In the end, Heath Ledger’s legacy is not an A-list life lived in the fast lane, but a cozy little restaurant in Greenpoint.
The late actor — and formerly Boerum Hill’s most-famous skateboarder — was a silent backer of Five Leaves, a 47-seat restaurant and bar at the corner of Bedford Avenue and Lorimer Street.
And when the eatery fired up its stove for the first time on Sept. 17, chefs told The Brooklyn Paper that they want the joint to be the kind of place that Ledger would have liked.
“Heath was very, very local and not high-profile at all — and that’s what this place is striving to be,” said Chef Mario Ishii Hernandez. “We’re very much about the fact that we’re in Greenpoint.”
The kitchen, which opens every day at 9 am, cooks up “the kind of stuff chefs cook for themselves at home,” according to Chef Cat von Klitzing, like rolls topped with eggs and cheddar ($6), burgers ($10), truffle fries ($7), and bacon, lettuce, avocado, tomato and aioli sandwiches ($9).
Dinner entrees range from $17 to $24, and a barkeep serves four draught beers and a limited liquor selection until 1 am.
Despite the big name affiliation, a great location across the street from McCarren Park, the news coverage, and the fancy nautical-themed interior, chefs say they’ll need a neighborhood following in order to stay afloat.
“With Heath Ledger’s name behind it, people think that we have all this money, but we’re just like any other restaurant that’s opening up in the neighborhood,” Hernandez said.
But Greenpoint residents say Five Leaves isn’t like anything else in the community — which could be its greatest asset.
“A lot of what we have right now are hardcore bars — there hasn’t really been a real eating establishment for a while,” said Justine Carroll of the Web site Greenpointers, which has long reported on neighborhood watering holes.