Heights History: The Story Behind Some of the North Heights’ Restaurants And A Look At Them From 47 Years Ago

The last stop for this journey is Sociale (72 Henry Street – website).
Sociale. Photo: Evan Bindelglass

In 1881, it was the Parrish Pharmacy. As far back as 1940, it was a bakery, according to city records. However, according to a photograph from 1967, it was still a pharmacy.
The block with 72 Henry Street at the right end, 1967. Photo courtesy New York City Landmarks Preservation Commission.

Eventually, it was a hair salon. But since July 29, 2013, it has been Sociale. In 1997, Francesco Nuccitelli of Carpi, Italy was working for a bank while getting his degree in economics. He was sent on a business trip to New York City and was instantly sold. He quit the bank the day after he got his degree with dreams of making a life for himself in America. He worked at Gnocco in the East Village, managed Perbacco, and went on to manage Il Gattopardo. Then contractor and building owner Michael Keefe entered the picture. He was impressed by Nuccitelli’s passion and promised to help him open a restaurant. He followed through and now Sociale is a place proud of its fresh ingredients and homemade pasta. Nuccitelli tries not to overcomplicate things and it’s that simplicity he says leads to consistency. Even though it has only been open for a little over a year, he has apparently had an impact. Nuccitelli was riding his bike when he passed a regular customer who, along with her family, was packing their stuff up to move away. She stopped him and broke into tears.

What The Owner Says You Should Order:
Appetizer: Polipo alla Griglia (Spanish octopus, cherry tomatoes, scallion vinaigrette). The tomatoes are fresh and ripe and the pieces of octopus are wonderfully thick!
Octopus at Sociale. Photo: Evan Bindelglass

Entrée: Spaghetti al Pomorodo (spaghetti, tomato sauce, parmesan, basil). This is a perfect example of Nuccitelli’s philosophy. It’s not a complicated dish, but it is so satisfying. The parmesan cheese is aged 24 months and you can taste it.

Spaghetti Pomodoro at Sociale. Photo: Evan Bindelglass

ARCHIVE DOCUMENT: 1940 Certificate of Occupancy (PDF)

—Evan Bindelglass is a local freelance journalist, photographer, cinephile, and foodie. You can e-mail him, follow him on Twitter @evabin, or check out his personal blog.


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  • Muskrat

    When Henry’s End first opened it was like a little earthquake in the nabe – such an appealing vibe and so different from everything else. It was hip as in “hippy” – not hipster! We especially loved the Mobil gas Pegasus sign. It’s nothing short of amazing that the restaurant is still there and thriving.

  • Kit

    I fail to understand how your history of 60 Henry does not include mention of longtime resident, Soo Soo’s Yum Yum Restaurant.

  • BrooklynBugle


  • Mini

    Yes, Su-Su’s was great. Miss it. Isn’t Bevacco in that space now? Sad. Never tried Becacco because the menu doesn’t entice me and it seems always empty.

  • GHB

    Maybe if you gave it a try, it wouldn’t look so empty!

  • MPV

    No, not sad. Bevacco is a wonderful space with excellent food and charming, authentic cocktails. The menu is two full pages including apps, salads, pizza, pasta, burgers, panini, and entrees. The bar has hundreds of bottles on the shelf. There has to be something for you. Give it a try before you knock it.

  • suzanne goss

    They meant Su-Su’s.

  • suzanne goss

    The produce place referred to at 50 Henry was Norman’s. Yes, flies, and babies crawling around on the floor (their’s.) Amazing produce and cheese and breads. Every day something new. wow how they would fit in now, in today’s farm-to-table, artisanal, world…

  • suzanne goss

    Noodle pudding as originally McGr*ths? No?

  • Bornhere

    I think McGrath’s was on Fulton Street (before it was Cadman Plaza Something).
    And you’re right about Norman’s — where they didn’t need “artisanal” to sell their exceptional goods.

  • Karl Junkersfeld

    Who is Evan Bindleglass? Never saw the name before but appreciate the effort and quality job on this story. (photo’s included) With Evan and Michael Randazzo joining Claude Scales, the professionalism is getting mighty impressive. Nice job Evan and hope to see more posts in the future.

  • BrooklynBugle

    Evan is a freelance writer who has also contributed to Curbed NY and other well known sites. We’re amped that he’s agreed to work with us. Coupled with the BHB regulars, the imminent return of Heather “86 Mets” Quinlan and new kid Mike “Randazzle” Randazzo we’re bigger and better than ever. Like what you see? Contribute to our editorial fund and keep BHB, CHB and the Bugle one of the very FEW remaining INDEPENDENT blogs in Brooklyn — https://www.indiegogo.com/projects/brooklyn-bugle-editorial-fund-2015/x/7880010

  • college kid

    The correct name of the original owner of Henry’s End is Donald Beckerman. instead of Henry’s End, we used to call the restaurant, Hank’s Rump.

  • MonroeOrange

    you can see their truck in the picture….

  • mary anne killeen

    McGrath’s was indeed where Noodle Pudding is now located. As teens, we would go there to drink cheap beer and watch the Yankees win (it was the 70’s). There was a window in the back room, where the kitchen is now, which opened into the alley next to the firehouse. There was a bell hung inside the window, with the cord hanging out he window into the alley. At night, the bell would ring, someone at the bar would go to the refrigerator, lift out a couple of six packs, open the window and hand them out the window to a waiting firefighter. Simpler times!

  • Bornhere

    What a neat memory!

    My recollection went back to this (which I vaguely recall, although it was well before I was old enough to even see over a bar). http://tinyurl.com/kcfyr9m

  • suzanne goss

    was the “A” still on the sign at that time?

  • grewuphere

    Great produce, also cheap. I miss Norman’s (and its crazy, awesome owner, and his traffic hazard of cat) dearly :/