On Friday mornings, especially during the holiday season, a long line of people magically appears Friday mornings at 30 Gem St, a typical industrial street of non-descript warehouses. You can observe a large diversity of people in the line and it is clear that many of the people in line are not locals. They wait stoically, even in the coldest weather, in lines that sometimes can include 50 or more customers.
There was something definitely fishy about the odor of smoked fish (pun intended) and this mysterious line of people so I had to check it out. What I learned is that the diverse group of people standing in the freezing weather had discovered the amazing open secret that is Acme Fish.
The rest of the week the Acme building functions as a long-established wholesale outlet selling smoked huge quantities of fish to some of New York’s finest shops, like Zebras and Barney Greengrass and to upscale restaurants. The legendary smokehouse at 30 Gem Street has been around for four generations; if Acme opened today the smokehouse would probably face huge licensing hurdles, but thankfully Acme predates smokehouse permits.
Although the business dates from 1954, about 25 years ago, Acme began opening its doors on Fridays to serve the general public at steeply discounted prices that range from 20 to 50 percent off the price of their products in retail stores. Acme does not advertise its Fish Fridays that run 8 a.m. to 1 p.m., but then again the business does not need to, as the line of customers outside the warehouse proves.
You wait in the nippy cold air impatiently, but finally, you reach the doors and enter. When you get inside the warehouse, you are aware that the temperature is still a brisk 45 degrees or so. The chilly temperatures are ideal for preserving the fish that you still cannot see. Then, at last, you pass through a plastic screen and finally spread out before you on wooden tables is a wondrous assortment of different kinds of fish, some pre-packaged, some fish in bottles and some smoked fish being sliced right in front of you. There is also an array of different kinds of fish: Salmon, white fish, herring and whiting, amongst others.
A massive crowd turned out last Friday for Acme Smoked Fish‘s Fish Friday (30 Gem St), but not for their regular low wholesale prices on their tasty lox. Acme and Zucker’s Bagels teamed up to create a Guinness World Record setting bagel—the largest bagel and lox ever created. And hungry neighbors could chow down with a free bite of the big one after the team was done weighing it for the world record and slicing it with a carpenter’s saw. The hefty bagel, topped with cream cheese, lox, capers, tomatoes and onions, clocked in at 213 pounds—unfortunately not beating the world record of nearly 800 pounds. But, a good time was had by all and our intrepid photographer Johnny Cirillo braved the crowds and took some shots of the exciting edible affair.
Flip Cupid the bird and celebrate singledom at the skint’s Third Annual “It’s Friday, I’m (Not) in Love” Anti-Valentine’s Party on Friday, February 9th at littlefield (635 Sackett St).
Hug yourself and sway as the aptly-named DJ Gordon Gloom (Feeling Gloomy, YDH2S) spins songs of heartache and desire from the 80s to today. Purge your emotional baggage with our cleansing anti-love ritual. Use our photo booth to show the world (and your exes) how much better you’re doing on your own. Lubricate yourself with themed drink specials.
Dress in black. All black. Only black. Creativity will be rewarded. $7 in advance, $10 at the door. Buy tix[sponsored]
^ Author Talk: Thomas Werner “The Fashion Image” @ A/D/O (29 Norman Ave), 6:30pm, FREE, Acclaimed curator, former owner of Thomas Werner Gallery, Photography Program Director at Parsons School of Design, and Editor-at-Large of Paris-based IRK magazine, Werner shares his insight into the fashion design process, More info ♫ The Warhawks // The Nuclears // Not Amused // Edna @ Sunnyvale (1031 Grand St), 7:30pm, $10, Buy tix ♫ Dervisi @ Troost (1011 Manhattan Ave), 8pm, FREE, Bittersweet melodies of passion and hashish from the old-time Greek Rembetika underworld, More info ☺ Limited Resources 14 @ Muchmore’s (2 Havemeyer St), 9pm, $6, Featuring Guillermo Pizarro (Philly), Richard Kamerman, Sandy Ewen, & Chris LiButti, More info
# Scandinavian Spirits @ MOFAD (62 Bayard St), 6:30pm, $30, Denmark, Norway, Sweden, and Iceland share a spirited history of drinking traditions—most notably around aquavit. Learn about the world of Scandinavian spirits and the traditions that have grown up around them, Buy tix ♫ Girlpool @ Brooklyn Steel (319 Frost St), 8pm, $18, Buy tix # Same Same But Different @ Magick City (37 Box St), 7pm, $40, We are collaborating on a Cambo-Chino mashup of scents, flavors, and traditions to celebrate two distinct cultures that share the same passion for family, fun, and good food. (And pickled things.), Buy tix ♫ Whitney Fierce x Elle Dee @ Rose Gold (96 Morgan Ave), 10pm, FREE/$10, More infoContinue reading →
This Friday (2/9), you can get FREE lox and bagel from Acme Smoked Fish(30 Gem Street). To celebrate National Bagel and Lox Day, the most New Yorker food holiday, Acme is teaming up with Zucker’s Bagels to create the world’s biggest bagel and lox sandwich. It will start with a custom-made gigantic everything bagel that will be topped with cream cheese, Acme’s Nova Scotia Smoked Salmon, tomatoes, red onions and capers. After the Guinness team weighs the sandwich, it’s gotta be eaten! This is where we can all come together to help our most fishiest of neighbors. The whole event is scheduled to start at 12 noon with no RSVP or ticket required, and that means FREE food!
Get ready folks, because this Sunday, December 18thGreenpoint Beer & Ale (7 N 15th Street) is teaming up with Greenpoint’s own Acme Smoked Fish for the second straight year for their smoked fish & beer tasting, Lox Of Beer!Tickets are available for $30. Our brewers have paired four killer Acme offerings with four of our wildly fresh house beers.
Acme’s famous Herring in Dill Marmalade will be paired with house favorite beer Milk & Honey. Baked Salmon will pair with the slightly smoked Helles Gate. Acme Smoked Trout will be offered with the lively and hoppy Fragment Pils. And Pastrami Salmon will be teamed up with their brett amber beer, Security Blanket. Tickets are almost gone, so get yours now!
In this second installment of the Gastronaut series, we go behind the scenes of Acme Smoked Fish to demystify Fish Fridays.
In the heart of industrial Greenpoint, on an unremarkable street, behind an unmarked door, lies the largest smoked fish processor in the country: Acme Smoked Fish (30 Gem Street). And every Friday, and only Friday, from 8am until 1pm, you can take advantage of one of the neighborhood’s best (and worst kept) secrets when Acme opens its doors to the public for “Fish Friday.” Continue reading →
Whenever we have friends in town, the weekend usually starts with a hearty Greenpoint brunch to show off the neighborhood. And although there’s been endless new places opening up recently, when it comes to wowing visitors we often end up leaning on old classics for great food and reliable service
“I don’t know anything else, no office job or anything like that, just fish. So, I fell into the fish.”
Meet Aftabudin Rayman and Peter Wojick, the fish smokers behind the hot-smoked fish division at ACME Smoked Fish in Greenpoint, Brooklyn. ACME Smoked Fish is the largest smoked fish house in the country, processing 6-8 million pounds of assorted fish for stores and seafood counters every year. According to Rayman, the head fish smoker, “to be successful at this job, you can’t look at it as just a job, an ordinary job”. To him, a successful fish smoker’s priority should be the fish, always the fish, that internal drive to achieve moist, smoky meat with a perfect golden hue everytime – not doing the job “to get an increase in pay”. And running a hot-smoked fish operation isn’t an easy task: working 10-12 hour days on your feet, constantly breathing in smoke, wheeling heavy racks of hanging fish over slippery floors. It’s physically demanding, which is why devotion like Rayman’s is hard to come by.
So come watch their story and discover the fascinating and delicate process of hot-smoking fish. It truly is a craft, a craft that takes passion, a certain “thoughtlessness” to it, and tens of years to master. Enjoy!
And for a real Brooklyn experience, stop by on Fish Fridays at ACME where they open up the smokehouse outlet to the local Greenpoint community for 5 hours to shop for freshly smoked seafood. You’ll get to meet the employees and mingle with loyal ACME customers who’ve been eating their product for decades. Here’s the address: