GOWANUS — There's a new odor wafting over the Gowanus Canal — fresh brewed coffee and pulled pork sandwiches.
The sometimes stinky neighborhood is set to host its first restaurant event, in another sign that the area now attracts attention for more than its status as a Superfund site.
The local nonprofit Gowanus Canal Conservancy is hosting an Aug. 16 food fest called Dive In Gowanus to showcase local eateries and raise money for neighborhood improvement projects.
"It's a celebration of the culinary talent in the Gowanus," said Conservancy Executive Director Hans Hesselein. "We want to draw attention to the fact that this area really is a special place, and there are a lot of amazing restaurants and food establishments in this neighborhood."
The Conservancy has teamed up with more than a dozen restaurants that will either donate a portion of their proceeds from Aug. 16 sales, or make a minimum donation to support the Conservancy.
The money will go toward the Conservancy's efforts to add more greenery to the industrial neighborhood. The nonprofit works on various projects that not only add trees and plants, but also help keep storm water and combined sewer overflows (CSOs) — a major source of pollution — out of the canal.
The list of participating restaurants includes some that are among Brooklyn's most buzzed-about, including The Pines, Littleneck and Runner & Stone, all of which are on the "mini restaurant row" developing on Third Avenue between President and Carroll streets. Crop to Cup coffee and the new Dinosaur Bar-B-Que on Union Street are also participating.
Others on the list include restaurants outside the Gowanus neighborhood proper, but still within the Gowanus Canal watershed, such as Applewood in Park Slope and Lot 2 in the South Slope.
"I thought it would be a fun community event, and if it's raising money for the cleanup of the canal, that's always good for us," said Peter Endriss, co-owner of Runner & Stone. "Anything that benefits the neighborhood at large benefits each of us businesses."