A new restaurant opened in a historic Castle Hill location.
On Monday, December 7, Jimmy’s Grand Cafe, held its grand opening and ribbon cutting ceremony, officially introducing the new eating establishment to the neighborhood.
The restaurant’s location, 1001 Castle Hill Avenue, was purchased five years ago by restaurant owner Jimmy Mitsios, who is also the owner of Shore Haven Diner on 622 Castle Hill Avenue and formerly owned the recently closed Jimmy’s Cafe Restaurant at 905 White Plains Road.
Following the purchase of the property, Mitsios transformed the then-vacant location to a vibrant eating emporium, bringing new life to the area.
“This is our way of giving back to the (Castle Hill) community - by providing them with this new eating establishment,” said Mitsios, who was met with an arousing round of applause from attendees when he was introduced at the grand opening. “I had a vision of turning this location into a nice location that the residents can come to and enjoy - and now that vision has come to fruition.”
The restaurant itself, located just off of the Bruckner Expressway, offers a lounge-type setting and a long, wide bar for its customers, many of whom have anticipated the opening of a location that had been previously vacant and unused for over ten years.
“I am so proud of what (Jimmy) has done with this establishment,” said Senator Ruben Diaz. “This place was abandoned for many years, and (Jimmy) did a great job of bringing a restaurant back to this location that was in need of a new beginning.”
“This restaurant will be an essential part of the community because it will bring both jobs and businesses to the area,” said Assemblyman Luis Sepulveda. “With that, the restaurant will also bring this neighborhood pride. I certainly wish (Jimmy) the best of luck in this new, beautifully structured location.”
“This neighborhood has a very special meaning to me,” said Assemblyman Michael Benedetto, who was born and raised in Castle Hill and frequently went to the location when it was known as ‘Joe & Joe’, an Italian-style pub and restaurant. “When a building is vacant, it says something about the neighborhood, and I am so thankful that (Jimmy) transformed this location into what it is today - and the restaurant looks magnificent.”
“We are very excited about our new home,” said restaurant partner Abbe Katechis. “Jimmy (Mitsios) and I have serviced the Bronx with various establishments for over 20 years, and I look forward to helping him continue this trend in a new, exciting location.”
Jimmy’s Grand Cafe was the previous location of Bailer Family Hotel and Restaurant, which operated from 1854 to 1940, when Giuseppe Perrotta and Giuseppe Bevilacqua purchased Bailer’s and transformed the location into what would become Joe & Joe.
Joe & Joe was taken over by Tony Perrotta and Tony Longobardo in 1960 and operated until 2004, when it officially closed its doors.
The building remained vacant until 2013, when it was demolished.