>> Saturday, May 19, 2012

(don't forget to take the poll) ---->

Dear Mr. Brown, 

I think that I speak for all of Forest Hills when I say: "Please open a wine bar near Austin Street as soon as humanly possible".

But first, since this is my letter, let me just whine poetic for a spell and tell you exactly what I mean when I make this desperate plea.

The neighborhood needs a place where people can go with friends to chill out with wine and cheese and prosciutto. A place without loud music or ESPN on a television behind someone's head. In fact, a place with no televisions at all. The neighborhood needs a place where a guy like me can go on a date without having to scream a conversation or fight for a pair of bar stools or have someone's buffalo chicken sauce drip on my shirt. The neighborhood needs a place where you can kick back before or after or instead of dinner without feeling obligated to have an actual meal. The neighborhood has plenty of bars, and needs a little more class. The neighborhood needs a wine list that doesn't include Yellow Tail or Ecco Domani or Beringer. The neighborhood needs a destination location that can be accessed by subway so that my friends who don't live in the neighborhood don't have to drive and it needs to be good enough that they can't wait to return.

I think that you're the man for the job. It's the perfect time. Thanks to getting the only Michelin star in all of Queens, you put Forest Hills on the map. You have foodie street cred. Everyone in Forest Hills already loves your restaurant. And beyond. I took friends from out of town to have dinner at Danny Brown and they rave to this day. Hell, I was at Peter Luger and our waiter brought up how great your restaurant was (though exactly how that conversation started was lost on me. I blame too much steak).

You've already done most of the work. When your restaurant on Metropolitan first opened, it was supposed to be a wine bar. Now, it's an actual, full-on restaurant, but the wine list has already been made. The cheese plate menu is already created. The appetizers have already been honed. If you stick to the small stuff and don't offer entrees, you won't compete with yourself. I'll miss the organic chicken under a brick, but keep the grilled calamari with white beans and arugula and I'll order it every day.

Come on, man. We need it. I'm begging you. We've got nothing. Jade's about all there is, and they gave up on that cocktail lounge idea years ago. Exo wants to be a club without a dance floor. I like Irish Cottage and Dirty Pierre and Manor Oktoberfest but they're each about as romantic as a bent tin can. Tap House is a fratty sports bar, Billiard Club is a pool hall and don't get me started on that pit, Bartinis.

The closest thing we have to what I'm really talking about is Uvarara, which I love, but it's in Middle Village and couldn't be in a less convenient location if it tried. 

With EuroPan kaput, there's a good sized space right on 70th by restaurant row. It has big glass doors that can open to let in cool summer breezes and it's right where people would go to window shop menus. Or maybe check out where Best 1 Sushi used to be on 72nd. It's quieter, there's space for outdoor seating, and if you open with a small plates brunch menu, you'll grab everyone going to and from church. There are probably a dozen spots in the area that you could... nay, should consider.  

Anyway, think about it. And hey, maybe I'm way off base. Maybe no one really wants a Danny Brown Wine Bar on the Austin Street corridor. But I think they do. I know I do. 

Jon Parker


Rebekah May 19, 2012 at 8:18 PM  

I could not agree more!

Marty Oppenheim,  May 19, 2012 at 11:57 PM  

Thanks Jon,,,eloquently put.. Forest Hills & Austin St should be the anchor for an upscale neighborhood. Instead, it's filled with dreadful places

Amy,  May 20, 2012 at 10:33 AM  

A place where grown-ups can hang out? Yes, please.

Anonymous,  May 21, 2012 at 8:49 AM  

This would be so fantastic. Please, we beg you! We are in desperate need of anything decent along austin and danny brown would deliver something much better than decent, that's for sure.

Anonymous,  May 23, 2012 at 6:31 AM  

I must disagree, we don't want a Danny Browns on Austin. Danny Brown's is special because it is away from the trolling masses on Austin and a special gem for the locals in the neighborhood. Putting it on Austin St. will make it chaotic and lose its sophisticated, subdued feel.
Also, why would Danny Browns want to spend money on high rent when it is very successful in its current location? Running a restaurant is about profit, not charity.

Clearly, there is no business acumen in this posting.

Jon Parker May 23, 2012 at 9:49 PM  

Ah, see the problem is that you think I'm suggesting that Danny Brown should move. No. I think it should stay on Metropolitan. I think Danny Brown should open a second location, focusing on wine and small plates, around Austin.

To answer your question, why would DB want to spend money on rent, and then profit from his very successful initial first restaurant, and expand outward, taking those steps towards becoming a more renowned brand?

I dunno. Greed and pride, I suppose.

Anonymous,  May 24, 2012 at 8:53 PM  

Jon, clearly all you know about restaurants is being a customer. You don't see the business side.

Jon Parker May 24, 2012 at 9:14 PM  

The fact that you continue to confuse this blog with a business one is astounding. The fact that you think that a properly run wine bar could lose money on Austin is ridiculous.

And astonishment and ridiculousness are beside the point. You made it known that you don't want a wine bar on Austin solely because you want to walk a mile for a decent glass of wine. Duly noted.

Unlike the message boards, I moderate my comments with a strict code. No lost puppies, no complaints about too many bills being posted on lamp posts, no rent gripes. Food and food related things only. Therefore, any further comments that skirt the issue will be deleted.

Susan June 9, 2012 at 5:29 PM  

Jon, While not the same ownership as Danny Brown, what you're asking for is exactly what will be opening at the former Q Thai location.

The owner, Cyril, told me that it will be a wine and beer bar, with charcuterie and some chef specials. NO TVs.

He's done a very nice job renovating the space and seems sincerely interested in offering the locals what they want. He asked that they are opened that I share with him what I like and don't like about the place. He wants feedback on everything from the beer/wine selection to food (taste and portion size).

I'm excited about the upcoming opening!

Jon Parker June 11, 2012 at 1:36 AM  

Susan, that sounds fantastic!

MrsS November 26, 2012 at 1:51 PM  

There's also a wine and cheese bar opening up on QB by 75 ave F train station. The sign is up. It's called Keuka Kafe. Can't wait!

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