Restaurants

Featured Story

Features, Interviews, Restaurants, Sunset Park, Where I Work

Brooklyn Kura, Industry City, sake NYC, sake Brooklyn, Brian Polen, Brandon Doughan

Brandon Doughan (left) and Brian Polen (right). Photo © Molly Tavoletti for Brooklyn Kura

6sqft’s series “Where I Work” takes us into the studios, offices, and businesses of New Yorkers across the city. In this installment, we’re touring Industry City’s Brooklyn Kura, New York’s first sake brewery. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!

“It was my first ‘oh, my God’ sake which was made in the U.S.A.” said Japanese-born sake sommelier Chizuko Niikawa-Helton when he tasted the product of Brooklyn Kura, NYC’s first sake brewery and one of only 15 in the nation. And this is exactly what co-founders Brian Polen and Brandon Doughan strive for. They’re committed to respecting the thousands-year-old Japanese sake brewing traditions, but they also hope to inspire a new interest in this ancient beverage by using unique American ingredients and engaging New Yorkers in the process at their Sunset Park brewery and tap room.

After meeting at a mutual friend’s wedding in Japan and developing a passion for sake, Brian and Brandon teamed up and got to work on their 2,500-square-foot space in Industry City, which combines the functionality of traditional Japanese breweries with a contemporary Brooklyn design aesthetic. 6sqft recently paid them a visit and had a drink in the tap room (yes, we agree with Niikawa-Helton that the sakes are “so soft, so gentle”), got a look at the sake making process, and chatted with Brian and Brandon about their journey, life at Industry City, and how they’re turning New Yorkers into sake lovers.

Read our interview with Brian and Brandon and see inside Brooklyn Kura

Featured Story

Brooklyn, Features, Restaurants, Where I Work, Williamsburg

toby's estate, where I work, toby's estate coffee

6sqft’s series “Where I Work” takes us into the studios, offices, and off-beat workspaces of New Yorkers across the city. In this installment, we’re touring the Williamsburg cafe and roastery of Toby’s Estate Coffee. Want to see your business featured here? Get in touch!

When you walk into Toby’s Estate Coffee, the smell of freshly brewed coffee hits you immediately. And thanks to the towering roasting machine in the back of the Williamsburg coffee shop (which roasts about 50 lbs of coffee at a time), the sweet-bitter aroma really lingers. While the location on North 6th Street between Berry Street and Bedford Avenue was the first Toby’s in New York City, the coffee connoisseurs have since sprouted to other boroughs, with three cafes in Manhattan and most recently one in Long Island City.

Toby’s, which originated in Australia, has served up specialty small-batch coffee in NYC since 2012, bringing in some eclectic flavors to their roster of roasts. Currently, the shop is offering a Citron Espresso Tonic, with tonic water, ice, handmade citron simple syrup and candied oranges. (We tried it. It was delicious.) On an unseasonably warm day this spring, Toby’s gave 6sqft a tour of its Brooklyn shop, which boasts enough square footage to fit its roastery and cafe, as well as plenty of seating. Ahead, see inside the sunlight-filled flagship space and hear from Toby’s staff on their “roast, record, taste, adjust, and repeat” process that brews the perfect cup of coffee.

See the cafe and learn more about the roasting process

Featured Story

Architecture, Features, Interviews, Restaurants

Headshot of Glen Coben via Tommy Campbell, Brothers & Company

New York City architect Glen Coben’s An Architect’s Cookbook: A Culinary Journey Through Design is part journal, part cookbook. The book shares Coben’s experience over the last 18+ years working with some of the world’s greatest chefs to create magical culinary experiences: Empellon/Alex Stupak, Del Posto/Mario Batali, Gabriel Kreuther, Carbone, The Marrow and Romera.

Each chapter includes: the narrative between Glen and Chef – their story together throughout the process, sketches and renderings, followed by the final photos of the restaurant and recipes contributed by each chef. Coben loves what he does and it shows. To him, working with chefs to design their dreams means “there is another creative partner at the table.” 6sqft recently spoke with Coben and learned how it all started, about his restaurant inspirations and what the architectural equivalent of adding that special spice to meatballs is to make us all sigh in delight, ahhhhh.

Dive to learn more about Glen

Events, Flushing, Restaurants

flushing, queens, ethnic food

The intersection of Kissena Boulevard and Main Street in Flushing. Image: Wikimedia Commons

Flushing, Queens is a dining destination for serious foodies and fans of any of a cornucopia of authentic Asian and Indian delights; from June 15-17, you can sample the international cuisine with discounts and a tour to help you with the highlights; the Flushing’s World Fair is a three-day expo that brings together the businesses, cultural institutions and historic landmarks of the diverse and dynamic community.

Find out more about the food tour

Events, Hell's Kitchen, Museums, Restaurants

Photo via MrTMan on Flickr

There is no shortage of food halls, food markets and food trucks in New York City to satisfy your every craving. However, none of these eating events take place next to an aircraft carrier on the Hudson River. Until now. The Intrepid Sea, Air & Space Museum announced this week that it will host a food festival at Pier 86, featuring more than 20 local vendors from the Hell’s Kitchen neighborhood. The waterfront food fest, WestsideEATS, runs from 10 am to 6 pm on June 9 and June 10 (h/t TimeOut).

More this way

Featured Story

Features, Interviews, Nolita, People, Restaurants, Where I Work

Restuarant photo credit: Nicole Franzen; Portrait credit: Kathryn Sheldon

Earlier this month, Nolita restaurant De Maria won the coveted James Beard Award for best restaurant design or renovation in North America. The designers at The MP Shift replicated an artist’s studio, with Soho in the ‘70s and the Bauhaus movement in mind. But it’s not just the space that’s beautiful; Venezuelan-born chef Adriana Urbina‘s dishes, composed heavily of veggies and seafood, look like they were made for Instagram.

Outside of the visuals, however, what sets De Maria apart is Urbina’s socially conscious approach. Not only does she mix her South American heritage with her fine dining background (she started her career as an apprentice at Michelin 3-star restaurant in Spain, Martín Berasategui and was a 2017 winner of Food Network’s “Chopped”), but she’s committed to empowering female chefs and business owners, as well as using food as a way to connect people and raise awareness about what’s going on in the world. 6sqft recently enjoyed an insanely delicious meal at De Maria and chatted with Adriana about her journey, the restaurant scene in NYC, and why this Nolita restaurant is the perfect place to see out her dreams.

Meet Adriana and get hungry!

Bronx, Events, Restaurants

Images via Bronx Night Market

Move over, Queens. The Bronx is getting an open-air, night market next month, the first of its kind to come to the borough. Setting up shop in Fordham Plaza, the festival will include food and craft beverages from more than 35 vendors, handcrafted items and live entertainment (h/t amNY). The event is free to attend and will run starting June 30 through October, happening on the last Saturday of every month.

Get the details

Restaurants, Williamsburg

Di Fara, considered one of the best pizzerias in NYC, will open at the Williamsburg food hall; photo via apasciuto on Flickr

Does New York City really need another food hall? Before answering, check out the list of impressive vendors setting up shop in Williamsburg’s new food hall at the end of May. The line-up includes iconic Di Fara pizza from Midwood, James Beard-nominated baker Zachary Golper’s Bien Cuit, Brooklyn ramen shop Chuko, Greenwich Village’s Corner Bistro and over a dozen more well-established food and retail vendors, according to Eater NY. Developer LENY market agency MRKTPL will open the doors on May 29 to its 15,000-square-foot indoor space at 103 North 3rd Street, where it will share a space with popular Radegast Hall & Biergarten, with a limited-vendor menu. Starting June 4, the North 3rd Street Market’s hours will be extended and the full roster of vendors will be ready to serve up some tasty fare.

Dig into the details

Construction Update, Lower East Side, Major Developments, Manhattan, Restaurants

Interior image via SHoP Architects; construction shot via NYCEDC

Construction of Essex Street Market’s new home across Delancey Street continues to move along before its scheduled opening this fall. Designed by SHoP Architects, the market sits above the 150,000-square-foot Market Line, which will stretch two levels and connect three sites of the Essex Crossing development. The market’s first phase is expected to wrap up in October, bringing 13 new vendors to the site in addition to the 24 vendors from the historic Essex Street Market. Additional renderings released by the city’s Economic Development Corporation this week highlight the brightness of the space, courtesy of the huge windows, 60-foot ceilings and use of light-reflective material.

“As we near completion on the project, we are excited to soon open a world-class public market for the local Lower East Side community,” NYCEDC President James Patchett said in a statement to 6sqft. “The new Essex Market will preserve the current community-based spirit while creating additional space to expand the market’s offerings, provide new jobs, and present a higher level of goods and services to visitors and area residents alike.”

Get the details

Featured Story

Features, Policy, Restaurants

Photo via Wikimedia

According to a recent report by Food Truck Nation, New York City takes 9th out of the top places to run a food truck. The report ranks three categories: ease of obtaining permits and licenses, complying with restrictions and operating a food truck. And with a composite score of nine, NYC is falling behind other cities, specifically Portland, Denver and Orlando which take the top three spots, respectively. Based on the data, obtaining permits and licenses is what drags the city’s scores down, falling to spot 26. Some cities have many fewer barriers to entry. For example, Denver requires ten different procedures to obtain a license, whereas Boston has a whopping 32. Unsurprising, Denver has 594 food trucks in operation.

But Adam Sobel, the owner of Cinnamon Snail, the vegan food truck which is ranked as the top food truck in the New York City by The Daily Meal, has stopped running its food truck business on the streets of New York. Sobel only uses his food trucks for special events a few days a week, like farmers markets, because he says that every food truck on the streets of New York is basically illegal.

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