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Bushwick's 3rd Ward Brings Experimental Test Kitchen to Crown Heights

By Sonja Sharp | June 5, 2013 8:09am | Updated on June 5, 2013 11:34am
 The Willy Wonka-esque test kitchen and culinary incubator got an early nod of approval from Community Board 8
Bushwick's 3rd Ward Comes to 1000 Dean Street in Crown Heights
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CROWN HEIGHTS — Willy Wonka, meet Top Chef. 

The owners of Bushwick's 3rd Ward Brooklyn got an early nod of approval from Community Board 8 Monday night for an enormous test kitchen and culinary incubator inside 1000 Dean Street, Brooklyn Flea founder Jonathan Butler's creative co-working space under development in Crown Heights.

"We are a test kitchen geared towards the culinary arts," owner Jason Goodman told the board's State Liquor Authority advisory committee on Monday. "[1000 Dean Street] has an opportunity to be a real center of gravity both culturally and culinarily." 

The Wonka-like edible idea factory will host an array of hip foodie classes and serve as an incubator for food-centric startups. Its facilities include several restaurant-style test kitchens, a beverage lab, a fermentation lab, a food-science classroom, a retail store, a cold room for butchering and charcuterie and an events hall with space for nearly 500 hungry revelers.  

"We’re an education facility, we’re a community facility, and we incubate and promote small business," Goodman said. "The idea is you come here to learn, and we actually incubate you." 

The board expressed some concerns about the space, which, along with Butler's beer garden, could bring hundreds of rowdy revelers to an otherwise residential area and snarl traffic along the Franklin Avenue corridor.

"We plan on putting a lot of bicycle parking on the streets," Goodman said. "We’ve never had a problem with parking — mostly it’s hundreds of bicycles, and train traffic."

The board also voiced anxiety over the school's plan to serve liquor until 4 a.m., even after a proposal was floated to close the events' space earlier to limit the number of intoxicated patrons heading home in the wee hours of the morning. 

"We are hipsters of all kinds, and if you tell me the bar is going to stay open until 4 a.m., I’m going to sit on the floor and keep drinking," said committee member Atim Oton. "People who go out to drink on a regular basis will find all ways to consume alcohol." 

Despite some reservations, 3rd Ward eventually won a yes vote from the increasingly cautious committee.   

"It’s a big project for us," said committee member James Ellis. "It's substantial, with large impacts for our community."