Papacitos, the wildly popular Greenpoint Mexican restaurant with the best vegetarian tacos in town, was the victim of a brazen robbery Saturday night. Co-owner Cody Utzman tells us that thieves broke into the establishment after it closed, hopping the courtyard fence and entering through the back. According to Utzman, the robbers smashed open the cash register and made off with a safe that had $10,000 inside, as well as the restaurant stereo and some employees' personal belongings. Police have dusted for fingerprints and are investigating the incident.
But there's also good news for Papacitos fans; Utzman tells us he's doubling the size of the place by expanding into the adjacent storefront, which is part of the same building and was the former home of a palm reader. He adds that a "very high profile" designer is overseeing the expansion, which will include a 12 foot tequila bar (whenever Papacitos' liquor license finally gets renewed) and a new mosaic fountain in the spacious courtyard. Work is expected to start next month, with the expansion complete by the end of July.
And starting this weekend, Utzman, who won accolades for his brunch when he was head chef at nearby Brooklyn Label, unveils his new brunch menu, which includes such appetizing items as an Eggs Benedict with chipotle hollandaise and masa corn cakes in lieu of English muffins, and a chocolate and chili French Toast. So go throw them a few bucks; Utzman says the robbery "couldn't have come at a worse time," because quarterly taxes are due soon and his insurance doesn't cover cash theft.