It’s the End of the Line for SchnäckSchnäck, the Red Hook hamburger-and-hot-dog mecca that was one of our favorite additions to the Brooklyn restaurant scene — nay, to American vernacular cooking! Co-owner Harry Hawk tells us that the end is nigh, but he will not give an expiration date. We hear through the grapevine that the proximate cause of the closing is a lost lease, but having seen ever-thinning crowds over the past year, we are more likely to believe that the poor location and awful service softened the victim up for the final blow. Schnäck is a resilient entity, however, and it would not surprise us to see it pop up somewhere else; in the meantime, Schnäck burgers, or their near equivalents, will continue to be available at Water Taxi Beach in Long Island City.
Harry Hawk Seeks to Schnäck-ize the Brooklyn Bridge Park BeachHarry Hawk, having created a burger and hot-dog haven at Harry’s at Water Taxi Beach in Long Island City, is attempting to re-create his magic in Brooklyn Heights. But it hasn’t quite happened yet. Brooklyn Bridge Park Beach, home of the Floating Pool at Pier 5, is currently being serviced by Hawk with Stahl-Meyer hot dogs and draft Abita root beer, but Hawk confides to us that he sees his concession “expanding in a Schnäck-like direction.”
Schnäck to Scherve Schupper, Schports FansRed Hook’s haute fast-food joint Schnäck has been popular with children and drunks since it opened. But that just won’t cut it anymore. “The neighborhood is changing and expanding,” owner Harry Hawk says, “and we have to change and expand with it.” In an effort to feed Red Hook’s new families, whom Hawk sees as “looking for and needing an affordable meal,” the eatery will be adding entrées to its menu, including steak, spareribs, chicken dinners, and other comfort-food standards. Schnäck is expanding in another way, too: The restaurant now runs a burger concession at the food court in Aviator Sports and Recreation, the new sports complex at Floyd Bennett Field — where more children and (postgame) drunks await.