Jim Mamary and Alan Harding Consider Their Brooklyn Empire

And to think, it all began at Patois.
And to think, it all began at Patois. Photo: Jonathan Bourland

The Times today profiled Jim Mamary and Alan Harding, the duo who brought Brooklyn such middlebrow standards as Patois, Pacifico, Pomme De Terre, Gowanus Yacht Club, Sweetwater, and a dozen other restaurants. This is one Brooklyn historians should file away, because, inevitably, it’s a history of Brooklyn over the last eleven years. The restaurateurs have gravitated toward run-down areas, including Smith Street, when Patois opened in 1997, and Newkirk Avenue, where they recently opened Pomme De Terre. But once an area is developed, it’s nothing but trouble: The rents increase, blogs criticize, and neighbors complain about the noise. Referring to his current troubles in adding an oyster bar to Black Mountain Wine House, Mamary tells the Times that even if he got a liquor license, “I’d never open another place on Hoyt.” The piece and its accompanying interactive time line underscore how many good, influential places they’ve opened up in such a relatively short period. There’s more on the way: The men say they’re looking at Crown Heights, Ditmas Park, and Coney Island (“It’s not ready for Manhattan style, but there’s room for the kind of establishment we have”) for future efforts.

Restless Pioneers, Seeding Brooklyn [NYT]
Related: Carroll Gardens Residents Blast Jim Mamary, Wine Bars