When owner Will Rees is asked how his new Williamsburg restaurant is faring, the answer might be “Good. Thanks.” If this response sounds underwhelmingly generic, you’ll need to know that it happens to be the name of Rees’ restaurant, which is on its way to faring very well.
“Good Thanks means nothing. Just a thing you say when someone asks how you are,” laughed Rees when Greenpointers asked about the name’s backstory.
Rees opened the Williamsburg outpost of Good Thanks (374 Graham Ave.) in December of 2022. It’s the restaurant’s second locale, with the first opening in 2018 on the Lower East Side. Rees told Greenpointers that his favorite neighborhoods include the Lower East Side and Williamsburg, where he used to reside. “It’s great to be in Brooklyn and in particular this neighborhood,” said Rees. “I’ve always loved this side of Williamsburg.”
Rees, an Australian native, has been in New York for 10 years and has lived all over Williamsburg “when it was way less built up!” He told Greenpointers that he originally moved to the city to travel and work for one year with a friend, but ended up staying in the States.
When Rees opened Good Thanks’ first location in Manhattan, he said the spot became “really popular for good coffee,” adding that they that roast the coffee in house, which they also do in Williamsburg. Rees said that customers enjoy the unique breakfast and brunch setting that Good Thanks offers. “Our mission was to offer a lighter, fresh, healthier sort of daytime menu that you could sit down and enjoy in a nice vibrant setting,” he explained. “Being from Sydney, Australia, we wanted to emulate a spot that you’d see commonly back home.” He described the ideal as “a laid back, welcoming, fun place.”
The Lower East Side’s most popular menu items are the kimchi scrambled egg dish, sardines on toast with creme fraiche and pistachio gremolata, the blue smoothie bowl, the avocado toast, the breakfast sandwich with bacon, egg, caramelized onion, and lemon aioli, and the banana bread with burnt honey butter.
Unlike the first location, Good Thanks’ newer location in Williamsburg offers dinner, in addition to breakfast and lunch everyday, plus brunch on weekends. “The goal was to make the space feel like a cozy, vibey dinner spot and focus on that service to begin with,” Rees explained. But he also wanted the Brooklyn location to serve the breakfast and lunch items that are popular on the Lower East Side.
The kitchen on Graham Avenue is run by Williamsburg native Chef Marty Freda, who worked at Allswell and Winona’s, amongst other popular Brooklyn spots. “He’s bringing exactly what I see Good Thanks should be here in Brooklyn, with fresh and vibrant creativity packaged up in approachable favorites that feel very Brooklyn,” Rees said.
The daytime menus in Williamsburg are still in development stages, as Rees first wants to focus first on dinner. Currently, highlights of the Williamsburg daytime menus include a breakfast sandwich with a hash brown, bacon, egg, arugula and caramelized onion, and a shrimp burger with a fried shrimp patty, radish slaw, and charred scallion aioli. The shrimp burger is Rees’ favorite item on the menu, he told Greenpointers.
“Our mission in the Graham Ave spot is to just be an everyday solid spot for the neighborhood for any meal at any time,” Rees stated. “We love serving the neighborhoods we’re in. It’s not by chance that we took this space on Graham. The people here are awesome. We love being part of the community.”
Good Thanks in Williamsburg is open for breakfast, brunch, and lunch everyday 9 a.m. – 4 p.m. Dinner is served in Williamsburg on Monday, Wednesday, Thursday, and Sunday 5:30 p.m. – 9:30 p.m, and 5:30 p.m. – 10 p.m. on Friday and Saturday,