Longtime Clinton Hill residents Alicia and Daniel Mekelburg are prepping to open a gourmet grocery and eatery with a full bar and a backyard in the basement of an apartment building at 293 Grand Avenue in Clinton Hill. They’re aiming for this Sunday, June 14.
There’s nothing quite like Mekelburg’s in the neighborhood — or, for that matter, in Brooklyn. It most closely resembles Eataly, we think, but it’s more of a neighborhood place because it’s much smaller (about 3,000 square feet).
In the front is the grocery and deli, with house roasted meats, salads and made-to-order sandwiches, such as roast beef with caraway-seed cheese and horseradish mayo. In the back is a full bar with small plates and 16 craft beers from tiny makers on tap and seating for about 40 inside.
“Property values in the neighborhood have gone up dramatically,” said Alicia, “but you can’t find fresh mozzarella or great olive oil.” A nearby Key Food, at 325 Lafayette, is preparing to close soon, further shrinking grocery options.
She previously worked for Bed, Bath and Beyond, where she opened similar small in-store grocery-eateries. There, the suppliers were very large companies. Here, they are small and mostly local.
There will be 11216 honey from Bed Stuy, fresh bread from Mazzola Bakery, Mast Brothers and Nunu chocolates, Common Ground refillable soaps, and produce from Brooklyn Grange in the Navy Yard and Lancaster Farms co-op in Pennsylvania. There will also be fresh dairy and eggs, housemade porchetta and other deli meats, and 50 kinds of cheese.
The grocery will not be a full-line grocery store, and will not include a butcher counter. (The venue doesn’t have enough space for cold storage for whole animals.)
But in about a month the store will start to carry a small selection of precut free range and grassfed meat and poultry, such as hamburger and whole and half chickens.
There will be house-label coffee and olive oil, including one liter of extra-virgin cold-pressed oil for $15, as well as more expensive varieties.
Small plates will change seasonally and include olives, pickles, meat and cheese plates, salt baked potatoes two ways (bacon and cheddar or cod with dill), and a porchetta sandwich. Craft beers include Other Half from Carroll Gardens, Transmitter from Long Island City, Barrier from Oceanside, N.Y., on Long Island and Peekskill from Peekskill, N.Y.
We took a tour Wednesday, when the Mekelburgs were still unpacking boxes of supplies in preparation for opening day. More photos below. GMAP
Bartender Brian Bonner, above.
The deli counter will have meat, cheese, sandwiches and salads.
The future dairy section will carry eggs and milk, above.
Grocery shelves with prepared foods such as hot sauce and house-label coffee, above and below.
Housemade porchetta curing in cold storage.
Scalamandré zebra wallpaper in the loo, above.
Outdoor seating in the backyard.