The latest: a traditional lobster shack in Greenpoint, a Stumptown “scandal,” and a shiny new beer license for a former Williamsburg favorite. The gossip mill is churning out the best tastes of summer!
Stumptown scandal: The New York Times got tongues wagging over Stumptown Coffee Roasters big deal investment from TSG Consumer Partners, a successful private equity firm. We’re reserving judgment as to whether or not this makes the small-batch darling a major sell out; we’re just excited about what the added revenue will bring to Brooklyn. Hooray for two new coffee bars and a bottling facility at Red Hook’s roaster, just for turning out adorable cold-brew coffee stubbies!
Grand Hotel: We don’t quite know what to make of the upcoming Hotel Williamsburg, i.e. New York City’s first full service urban resort boutique hotel, but the dining program should certainly be interesting. According to Eater, Andrés Grundy, a former chef de cuisine at L’Atelier de Joël Robuchon, will helm the hotel’s snazzy 100-seat restaurant, Pillar and Plough. Oddly, the kitchen staff will deliver the “NY neighborhood food,” which somehow translates into jazzed up tater tots and suckling pigs, to the tables themselves. Whatever — it’s still bound to beat the continental breakfast at the local Holiday Inn.
Here’s the beef: Throw another (franchised) patty on the flat top: Smashburger is finally making its Fort Greene debut on June 9, following in the char-grilled footsteps of Jakes Wayback in Downtown, Cheeburger Cheeburger in Park Slope, Two 8 Two in Cobble Hill, Vinzees Magic Fountain in Carroll Gardens, and Five Guys Burgers and Fries just about everywhere else. That only leaves 67 Burger, Bare Burger, Top BRGR, Moo Burger Barn.
Back in body, if not in spirit: Turns out June 9 is a big day — not just for fast food burger openings — but for the reincarnation of the popular Williamsburg snack shop, St. Anselm. Owner Joe Carroll (who also owns Spuyten Duyvil next door and Fette Sau across the street) shuttered the spot last year until he could obtain a beer-and-wine license. Now the phoenix is ready to rise with a new look and concept, according to Grub Street. Artery annihilating fare like deep-fried hot dogs in pizza bread and disco fries with ricotta cheese and gravy are out, in favor of “simply seasoned meats and seafood.” Is that supposed to be a good thing? Discuss.
Trading spaces: In a rather strange little pas de deux, two Park Slope restaurants, Amin and Chiles and Chocolate, have decided to swap buildings. Workers have been spotted hauling equipment up and down Seventh Avenue between the two storefronts, and a hostess at (the new) Chiles and Chocolate said, “Amin does more takeout and Chiles and Chocolate is more popular for sit down, so the owners, who are good friends, decided changing spots would work better for both.” Actually, it seems to us that Chiles and Chocolate got a sweetheart deal in their sunny space just off of bustling Union Street. Amin’s new tucked away home in the shadows of Lincoln Place might just prove a death knell for the uninspiring Indian joint.
WTF! We’re not trying to be foul mouthed — we’re just excited about the early September opening of the upcoming Gowanus “cocktail emporium,” Whisky Tango Foxtrot. The sauce-slinger will concentrate on seasonal concoctions made with small-batch goodies from nearby purveyors, like Kings County Distillery, Brooklyn Gin, and local farmers markets. Can’t wait for autumn? The owner is hosting a series of pop-up cocktail hours throughout the summer, where he will preview two of his tasty tipples in the privacy of your own home!
Rock lobster: We can’t get enough of the costly crustacean in the summer, 2Fwww.lobsterjoint.com%2F&h=f42d9″>and Lobster Joint, a new addition to Manhattan Avenue in Greenpoint, is ready to feed the jones. Chef Justin Ernsberger, formerly of Walter Foods and Mermaid Inn, and a consultant at Lure Fish Bar, brings plenty of cred to this traditional, New England-style shack, with a menu that includes chowder, clams on the half shell, and more rolls, fry-ups and seafood plates than you can shake a stick at. Add in a pint of Belfast Bay Lobster Ale or a glass of sweet tea with Dickel #12 Tennessee Whisky, and you’ll really be smelling the salt air — or is that just the East River?