One of North Brooklyn’s most coveted empty lots is getting a pandemic-inspired glow up. N 11th Street Cookout, a new outdoor restaurant located at the corner of Wythe Avenue and North 11th Street was created with Covid-precautions and socialization desires in mind.
The outdoor restaurant seats 88 guests at socially distant picnic benches on astroturf grass, reminiscent of a suburban backyard, only with superb city views. To limit contact as much as possible, all guests are seated and can order via QR code on the menu, and runners deliver food and drinks to the table. Payment is also contactless, via smartphone, and air conditioned portable bathrooms are available on site. Dogs are allowed, and lawn games are also permitted in designated areas.
The rotating menu is created by mixologist James Defoor, formerly of Dante, and overseen by Steve Brett, former manager of Radegast Hall, and includes frozen cocktails, canned beer and crafts brews on draft along with heartier food like Dad Burgers and hotdogs, and small bites such as elote and ballpark pretzels (to meet the governor’s ordering requirements).
N 11th Street Cookout originally started as Brett’s idea to open a Brooklyn location of Hatchets & Hops, a popular Buffalo axe-throwing bar, in the old VICE building on North 11th Street this past march. The pandemic stalled his axe-throwing business plans, but the landlord suggested using the vacant lot down the street to create a safe outdoor space for neighborhood folks eager for some backyard space. Reservations are not required, and there are no time limits on tables; hours are Monday, Wednesday and Thursday from 4 p.m. – 11 p.m. (closed Tuesday), Friday 4 p.m. – 12 a.m and Saturday 12 p.m. – 12 a.m.