Lassen & Hennigs is making smaller cakes — and eating them too!
Now we present our interview with Chris Calfa, owner of Lassen & Hennigs. The longtime local catering giant at 114 Montague St. also owns two Monty Q’s pizzerias (158 Montague St. and 90 Livingston St.) and Court Order, a sandwich lunch spot (52 Court St). But rest assured, Brooklynites, Calfa said he isn’t going anywhere — even if this is the worst he’s ever seen it on Montague Street.
(For more in the series, check out our Montague Street in Crisis page)
Brooklyn Heights Blog: What do you see happening on Montague Street right now?
Chris Calfa, owner, Lassen & Hennigs: There are a lot of people closing up — there are a lot of sales, and everyone’s trying to draw people into their stores. It’s tough on the block now.
BHB: You’ve been here for a while and you’ve seen Montague Street go through economic periods of turmoil, but have you ever seen it like this? How have things changed?
Calfa: In the early ’ 90s it was pretty bad, but now, this is the worst I’ve ever seen it. At nighttime, it’s very slow at night now. It used to be a popular street in Brooklyn to come down, and now a lot of other neighborhoods got a lot better like Park Slope and Carroll Gardens, and people are just staying in their neighborhoods. Montague Street used to be the place to come, like 20 years ago. And now, it’s — well, there are other places to go.
BHB: How is your business? What are you doing to stay competitive?
Calfa: We’re down a little. We’re offering smaller-sized sandwiches and cakes, and we do our own challah. And we’re just keeping our quality the same.
BHB: Where do you see the future of Montague Street?
Calfa: It’s going to be all national tenants, and no more mom-and-pops. They’re going to be all gone, unless they own their own building — but even then, rents are too irresistible and the mom-and-pops are going to rent it out to the national chains because they are the only ones who are going to be able to pay.
BHB: But are you guys going anywhere?
Calfa: No. (smiling)