Owner of Rucola restaurant in Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill bar Grand Army, and Nicky’s Unisex, a bar in Williamsburg.
What stands out most for you about the Alloy Block?
Its potential to connect. I’ve always loved this neighborhood. It’s changed so much, but really retained its incredible diversity. But this spot, it’s been a dead zone now for a while, which is sort of odd. It’s lagging behind its neighbors. With the subway lines, the businesses, BAM, other new projects, so many people converge at this site. The Alloy Block will connect all of this in a way that will benefit everyone who lives in the area or visits it.
You’ve run several businesses in the area for a while now – have you seen an increased demand for food and drink in the area? What’s needed for the industry after the pandemic?
People want to work around here, and they want to eat and drink around here. We’ve seen an after-work crowd at Grand Army that’s been clamoring for a spot like that. Same with people who live right around here, whether it’s Boerum Hill, Downtown or Fort Greene, Pre-pandemic, we saw people flock to DeKalb Market in City Point (Daigio has the best hand roll around). The area’s going to need people who believe it in, and want to invest in it after the pandemic. My hope is this project will just add to that allure and that vibe. Knowing Alloy, it will for sure. It may be a place I’ll want to be part of, who knows!?
Is there one spot that holds special meaning for you in the area?
Fort Greene Park. I’ve got so many memories there. It’s how New York is supposed to feel. After all the years and all the changes in the area, it hasn’t lost that.