The team behind hip Williamsburg butcher shop the Meat Hook is opening their first full-service restaurant just a few steps away at 434 Humboldt Street, at Jackson Street, sometime this May. Meat Hook co-owners Brent Young and Ben Turley tell Eater that the new restaurant, Cozy Royale, will be a laid-back, neighborhood hangout that’s more tavern, less steakhouse.
“We really want to be a restaurant that is identified as belonging to the neighborhood that we’re in,” says Turley. “If we’re going to have a steak on the menu, it’s going to be one steak and it’s not going to be $150.”
The menu will be anchored in the meat that Young and Turley know inside and out, but the business partners are looking at the full-service restaurant as a way to stretch their imagination into dishes that they can’t serve in the butcher shop alone, like inventive charcuterie spreads and “as many vegetables as possible,” says Turley. No matter what, though, they are keeping the stellar cheeseburger that they serve at Threes Brewing on the new menu.
The Meat Hook has built a dedicated following based on its deep neighborhood roots — it has been operating in Williamsburg since 2010 — and sustainable approach to butchery. The company sources its meat from nearby farms that practice regenerative agriculture, a method that promotes environmentally-friendly farming practices.
Alongside the current butcher shop, the team is also behind the more fast-casual menu that features the fan-favorite burger at Threes Brewing, and they previously launched a critically acclaimed standalone sandwich shop in 2014, which shut down two years later. From that experience, they learned “not to open a sandwich shop,” jokes Young.
The upcoming project is located at the former home of neighborhood restaurant and bar Humboldt & Jackson, which will close on February 16. The name of the new place, Cozy Royale, carries some history, too. The building’s landlord, who grew up in Williamsburg, used to operate her own restaurant and event space under that name, and Young and Turley asked to anoint the new restaurant with the same title.
Disclosure: Eater has a video series, Prime Time, hosted by Ben Turley and Brent Young of the Meat Hook.