Bay Ridge says:
I can't wait to try the beers - will this be a bar as well?
Jan. 16, 2014, 7:53 am
diehipster from Jigging Joshes says:
That 3rd to last paragraph is like kryptonite to hipsters and yupsters: Pork from Dyker, Bread from Bensonhurst, old school hip hop, and soccer on 4 screens. Just hope that pretentious Stumptown coffee doesn't lure the nasally, wilted scallion-shaped, bearded "creative types" to Bay ridge.

I will definitely try this place out. I never went to the one in Park Slope because it's hard to hold food down when you are surrounded by nauseating smug gentrifiers.
Jan. 16, 2014, 11:26 am
Joey from Clinton Hills says:
If the rent is cheaper in Bay Ridge, does that mean the meatball subs will cost less than $10?
Jan. 16, 2014, 11:49 am
ty from pps says:
What are you talking about diehipster?! How is that kryptonite?

Locally sourced meat, delicious artisan breads, old school hip hop and soccer... That sounds like about 43 places in Williamsburg, Bushwick, Prospect Height, Bed-Stuy, and Park Slope.

Not to mention, the two guys look EXACTLY like your hipster nemeses. If the article didn't mention they were from Bensonhurst, I'm sure you would be b*tching and moaning about "transplants" and "hipsters" and "overpriced gourmet sandwiches" etc. etc. etc.

It's actually pretty painful how dumb you are.
Jan. 16, 2014, Noon
Seahawk from Seattle says:
Squaaawk Squaaawk Ty come back to Seattle Squaaawk Squaaawk there are people with their own opinions on message boards that Squaaawk Squaaawk need you to tell them to stop having their own opinion Squaaawk Squaaawk. You are a professional hall monitor Squaaawk Squaaawk.
Jan. 16, 2014, 12:10 pm
ty from pps says:
Thanks, Rufus. I guess it really is a black mark that I've dared live somewhere outside of this city, huh? Can you imagine being exposed to how things are in other places? Do you know that I also lived in another country for a couple of years!?! WHAT!? Oh man.

Everyone is entitled to their own opinion but not their own facts. Are you doing to deny diehipster's comment would have been the complete opposite if it said, "both originally hailing from central Pennsylvania"?! Absolutely everything could be the same. Same restaurant, same prices, same pork, bread, hiphop and soccer, same sandwiches... but... ya know, they wouldn't be "real."
Jan. 16, 2014, 12:24 pm
Scott from Park Slope says:
This is great news. With Zito's conquering the final frontier for hipster-kind, diehipster will gather up her skirts and retreat across the Verrazano. Maybe she can find refuge on SI's south shore before her final destination of the Jersey Shore. Then we real Brooklynites can enjoy a time of peace before the hipsters turn old-timers and start grousing about the next wave. ("Why, I remember when youngsters wore decent clothes like skinny jeans...")
Jan. 16, 2014, 12:43 pm
Jeanette Grayeb-Mihal from Bay Ridge says:
Welcome to the neighborhood. Can't wait for the opening. Good luck with your new venture. I'm certain you will be a huge success.
Jan. 16, 2014, 2:54 pm
BillTed from ExcellentParkSlopeAdventure says:
Wait, doyhipster doesn't go to Park Slope? This is the best news I've read in this paper all month!

Don't worry, doy, hipsters won't venture to Ridge, it's too far (trust me, I used to live there until I wised up and moved to Park Slope).

I hope Zitos does well out there. Sadly, doyhipster will be a client. Nothing can sour a place more.
Jan. 16, 2014, 5:26 pm
bkmanhatman from neubruklyn says:
Dont worry diehipster you will soon have neighbors from Ohio & Wiscotucky as your neighbors soon enough.
Jan. 17, 2014, 8:27 am

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: