"Is it not cruel to let our city die by degrees, stripped of all her proud monuments, until there will be nothing left of all her history and beauty to inspire our children? If they are not inspired by the past of our city, where will they find the strength to fight for her future?" Jacqueline Kennedy

Friday, May 11, 2018

Emma's Torch, A Restaurant With A Meaningful Mission, Ready To Welcome You This Sunday At Their New Smith Street Location


Give me your tired, your poor, your huddled masses yearning to breathe free!

Emma Lazarus

Emma's Torch, a restaurant that doubles as a classroom for recent immigrants, will be opening its doors officially this Mother's Day, Sunday May 13th in their brand new home at 345 Smith Street.
The new eatery will offer New American Cuisine, inspired by its students. (See a sample menu here.)

Besides great food, Emma's Torch offers so much more. Through its eight-week, paid apprenticeship program that includes English language classes, the non-for profit social enterprise helps refugees find meaningful jobs in the culinary industry.

The restaurant and the program were founded by Kerry Brodie, who not only graduated from the Institute of Culinary Education, but also holds a Masters in Government from Johns Hopkins University and a Bachelors in Near Eastern Studies from Princeton University. The restaurant got its start as a pop-up in Red Hook and found its permanent home in Carroll Gardens when it took over the former Wilma Jean space on Smith Street at the corner of Carroll Street.

Fittingly, the name of the restaurant is a tribute to Emma Lazarus, a poet and advocate on behalf of refugees, whose famous words are inscribed on the base of the Statue of Liberty in New York Harbor.

To make a reservation, click here.

Please join me in welcoming this very special new business to the neighborhood.


Marcia said...

Always glad to hear of a new business opening that isn’t a nail salon!
I would never shop at Doc Martens only because I need a certain shoe
from Enselow’s in Manhattan, but I welcome a business that
can fill the needs of neighbors.

It is a little dispiriting, though, that the only businesses that seem
able to handle these whopping rents are chains, many from Europe.

All the shops from Degraw to Douglass on Smith, on the west side
are vacant now but I notice something is going in where the bag store
was (can’t remember the name, the curse of aging!) And it was heartening
to read your piece about the bead store’s new location in the area.

By the way, Velvette Brew on the east side of this street, is a lovely little coffee shop.
I originally thought it was a chain, but it’s not. The people are very sweet and friendly.
When my significant other told them it was his birthday, they gave him
a little package of cookies, gratis. They also sell pirogies, which are
not easy to come by. On the day of the Women's March, they
handed their female customers a carnation.

I just hope they can hang in there.

I don’t know how coffee shops make the rent with customers
sitting all day being computers and apparently buying only coffee.

Can you understand the shop at the Bergen/Smith corner by the subway? (Can’t remember
that name either.) It was once a bicycle shop. I heard the rent was around $12,000 and all they
seem to sell besides coffee and pastries, is magazines and mugs. How can
they get by?

chance bliss said...

marcia, i think you meant to put your comment on the entry about doc martens.

regarding the coffee shop on bergen and smith. it's called regular visitors. you asked, how do they stay in business?

by conservative measures, let's say they sell 150 cups of coffee a day, where an average customer spends $4 - as most people buy a coffee and maybe a pastry or two - but some only get a coffee - so let's say $4 a person. 150 seems like a good guess, as i'd wager that 100 customers alone come in during the morning rush.

over thirty days a month, those numbers right there add up to $18,000 per month in food and beverage sales. yes, of course, there's lot of expenses and wages and rent, but i'm guessing that while regular visitors is not extremely profitable, i'd think there's enough sales at that location to keep them in business.

i hope so. they're nice people, the owners, they stock a good selection of magazines and gifts, and they support other local businesses by hosting events.

Marcia Savin said...

Yes, Chance, my comment was for the Doc Martens piece. Thanks for the calculations, although a $4 cup of coffee isn't $4 in profit: there cost of supplies. But you could be right. I go by usually in the afternoon so I don't see that much business going on.
Sounds like people pick up coffee on way to subway. Marcia