With the lackadaisical days of summer drawing to a close, Brooklyn’s restaurant scene is revving up. Here’s the best of the borough’s openings, closings, and, of course, restaurant gossip.
• Taking the Cakeman: Earlier this week, Crain’s reported that Fort Greene legend Cake Man Raven owes over $11,000 in wages, interest and penalties after failing to pay three employees overtime. Last week, as U.S. District Court judge issued default judgment against the shop after multiple failures to appear in court. The Cake Man has not responded to inquiries by us, either.
• Crossing the river: Manhattan’s humbly named bakery The Best Chocolate Cake in the World is planning a DUMBO location. The Brooklyn branch, which is slated to open within two weeks, will be wholesale, with a to-go counter for the common folk. Meanwhile further south, much-adored Upper East Side ramen bar Naruto Ramen plans to open a second location in Park Slope next week.
• Cook off: Nick Suarez and Theo Peck are at it again — Sept. 12 they host the next installation of The Food Experiments, the Brooklyn Roots Experiment, at Farm City Fair. The challenge? Dishes that best represent Brooklyn.
• Taco takeover: Cobble Hill’s Oaxaca Taqueria, which recently expanded to Park Slope, is planning it next move — to Crown Heights. Signage is up on Prospect Place between Franklin and Classon avenues, though no word yet on the opening date.
• The shutter: Mai, the much loved Vietnamese spot on Atlantic Avenue in Boreum Hill, appears to be closed. In its place, Pardes, a new Kosher bistro with heavy Asian influences, is slated to open later this month. Meanwhile, across town Williamsburg’s Mercat Negre will close on Sept. 5, to reopen as a new, undisclosed concept later this month.
• Permanent brunch: The proprietor of the Burritoville chain is staking is claim in Williamsburg with B.A.D. (Breakfast All Day), a new eatery dishing up eight varieties of pancakes along with burgers, burritos and more. Good concept, B.A.D. name.
• New dramshops: The talent behind Lower East Side haunt (and Jenna Bush favorite) Fat Baby is branching out to Brooklyn with a 6,000-square-foot European-style gastropub in Greenpoint. Watch for the debut later this fall. Down the way, Frank Cisneros of Dram on S. Fourth Street will soon open the nautical-themed bar The Drink on Manhattan Avenue between Grand and Maujer streets. The bar should open later this month, dishing up “exotic punches” and a host of salty snacks. And in Williamsburg, the folks from Whiskey Town in Manhattan have opened the self-explanatory Whiskey Brooklyn at Berry and N. 11th streets. Shuffleboard and arcade games abound.