The brains behind Greenpoint’s Glasserie (95 Commercial St.), Sara Conklin, is opening a new restaurant in the neighborhood. Conklin, a Greenpoint resident of over 20 years, opened Glasserie in 2012 and is now working on a new project not far from her successful Mediterranean mainstay.
The new restaurant is named Radio Star, not to be confused with other local newcomer, Radio Bakery. Radio Star’s name was inspired by the history of neighboring Transmitter Park and will open in the coming weeks at 13 Greenpoint Avenue, on the busy block that includes Lingo, Panzón, 21 Greenpoint and Ovenly.
Radio Star is “inspired by the park itself,” Conklin told Greenpointers. The restaurant’s theme is an ode to Transmitter Park’s radio history (from 1937 to 1990, the WNYC radio station broadcast from what is now the waterfront park).
Taking inspiration from the early period of the radio transmission, Radio Star was described by Conklin as a mashup of an American diner from the 1940s and 50s with an Italian trattoria.
Radio Star will be open all day, and, like Glasserie, Radio Star will have a Mediterranean angle, but be “more approachable.”
The menu is still being finalized, but Conklin gave Greenpointers a few examples. During the day, customers will find items like pastries, some of which will be made with Mediterranean ingredients like saffron.
For lunch, Conklin is hoping the menu can satisfy vegans, vegetarians, and meat eaters alike. She wants wide-reaching, easy options that are healthy. “There is a hole in the neighborhood for daytime,” Conklin said, adding that she looks for healthy options and has a difficult time finding them.
Examples of items on the dinner menu include smoked short rib and olive oil poached cod. The dinner menu will be “a step up” and of a “higher caliber,” Conklin told Greenpointers.
Choosing Radio Star’s location was more difficult for Conklin. She has a self-proclaimed obsession with older buildings and resuscitating identities of the past, hence the nod to Transmitter Park’s history. Conklin shopped around for locations for a few years, often looking around Newtown Creek, but the radio history of Transmitter Park kept coming back to her. “It took half a year to move forward. You have to bond with the place,” she admitted.
Radio Star’s settled location will feature an outdoor area with a retractable roof that “feels summery and wintery at the same time” according to Conklin.
Conklin is aiming to open Radio Star by Labor Day, but the date is dependent on the liquor license. The actual documentation for the license has not arrived yet, but Conklin told Greenpointers that she has approval for a complete liquor license, so Radio Star will have a full bar plus a wine and beer list.
Construction is currently in its finishing stages and the space will be ready to greet staff shortly. Conklin told Greenpointers that she will kick out the contractors on August 18 and wants to get staff in this weekend to start training, so a Labor Day opening does not seem like a stretch.