When Jimmy Hamelburg was a kid growing up in Brookline’s Washington Square, the B&D Deli was a hangout spot almost every day for him and his friends at the Driscoll School.
Hamelburg, now 55, remembers grabbing a bagel to go or just socializing with his friends outside the always crowded deli.
“I remember the deli like yesterday,” he said. “It was quite a big deal in this town.”
So Hamelburg said he is thrilled that in the last week he’s had the opportunity to open his own restaurant in the space left vacant when the B&D Deli closed after 78 years in business.
Hamelburg, a restaurateur who recently sold Joe V’s restaurant in Boston’s South End, has just opened “Jimmy’s” at 1653 Beacon St. which has been vacant since the B&D Deli closed in August 2005.
“For me, this is like a dream come true,” Hamelburg said of the location and its history. “I’m still looking for salami downstairs.”
Hamelburg said he opened Jimmy’s last Thursday and has been trying to keep the opening low-key until he and his staff get the hang of everything at the new Italian restaurant.
For now, the restaurant only has a small sign on the door indicating it’s open, but Hamelburg said that hasn’t stopped people from popping into the new eatery.
“It’s a great location,” he said. “We’re busy here every night. I haven’t had a chance to breathe.”
Hamelburg said the restaurant will begin opening for lunch every day beginning Friday and is already open every night for dinner. The restaurant has its own stone pizza oven and entrees range from about $12 to $15. Hamelburg said the restaurant also has a full bar.
Eventually Hamelburg said he will put a more noticeable sign on the front of the restaurant, but for now he’s more focused on making his first customers happy.
“Everybody started flooding in and it’s because of the location,” Hamelburg said. “They’ve been waiting a long time. It’s been idle for six years. Let’s hope they keep coming back. That’s our goal.”