Home/Made Owners End Dinner Service at Van Brunt Street Restaurant

By Nikhita Venugopal on November 13, 2013 9:26am 

 Monica Byrne and Leisah Swenson, who own Home/Made Bklyn, at their event hall and community space in Red Hook called "Atelier Roquette."
Monica Byrne and Leisah Swenson, who own Home/Made Bklyn, at their event hall and community space in Red Hook called "Atelier Roquette."
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DNAinfo/Nikhita Venugopal

RED HOOK — More than one year after Hurricane Sandy struck Red Hook, Home/Made has decided to discontinue its dinner service after a drop in nightly business.

In July, Home/Made, which faced extensive flooding during the storm, began serving dinner again. But after weeks of attending to only a few tables on Friday and Saturday nights, owners decided to end the menu. 

“Unfortunately, since reopening for dinner in July, our sales have not come even remotely close to our pre-Sandy volume, and we no longer have any financial cushion to cover the cost of operating if the sales aren’t there to support it,” Home/Made owners said in a Facebook post Tuesday afternoon.

“It’s not what I wanted to do,” said Monica Byrne, who owns the restaurant with her partner Leisah Swenson.

Time spent at the restaurant was also keeping Byrne and Swenson away from other parts of their business, including their catering company for private dinners and parties and "Atelier Roquette," their new event hall which opened this year.

“We’re spending money, we’re losing money and we’re not getting work done,” said Byrne.

But Home/Made, located at 293 Van Brunt St., will be expanding its brunch menu to weekdays with a special lunch dishes like wild mushroom lasagna, three-cheese truffle mac and cheese, slow-braised short ribs and a tomato bisque with gruyere grilled cheese.

Lunch will be served from Tuesday to Friday beginning 9 a.m. and weekend brunch will continue as usual.

For the last eight years, the couple has invested time and money into building a grill so Byrne could serve her specialty pizzas and flatbreads at the Van Brunt St. wine bar, which can’t accommodate a dedicated pizza chef right now.

But this isn’t just about Home/Made, she added.

Businesses across the city are still struggling from Hurricane Sandy and Byrne hopes the story will be a cautionary tale to customers who don’t want to lose their favorite restaurants and shops.

“If you love a business, you have to go out and support it,” she said.

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