It all started with an idea, and a few years later, new restaurant Slick Willie (179 Meserole Avenue) is a dream come true for three friends, Jeremy, Josh, and Benjamin. It took quite a while to construct and design the space, as they signed the lease on the property just before Sandy hit New York, and then everything was delayed as construction priorities changed post-storm. However, the restaurant finally opened a few weeks ago and the trio are now ready for business!

While some might think Slick Willie was named after Bill Clinton, it’s actually named after one of Greenpoint’s famous residents, Willie Sutton. He was a legendary bank robber, a “gentleman bank robber,” so called because he never killed anyone. He robbed banks because “that’s where the money is,” and the FBI gave him the name “Slick Willie” in reference to how many times he’d eluded them

The food, which is described as “New Authentic American” has been influenced by places the three founders have visited around the country, and lightly pokes fun at the Slick Willie theme: drinks are under the “Liquid Courage” section, quick breakfast items are “On the Run,” bigger portions are called “Hiding Out For a While,” and sides are “Commissary Items.”

When we visited for breakfast, my boyfriend had the Benedict Willie, which piled poached eggs on johnny cakes instead of an English muffin,  was topped with a chipotle hollandaise and came with a side of excellent home fries. Additional options for their benedict include chorizo and corn bread hash, salmon and capers, or lump crab and fried green tomatoes, all of which sound great.

My cheddar and asparagus omelet came with a side of grits and was extremely tasty. I also liked their chai a lot and, as someone who regularly makes their own chai from scratch, this is a big compliment.


We were also recommended the burger (brisket short rib stuffed with three types of cheese), the sloppy joe, and the rice flour chicken, but these will have to wait until next time.

The owners tell us they feel it’s important that the restaurant reflects the community of Greenpoint, and have been taking the time to get to know their neighbors – easiest for Jeremy, who lives right down the block!

While they don’t have their liquor license yet, they’re hoping to have it by November, when they plan on serving “killer classic drinks” and beginning a rustic themed evening dinner service and raw bar.

Slick Willie is cool, the décor is comfortable, and it’s located in a quiet Greenpoint spot that’s not over-run with restaurants. But I’d mainly recommend it because the menu is diverse, the food is good, and there’s a lot of potential…especially once the dinner and drinks roll out!

Note: Slick Willie is cash-only, though should you forget to bring enough money, there is an ATM in the bathroom. Yes, above the toilet.

Slick Willie is at 179 Meserole Ave  (at corner of Newell Street)
Open 7 days a week:
Breakfast 7 a.m.-11:30 a.m.
Lunch 11:30 a.m.- 5 p.m.
Weekend Brunch 9 a.m.-5 p.m.
Dinner to be introduced soon.

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