Restaurateur reflects on Downtown Brooklyn
Special guest post by Harris Salat, owner of Ganso
Since we opened our contemporary Japanese comfort food restaurant, Ganso, in mid-September, I’ve often been asked why I picked a location in Downtown Brooklyn.
On a personal level, I’ve always loved the neighborhood’s old, stately department store buildings and the historic vibe from back when my borough was its own city. As a restaurateur, the benefits have seemed to me as grand as the architecture: Over five thousand upscale apartment and condo units in a half-square mile area, with thousands more on the way; population density with many thousands of residents, employees and students; favorable rent and great spaces; eleven subway lines and many buses serving the area; walking distance from Brooklyn Heights, Cobble Hill, Boerum Hill, Clinton Hill, Fort Greene, and Barclays Center.
But perhaps most important, when looking for a space in Downtown Brooklyn, my partners and I sensed the unrealized potential of the area: A neighborhood and community more than ready for a smart, sophisticated eatery.
The response to our restaurant since we opened has been incredible. I’ve gotten to know residents and employees from the neighborhood who’ve already become regulars. I’ve been patronized by folks walking over from surrounding areas and coming in from Manhattan by subway. And now that hoops season is here, I’ve noticed more than a few Net jerseys worn by our diners before heading to the Barclays Center.
I hope more restaurants join us in Downtown Brooklyn, and help make our neighborhood a destination for some of the best dining in New York City.