News & Culture in Carroll Gardens, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill and Points Nearby
January 25, 2021
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News + Views

Court Street Wins Sign Scare

By Lisa M. Collins

Hey, bravo to 16 Handles, the new yogurt shop that’s opening on Court Street between Union and President in the former location of Joe’s Restaurant, a diner that had been open in Carroll Gardens for more than 30 years. Just last week, I stopped dead in my tracks upon seeing the garish orange and white, neon-looking sign for the yogurt franchise. It seemed to scream, “Corporate Strip Mall!” on the block of Esposito’s… just didn’t fit.

I wasn’t the only one to notice.  Lost City blog complained loudly, calling the sign the ugliest in Carroll Gardens, and the blog Pardon Me For Asking followed suit. Shockingly, the VP of 16 Handles wrote back to each, and went ahead and took down the sign right away. The company is now working on a sign that’ll fit-in a bit better with the block. Bravo 16 Handles! How cool.

It’s great news, not just aesthetically… My sister-in-law told me she was obsessed with this yogurt when she lived at Stuyvesant Town in the city. You pick your flavor and topping and pile up as much as you’d like of relatively healthful frozen yogurt (though like the salad bars of Manhattan, your bill piles quicker than your treat). Still, sounds just great. 

Read the rantings about the signage and see the company VP’s response at Lost City and Pardon Me for Asking.

More interestingly, read about the history of the former Joe’s Restaurant, owned by Joe Chirico, otherwise known as Joe Marco Polo, owner of, you guessed it, Marco Polo restaurant at the corner of Court and Union. Replacing Joe’s old diner, where locals drank coffee and scratched lotto tickets and the homemade divine soup was served by waitresses who called you, “Sweetie,” with a healthful yogurt chain is indeed a sign of the times. 


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