by Kevin Walsh

The Marvelettes once sang, “My baby must be a magician, ’cause he sure got the magic touch.” It’s possible this former Carroll Gardens hotspot at Hoyt and 3rd Streets was named for the late 1960s Motown hit; anything’s possible in the world of magic. What we do know is, like most magicians it has made something vanish, and the only remaining trace of it is this blue and white neon sign. It’s got the top hat and magic wand wielded by stage magicians of old. The other side of the sign advertises “Italian Cuisine.” To this day, Carroll Gardens is heavily Italian American.

Back in 2008, historian Brooks of Sheffield was able to ask around and got some area denizens to reminisce about the Magic Touch. He found one M. Poggi, of the former wholesale confectionary at #292 Smith:

It was a “shady club,” he said. He was pretty sure racketeering went on inside. And “girls” could be found there. Mr. Poggi himself never stepped foot inside the place. He’s a clean-living kinda guy.

Magic Touch reportedly opened in the ’40s. It was owned by a guy named Mike, had a bartender named Timmy and a waitress named Ruthie. It was apparently the kind of place where you saw nothing and said nothing.

In a more homogenized, anodyne age, M. Poggi and his candies, and the Magic Touch Cocktail Lounge, have pulled a disappearing act and there are no longer any white rabbits jumping out of top hats in South Brooklyn.

Check out the ForgottenBook,┬átake a look at the gift shop, and as always, “comment…as you see fit.”


1 comment

Andy Koeppel January 5, 2021 - 1:44 am

You might recall there was a song by the Platters called “The Magic Touch.” It began “You’ve got the magic touch. It makes me glow so much. You cast a spell. You ring a bell with your magic touch.” There may be some variation in those lyrics.


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