Red Star, the host of the Best Wings in Brooklyn contest, has returned to its roots as a sports bar.
In the summer of 2015, after eight years as Red Star, the bar closed down for renovations. The corner spot reopened in October 2015 as Cozinha Latina, a Brazilian restaurant.
Now Red Star is back, and with it, its wings — including the raspberry barbecue wings that surprise the sweet skeptic and the rest of the wing flavors — sweet and sour, barbecue, hot, mild, and medium.
New chef Nick Porcelli, who has appeared on Chopped and studied under Gordon Ramsay, is at the helm of the new Red Star.
Read on for more about why Red Star returned to its origins.
It seems that Cozinha, despite the great media buzz, new chef and fun cuisine, wasn’t such a great match for the Red Star owners, or with the fans who’d been coming to the bar for years and still longed for their wings and football games.
“Almost every day someone would stop me in the street, call me, text me saying how much they missed Red Star,” Eric Hall, the bar’s owner, said. “It really opened my eyes to how Red Star was more than just ‘the sports bar on the corner’ and was part of the fabric of the community.”
Former Cozinha chef Shanna Pacifico, meanwhile, has decamped to Extra Fancy in Williamsburg, which is planning an outdoor expansion.
Shortly before the Super Bowl, Red Star returned to its comfort food roots with its roast beef sandwiches, mac and cheese, and fish tacos back on the menu. Weekly specials of Meatball Mondays ($2 meatballs with your choice of dipping sauces), $2 Taco Tuesdays and 50 cent Wing Night Wednesdays have returned. Thirsty Thursdays feature $20 pitchers of draft cocktails, including rum punch and tequila splash.
However, with new chef Nick Porcelli at the helm, Red Star is changing it up a little bit, adding dishes like the Provolone alla Plancha, a take on the mozzarella stick that features charred cheese and pickled chiles. Red Star has also added more healthy options to the menu for those who don’t eat fried or meatcentric dishes, including a black kale caesar salad, poached eggs and a quinoa, brussels sprouts and yuzu salad.
“For eight years, we did so much more than just root for our favorite teams and argue over who belonged in the hall of fame,” Hall said. “We celebrated good times together, cried together during bad times, weathered snowstorms and hurricanes, celebrated new births and birthdays, mourned recent deaths, and congratulated new jobs like an extended family.”
“Sometimes you don’t know what you have until it’s gone. Well, we’re back.”
And surely Greenpointers will be back at the bar, eating wings and arguing over the refs’ bad calls like old times.