The Beginning of the Williamsburg Dining Scene


"This latest, most delicious chapter in Williamsburg's history began in the early 1990s, as artists in search of large, cheap loft spaces near Manhattan continued to colonize the neighborhood's abandoned industrial spaces. Two friends, Mark Firth and Andrew Tarlow, bought a rundown 1920s diner just down the street from Peter Luger and, in 1998, installed a neighborhood bistro. In a burst of imagination, they named it Diner. "I don't think we had any grand vision of changing the neighborhood," says Tarlow, who then lived in a 6,000-square-foot loft for which he paid less than $2,000 per month. (Just before the current recession hit, local real estate had been selling for $1,000 per square foot.) "You could stand outside the restaurant in those days and not see a single person walk by. But we fed the neighborhood—all these people like us who lived in lofts without kitchens.""
— "A Scene Grows in Brooklyn," Bon Appetit, May 2009, Photo by roboppy

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