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Chez Lola Spices Up Menu, Look With New Name

By Janet Upadhye | December 12, 2012 9:21am | Updated on December 12, 2012 12:04pm

FORT GREENE — What's in a name? The owners of Lola Bklyn, the restaurant formerly known as Chez Lola, hope the moniker — along with a new menu, hours and look — will give the eatery new life.

“Chez Lola was a trailblazer on Myrtle Avenue. After it opened seven years ago many more followed suit,” said spokesman Ruen Ellis. “Now it will trail blaze again, being the first gastropub offering North American food in a cozy environment.”

Originally conceived as a French-inspired eatery, Lola spent seven years serving croque-monsieur and French onion soup, in addition to offering Cobb salad and Sicilian-style calamari.

Lola shares an executive chef with its French older sister Chez Oskar, established 14 years ago on DeKalb Avenue. But owner Charlotta Janssen decided to change it up and give Myrtle Avenue something new.

“We want to get away from the feel of Chez Oskar,” said Manager Gary Michael Bennett. “And move more toward a bar atmosphere but with great food.”

Lola has added new taps to the bar, created a new cocktail menu and also plans to add booths to give it more of a bar feel.

But the new menu is what really excites the staff. Created in collaboration with all employees, the list includes Duck Poutine made with shredded duck confit, curd cheese, gravy and hand cut fries. The menu also includes meatballs made with bison, salmon and garbanzos served atop mashed potatoes, and Chili con carne in its classic form.

The brunch menu lists Tarte flambee, a thin crusted pizza with spicy lamb sausage, Manchego and onion.

“Anything you can imagine from the United States, Canada and Mexico will find its way to the menu,” Ellis said. “But this is not a fusion restaurant — each dish remains distinct and has traditional origins.”

Janssen, a Fort Greene artist and former model, decorated Lola’s walls with her own distinct paintings, scrawled Jack Kerouac quotes behind the bar and created an intimate folky feel that makes many patrons want to spend hours in the cozy spot.

“Many people come in and they just sit, share food, sip bourbon and stay for a while,” said Ellis, who hopes the bar will soon become a neighborhood staple for the foodies, night owls and artists of Fort Greene.

Lola Bklyn serves food until 2 a.m., closes at 3 a.m. and hosts a nightly Midnight Happy Hour. To check out weekly events and find out more visit their website.