On a street known for its variety of local food, Brooklyn 8th Avenue Loft and Kitchen sticks out. In fact, it sticks out like New York City's Brooklyn Chinatown – the address of which is… Brooklyn 8th Avenue.
The three Frenchmen that set the place up have turned the tables on the local restaurateurs of Tiyu Xi Heng Lu. Their concept is a step towards what the managers hope will become an alternative version of gaudy Xingsheng Lu – Brooklyn’s official motto is: “In unity, there is strength.”
And that first non-commercial step can be heard and not seen with the sound of earthy, reggae roots blaring from the sound system, instead of the ubiquitous Bob Marley.
Inside, the hangout spot has all the makings of a trendy, refurbished apartment block you’d find in one of NYC’s five boroughs. The room stretches out in front of you like an avenue with huge industrial stone pillars on either side.
On faux brick walls is a foam board menu with fake chalk font that recreates the feeling of one of those Big Apple hipster delis. Upstairs a small alcove accommodates red Winchester couches and super Art Deco chairs – a more private spot.
No Brooklyn-themed bar would be complete without serving bottles of Brooklyn Lager 5.2 percent (RMB45), but ultimately, the owners want to focus on cocktails rather than bottles. The B8 (yo bitch) at RMB50 with Gosling’s black rum, homemade apple and ginger compote, lemon juice and ginger ale is their signature beverage.
Amongst a menu fit for a glutton there are six different types of chicken wings and various pizzas. The chili hot dog (RMB28) with chili beef, cheddar and onion is presented on greaseproof newspaper in a wooden cargo box: the warm, weighty package with heaps of meat is filling, if a touch sour.
With happy hour every day from 4 to 8pm and Frenchmen at the helm, it’s not surprising that 99 percent of the clientele thus far come from L’Hexagone. That should by no means cause you to automatically question the authenticity. After all, the French certainly know what Americans like. Statue of Liberty, anyone?
// 85 Tiyu Xi Heng Lu, Tianhe District 天河区体育西横路85号 (8558 5597)