While perusing Craigslist I saw a listing for an “Experienced brunch cook (Greenpoint)“. My interest was piqued to see if maybe it was a new joint or one of my favorites, but alas it was one of the places that has been having some trouble keeping people happy lately.

Busy, successful Greenpoint cafe needs experienced brunch cook. We have lines out the door every Saturday and Sunday and need a hardworking cook to keep ’em happy. Must be experienced, fast and focused; able to work with our kitchen team and able to come up with recipes for specials. This is a part-time job with potential for full time if you have the talent and experience.

The email reply-to address says it all. Brooklyn Label is looking for a new brunch cook.

Brooklyn Label started out as the shining star of the new Greenpoint when it opened January 2nd 2007. That was back when it was Cody Utzman’s baby and the place was amazing. But a little over a year later, Cody was out and the Brooklyn Label crown started to lose it’s shine.

In the last seven months since Cody’s left Brooklyn Label, it’s been worse and worse. The Yelp reviews show that Brooklyn Label is missing something. The service suffered first, then the food and pricing started becoming unpredictable. The same dishes during the week were jacked up in price for weekend brunch. The last time I was in there, it even seemed a little grungy. The metal basket where they keep the scones and bagels was rusty and dirty. Then they had some sort of unrefrigerated drink case with what looked like lemonade. The glass was sticky and spotty looking.

And it’s not like those things are exactly complete turn-offs for me. I’ve seen worse and by no means would I say the place was dirty, but comparing it to it’s former glory under Cody’s reign it just seemed dull.


And as for “lines out the door every Saturday and Sunday” – it most definitely has not been like that in the last couple of months at least. They’ve got a healthy crowd still, sure, but nowhere near what it used to be. Maybe that could be attributed to other brunch options opening up but I definitely think they need to shake things up over there because a lot of people I know have pretty much given up on Brooklyn Label as a viable place to eat in the neighborhood and I’ve even had people ‘wishing’ it would close and something new and great would move in.

Perhaps they could look into changing things up a bit. Cody is no longer there so why does everything need to look exactly as it had since the day he left? Only now the stuff is worn and overused. Cody moved on and had a Summer hit with the Mexican beer garden Papacito’s on Huron, and less than a month ago announced they’ve begun serving breakfast and brunch.

I’d love to see Brooklyn Label make a comeback to its former glory, so if there are any talented chefs (I hate that they’re just looking for a ‘cook’) out there who feel up to the challenge, I say apply now! PLEASE!

Join the Conversation


  1. i totally agree with you that brooklyn label has gone down the toilet. i live 2 blocks away and used to go there at least once a week. i used to really enjoy it but slowly the food got worse and the service became TERRIBLE! the last time i was there i ordered brunch. after waiting for literally 45 minutes without even getting my drink, the waiter handed me my bill! when i complained that i had been given my bill before my meal, they got angry and acted like this is a normal, acceptable procedure. i will never go there again.

  2. Obviously you are friends with Cody therefore your review of his place seems a bit biased, and since this is a personal blog I guess that can be expected. A good friend of mine took over the reigns of Brooklyn label for a few months and they had a record number of people eating there and were actually turning a profit for the first time ever. He had to leave because it wasn’t panning out as the vision he had in mind (ie back to the idea of them looking for a cook not a chef), they have since dumbed down the food again and this is the Brooklyn label we see today. Of course my review can also be seen as biased because I knew a different side of what was going on.
    I am personally disappointed in all of this because as a native myself I love the idea of the restaurant but obviously it doesn’t seem to be working. It is sad that they are now only looking for a “cook”, I expected more out of that place, and hopefully it won’t see the same future as queen’s hideaway.

  3. I really don’t know if I would say me and Cody are ‘friends’. We know each other, but I definitely wouldn’t go as far as to be bias in his favor. I *do* like Papcito’s. I like the vibe, I like the style, I’m also pretty bias to Mexican food – it’s my favorite. But Papacito’s isn’t my favorite Mexican place in Greenpoint – that goes to Acapulco.

    I have to stick to my guns on my original statements in the post. The service there is TERRIBLE and for the record it wasn’t even all that fantastic when Cody was there, but it was much better.

    And I admit I had not been there a whole lot in the last six months but everytime I went I was disappointed and I think it had more to do with the whole package as opposed to just the food. The place has just gone down the toilet and I’m with you – I love the idea of the restaurant and I sincerely hope they do not close.

  4. Papacito’s is the worst. Bland, boring “Mexican” food that doesn’t even rival Taco Bell. I wanted to like the place, but if this is what passes for good Mexican food on the East Coast then we’ve all been duped.

  5. The only time I went there after i moved to Greenpoint the service was disgusting. The dish my friend ordered came half the size the person’s seating next to us. Getting a coffee refill was the biggest deal also. The whole thing vibe was like “you should feel lucky you are eating here”…SAD

  6. The only “reason” Cody is not at Brooklyn Label anymore is because he was skimming money from the till and his father-in-law who was the major investor! He lost the restaurant, the Navigator, the loft……

    And what about his partner at Papacitos, Danny? Danny is the real insperation behind the “Mexican” food, as he is from SoCal!

    So please, OH please, get the facts before you praise.

  7. For the record, everyone knows all that drama regarding the split from BL. You’re not telling me or anyone else facts that weren’t already known.

    But that still does not change the fact that BL started sucking AFTER he was gone.

    Personally I don’t care about whatever goes on behind closed doors or who’s inspiration or whatever.just like everyone else, I just want the service and food to be as good as it was last year.period.

  8. the label sucks run by it during the week and the place is always empty. it is only surviving on it’s weekend crowd. have had out of town visitors in the past 6 months and twice have taken them there only to get burned by a 40-45min wait for food. Please close now!

  9. I agree wholeheartedly with the service going downhill. I have given it three tries since the change in ownership. First time, waited 40 mins. for the waffle and the ended with the french toast. 2nd time major wait, the service has become slower and the waiters surly. Its a shame, when it first opened I ate there at least every other week. When I moved across the bridge to L.I.C. I still made the pilgrimage. Im sorry, Label gets neither my time nor my money.

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