This Brooklyn original will have its cheesecake and eat it, too.
Junior’s plans to sell its downtown home, clearing the way for a new condo building with a really sweet perk — easy access to top-flight desserts.
The iconic eatery is expected to move out of its 17,000-square-foot flagship following the sale, but believes it can negotiate a deal to return as a tenant and open a new restaurant on the ground floor.
The Rosen family, owner of the 64-year-old business, fended off suitors for the two-story building for years before finally capitulating to the sweet temptations of Brooklyn’s whipped-up real estate market.
It’s safe to say that the building, which has been home to one of Brooklyn’s signature establishments for nearly 65 years, is going to be replaced with a tower.
“The development market in the city is at a fevered pitch right now,” said Bob Knakal, chair of Massey Knakal, the brokerage firm marketing the property. “When you have a market like that, it makes people think.”
President Barack Obama, center, with then-mayoral candidate Bill de Blasio, left, visited Junior’s in October 2013.
Junior’s opened in 1950 on the corner of Flatbush Ave. Extension and Dekalb Ave. and quickly settled in as must-visit for celebrities, politicians and blue-collar Brooklynites alike.
The restaurant parlayed its famed cheesecakes into a brand, opening locations in Times Square, Grand Central Terminal and at the MGM Grand at Foxwoods Resort Casino in Connecticut.
But it’s the original Brooklyn location that will always conjur the nostalgic images.
President Obama made the pilgrimage in October 2013 with then-candidate Bill de Blasio on a campaign-style visit, pressing palms between the restaurant’s vinyl booths and the red-topped bar.
The Rosens expect to open a second Brooklyn location and possibly another, temporary spot in the neighborhood during construction on the Flatbush corner, Knakal said.
Junior’s Restaurant at 386 Flatbush Ave. in Brooklyn is expected leave its iconic location but return when a new building is constructed.
The plan is to return to the original location and keep two Brooklyn restaurants, but Knakal acknowledged they’ll have to work out the homecoming with the developer.
“The only thing for certain in life is death and taxes, right?” Knakal said. “It’s our objective to move back in.”
The Rosens didn’t respond to a request for comment.
Knakal declined to disclose an estimated value of the project, but said it’s probably worth three times as much as it was a decade ago.
The building could rise at least 20 stories, and with air rights it could rise to become one of the borough’s tallest. The property offers great street access in a borough that now rivals Manhattan on developers’ wish-lists, he said.
“All around,” Knakal said, “it’s a world-class asset from a development viewpoint.”