Nestled in a tiny storefront on Franklin's hottest block (between Park and Sterling), Zelda's has been turning heads since they put in their new see-through gate and revealed their lovely french door facade last week. After tonight's Franklin Avenue Merchants meeting, Brooklynian's MikeF/whynot and I got a quick tour of the new place, which looks as charming inside as it does out.
Husband-and-wife team Kate and Michael, who named their cafe for their baby daughter (they're also the organizers of the Crown Heights North Parents Group - stop in and ask them about it if you'd like to join), are aiming for a soft opening this Saturday, and they've got big plans for the vest-pocket space. Featuring tiny tables and cozy seating, Zelda's will serve espresso drinks, pastries, and fresh bread from Blue Duck Bakery by day, and wines and bottled beers by night, once they get their licensing in order. With a long wall of upholstered bench seating and matching stools that tuck neatly underneath, the seating certainly will be intimate, and the owners are embracing that ethos, promising a break from "laptop monoculture" (even a tablet would take up most of one of their little round tables) that will offer such homey touches as space to store your own mug and wine glass, conversations with local authors, and, instead of the typical NYC bagel, hearty slices of toast with a range of toppings.
With 739 Franklin looking closer and closer to finished and 3D's under construction, it won't be long until every storefront other than the churches and Had Associates on that block has undergone at least a minor renovation, all in under four years (and all the storefronts will be occupied). The storefronts between Eastern and Park are rapidly filling up - will this mean more development further north (and south across the parkway) on Franklin, or will competition get tight for choice spots in that four-block district? We'll know soon enough.