Defonte’s in Red Hook Is Open Again

Behold the gleaming case of condiments.
Behold the gleaming case of condiments. Photo: Hugh Merwin

At 7 a.m. this morning, a customer poked his head through the front door of Defonte’s, which lost power and has been closed for the last two days. “Are you open?” He asked. One of the sandwich shop’s staffers adjusted his paper hat. “You think we’re standing around back here for our looks?” He laughed. Nicky Defonte, owner of the 90-year-old neighborhood institution, is using a generator to run a few lights and lowboys while the area waits for its electricity to be restored. For now, Defonte’s does not have bacon, and the fresh mozzarella may arrive a little later today, but yeah, they’re back. Say hello and get a Nicky Special if you decide to visit Red Hook, and if you’re thinking of making the trip (there’s been an influx of disaster-area tourists during the last few days), please consider bringing some extra batteries, flashlights, and/or lugging some nonperishable food or bottled water to the Red Hook Initiative (767 Hicks Street), which is accepting the supplies from 10 a.m. to 10 p.m. today.