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Chef Behind Brooklyn Star Returns With an Izakaya-Style Restaurant in Bushwick

Joaquin Baca digs into his Momofuku past with Teo

The Momofuku alum behind recently shuttered Williamsburg favorite Brooklyn Star will soon be back in the cooking fold with a new izakaya-style restaurant at the Bushwick-Ridgewood border.

Chef Joaquin “Quino” Baca pulls from his early days at Noodle Bar for Teo, a 45-seat restaurant at 321 Starr St. between St. Nicholas and Cypress avenues. Expect a few noodle dishes, lots of meat skewers, and a few composed plates. The petite space doesn’t have any room for storage, so Baca plans to switch things up quite a bit day-to-day, he says.

It’s a plan he’s had for a while now, before he knew that his eclectic comfort food restaurant Brooklyn Star would close. He likes to cook Japanese food in general, but he mostly knew he enjoyed the format of izakaya-style dining.

“I certainly am not doing anything authentically Japanese. It’s very social, it’s fun, it’s boozy,” he says. “It’s groups of people sharing little things. You eat lots of different bites and flavors. It’s my favorite way to eat.”

Teo is right next door to a new climbing gym in the neighborhood, and with an area full of bars and restaurants, Baca anticipates Teo will similarly be a casual place for a nice out.

The chef is a Texas native who worked at Noodle Bar, Ssäm Bar, and Ko before opening Brooklyn Star with partner Simon Gibson. Brooklyn Star developed a neighborhood following and in May, it closed after nine years due to increased cost of doing business.

Teo is expected to open in August. Stay tuned for more.

Teo

321 Starr St., Brooklyn, NY 11237

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