We all know what happened on 9/11 but, few of you know what happened on 10/13 of that same year. In the now super chic, super hip neighborhood of Williamsburg Brooklyn there will be a grand re-opening of a local business - Fabiane's Cafe and Pastry.
While 9/11 was unfolding, construction workers were putting together this restaurant across 3 smaller store fronts at the corner of North 5th and Bedford. North of that corner was a relatively thriving 2 blocks of merchants to North 7th which is where the famous "L" subway line has it's Bedford Avenue Station.
(This is not to be confused with the "EL" (Elevated) trains that are famous throughout the 5 boroughs. While I was growing up in the north Bronx, some of my earliest memories are of the sound of these trains as they ran, while I slept at my grandparents house on Barnes Avenue.)
Fabiane and one of the counter workers from around 2005 and below the view of the corner and neighborhood at that time. As you can see there are some holiday decorations as the years moved on the holiday decorations became more and more elaborate and a mainstay of the neighborhoods Holiday viewing.
This establishment not only weathered the aftermath of 9/11 but completely changed the neighborhood from that corner south. The block between N 5th and N4th transformed as established business' changed to update and upgrade and old business' gave way to new stores attracted to that block because Fabiane's set a new standard.
There are so many stories, so many pictures, so many memories and so many incredible meals, meetings, parties and encounters that it would take 20 posts to cover them all, at least. However, here's a small bit of history for you.
An immigrant to our country, Fabiane actually never intended to stay here. She came to NYC working for one of Brasil's TV stations and after quite some time began to pursue her dream of being a part of the culinary arts. Trained at the famous French Culinary Institute, she found two Irish construction moguls who partnered with her to create Fabiane's. Then, after many years she bought them out and continued along the path, singlehandedly, creating not only this store but also a great catering establishment that has nourished some of the most famous personalities in photo shoots for many a successful publicity campaign. Isabella Rossellini and a very young Dakota Fanning are only two of them.
I'm thrilled to tell you all that today, in fact is a new milestone for this brave business owner who took it upon herself to venture into the world of owning her own business and who has continued to meet every challenge with courage and fierce resilience.
With her new partner, CEO Manuel Lopez, Fabiane's will create history again, with a new re-opening and I couldn't be more proud nor more satisfied to see this growth and exciting new initiative.
Fabiane has always attracted people of all walks of life and ages to both her store and her side. She is a deeply generous person who has a great creative talent and a sensitivity towards both her customers and her cooking. She LOVES pastry and that love comes through with every bite. But, do not underestimate - EVER - her ability to dish up the most wonderful lunch and dinner fare. Take a look at this...
Fabiane's Bake Eggs with salmon, scallions etc. is a heavenly treat that you will not soon forget. And, they are served all day.
One of her more simple catering layouts - each offering scrumptious.
And from Thursday's 2 day countdown on Fabi's facebook page, this new Octopus dinner option. I'm sure there will be much, much more.
Bring your friends...
Enjoy her new signature Mimosa's, and support this hardworking, honest, businesswoman who significantly nourished and helped begin the healing of a Williamsburg block at the time of overwhelming tragedy. And, even after all that, who has persevered through more than any of you can imagine as she continues to re-invent both herself and her store.
Many look upon this time as the "age of women" and let us hope it does live up to its potential as it levels out a horribly imbalanced male dominated world. THIS woman, this immigrant is one of the pioneers, who I personally witnessed (and sometimes was privileged enough to help) carve out a place in America which improved the lives of everyone who came in contact with her. From the blind Polish gentlemen who lives across the street who ate there every day, to well known celebrities and every one in between. Fabiane's has demonstrated what is possible, even up against the most inhospitable city, state and federal conditions for small business' she has not only survived but has thrived. Why? That's easy, believe me when I tell you, she is a truly beloved being.
If you can make it this weekend, you are indeed in for a glorious time. If you cannot make it a destination and allow yourself the joy of experiencing this wonderful home away from home.
Thanks Fabiane for all that you've done and for all that you will continue to accomplish. I so wish I could join you :-)!
Thank you all for being with me. Thomas