Join me this week as we journey to Downtown Brooklyn. My guests will be Rediscovering New York regular and the show’s Special Consultant, David Griffin of Landmark Branding; and St. John Frizell, Sohui Kim and Ben Schneider, founders and partners of the recently restored iconic Brooklyn restaurant Gage & Tollner.
Jeff introduces the first guest of the show, Rediscovering New York regular, David Griffin, and the two begin the talk of Downtown Brooklyn, back to the Native and pre-colonial history, its start gaining an identity in the Revolutionary era and detailing its timeline all the way through the eighteenth and nineteenth centuries.
David discusses the functions of Landmark Branding and his blog, which details every building on Fifth, and an upcoming book he is writing. The talk continues with when and how modern Downtown Brooklyn started to take shape, David citing a few examples with skyscrapers, landmarks and avenues that are staples of the neighborhood today, starting back to the late nineteenth century. They talk about the impact of the Great Depression on the area and how it continued to develop in the decades following WWII as well as the gentrification and the recent changes starting back in the nineties. The rest of the segment is dedicated to Downtown Brooklyn in current day.
Jeff introduces the second group of guests of the show, St. John Frazel (Fort Defiance), Sohui Kim and Ben Schneider (The Good Fork), a group of restaurateurs all operating out of Red Hook. St. John and Ben talk about their origins in the area and Sohui talks about her move from Korea to New York City. Sohui and Ben discuss how they met, St. John talking about how he met them. They all talk about their history as partners and how they reached the partnership they all worked together on their project of renovating an old Brooklyn restaurant.
The talk continues with the renovation of Gage & Tollner, Frazel talking about what they decided to change and keep, what needed work and projects they planned to put into motion, as well as why they decided to keep the name of the restaurant. They talk about how they enjoy the neighborhood the restaurant is rooted in. The segment closes with the three talking about the current palette of the restaurant and Jeff giving out information on the restaurant which is planned to open after the pandemic.
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