Future Is Bleak for Smith Street, Ex-Owner Predicts

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Photo: Jonathan Bourland

India Ennis tried to sell her Smith Street restaurant, Panino’teca 275, for eighteen months before closing it last Sunday, but she doesn’t entirely blame the economy. Instead, she faults, in part, the South Brooklyn restaurant explosion. “Business brings business, and that’s good for the neighborhood. Then we hit a wall and there were way, way too many restaurants,” she told us from her new home in Boston. “High-style, concept restaurants. I didn’t think the food was all that great. It started hurting everybody — there’s just not enough people in the neighborhood.” Ennis, who opened her restaurant eight years ago as a first-time owner, predicts that any new spots will also be helmed by rookies. “It’s going to cycle again. They’re going to open up and a lot of those places are going to be closed in the next year. Restaurant groups are not jumping on these little places. They see that it’s just not going to pay,” she says. As for her own space, Ennis tentatively refers to its next incarnation as a sports bar, but only because the new operators said “they were going to put in ‘a bunch more fryers and a bunch of TVs.’” More competition for Angry Wade’s?