Restaurant Made of Recycled Material Brings Rustic Charm to Bed-Stuy

By Paul DeBenedetto on January 31, 2014 10:11am 

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 DeKalb Restaurant focuses on organic dishes and repurposed materials. 
New Restaurant Openings in Bed-Stuy
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BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Windows from an old hospital, chairs made of church pews and floors made of recycled wood.

A new Bed-Stuy restaurant that will focus on organic, farm-to-table foods is bringing that rustic feel to the building itself, with a decor made entirely from repurposed material.

DeKalb Restaurant, at 564 DeKalb Ave., opened earlier this week after nine months spent finding materials and building out the interior, according to co-owner Stefan Fahrer, 26.

Fahrer worked in part with a vintage architecture consultant, Irreplaceable Artifacts owner Evan Blum, to gather the materials, he said.

"It was a challenge," Fahrer said. "There's some truly original work here."

The idea for the restaurant came after Fahrer met Ras Levi, 49, a contractor who focuses his work on repurposed and found material.

Fahrer felt the neighborhood didn't have enough "good food" available and found that Levi shared his vision for a farm-to-table establishment that caters to everyone in the community.

"One important thing is to provide food that is [affordable] for the community," Levi said. "We just want to be a comfortable neighborhood place."

The menu, from Baltimore chef Alexander Skarlinski, 29, is fully organic and the owners aim to go farm-to-table in the coming weeks.

The food is standard new American fare with innovative twists: hamburgers are topped with shallot jam and Brussels sprout leaves instead of lettuce; a gnocchi dish is made of parsnips, while the restaurant also features a side of parsnip and butternut squash "tots."

"People should have good food available to them," Fahrer said.

Other recent openings in Bed-Stuy:

New York taco chain Oaxaca opened its newest location at 1116 Bedford Ave

The new space, the taqueria's fifth in the city and second in Brooklyn, is slightly larger than its Park Slope counterpart, but offers a similar menu including tacos, burritos and tortas.

Crocus Cafe, at 328 Tompkins Ave., focuses on the coffee and tea, as well as a choice of house made juices.

Small plates at Crocus include chicken fingers and fried shrimp, alongside larger dishes like fish and chips, chicken roti, jerk chicken and the "rasta pasta bowl"— penne served with sauteed chicken and vegetables in a creamy sauce. 

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