Williamsburg Southern food favorite Brooklyn Star is ending its tenure in the neighborhood. Owners Simon Gibson and owner-chef Joaquin “Quino” Baca announced on Instagram Monday that the restaurant, at 593 Lorimer St. at Conselyea Street, will be closing at the end of May after nine years.
The perpetually busy, casual neighborhood restaurant served Southern-inspired fare, with popular dishes like a country-fried steak. It opened in 2009, and after a fire in 2010, moved to the current space in 2011.
Baca is a Texas native who spent years at David Chang’s Momofuku empire, part of the teams at Ssäm, Noodle Bar, and Ko. Brooklyn Star was the first time he ventured out on his own, and here, he became known for dishing out ambitious versions of comfort fare like tripe chili with fritos and fried pig tails. Over time, the menu tapered down a bit as far as less-common ingredients, but the restaurant has remained a popular local spot with food that’s beyond standard bar cuisine.
In the post, the owners did not give a reason for the closure, just saying that “it was not an easy decision.” Update: In a statement, the owners said that slower summers in the last couple of years and “increased cost of doing business” factored into the decision to close:
We are sole owner/operators & investors at the Star so take full responsibility for our situation. We feel however many small restaurants & bars with a similar set up are feeling the pinch especially in Williamsburg. Increases in wages with more to come, product cost and operating costs all add up and make it difficult to break even, that and the uncertainty of the L train going down and how that will effect business were all factors.
Gibson remains at Wilfie & Nell, and Baca is a planning a new project in Bushwick. Stay tuned for more.
After much deliberation we have decided to close The Brooklyn Star at the end of May after 9 years. It was not an easy decision. To our staff/family, past and present, who helped make The Brooklyn Star what it is Thank you. To all our customers & patrons we have loved being a part of the community and thoroughly enjoyed hosting and meeting you. Please come join us to say farewell over the coming month. Love Simon & Quino