park deli

Park Deli, Greedy Landlord or Normal Neighborhood Changes?

Exterior of Park Deli 209 Nassau - Photo Julia Moak
Outside Park Deli  Image: Julia Moak

As New York City, and North Brooklyn in particular, go through massive socioeconomic changes, it’s become very common to hear cries of outrage about gentrification. Since the infamous rezoning in the mid-aughts, Greenpoint/Williamsburg has seen ever-rising rents and an influx of residents (myself included, I arrived here in 2009 from my family home of northeast Queens). This trickles down into situations like the one occurring with the Park Deli (209 Nassau Ave). But sometimes, the story isn’t a “greedy landlord” or “gentrification,” but rather a situation much more complex and completely normal.

Hildegard and Rudolph Daempfle receiving the Borough of Brooklyn Award in 1987  Image: Thomas Handschiegel

There’s no doubt that Park Deli is a Greenpoint institution. Opened in 1931 by German-American William Mullenbrock, the deli has served reasonably priced German-style food ever since. What was Mullenbrock Deli changed hands in the 1950s, and at some point, acquired the name “Park Deli.” Continue reading

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Park Deli Vows to Fight for Survival, But It’s an Uphill Battle

Owner of Park Deli 209 Nassau - Photo Julia Moak
Krystyna Godowa, owner of Park Deli at 209 Nassau – All photos by Julia Moak

There was a time not long ago when Greenpoint was the ground zero for reasonably priced, delicious, home-cooked food. There seemed to be no end to the great cheap mom and pop little restaurants, delis and butchers that offered fresh, hearty food. Little by little, though,those solid family-run businesses have been disappearing, many the victims of rising rent. It seems that the latest victim is the Park Deli (209 Nassau Avenue), but the owner has vowed to fight to keep her business open.

Interior of Park Deli 209 Nassau - Photo Julia Moak
Park Deli’s charming interior

The deli predates the present Polish ownership, going back 86 years when a German-American William Mullenbrock opened the business. His place drew a loyal following of locals who loved their cold cuts, salads and tasty sandwiches, all reasonably priced. Sold by Mullenbrock in the 50s, it stayed a German place until about two decades ago when Poles took it over, but continued to serve the same German-style food that has made the place a Greenpoint institution. Continue reading

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