The iconic Lower East Side eatery Russ & Daughters has announced it will be expanding to Brooklyn as the anchor of the Brooklyn Navy Yard‘s new public food court.
The 102-year-old family-operated Manhattan establishment, which started shop in 1914 and is known for its “appetizing” offerings — Jewish classics like smoked fish and cream cheese — will not only be opening a cafe-style eatery across the river, but will also relocate its production operations to the Navy Yard from its current Bushwick location.
Russ & Daughters will take up 14,000 square feet of the Navy Yard food hall’s 60,000-square-foot ground-floor location.
A “glass wall” concept will be implemented throughout the court, including at Russ & Daughters, where visitors can watch operations through large interior windows, according to the Wall Street Journal, which was first to report the move.
Unofficially called “Yard Commons,” the food hall will be located in Building 77, a former ammunition depot and the Navy Yard’s largest structure with 1 million square feet spread over 18 stories.
Building 77’s $185 million renovation began this past summer with lead architect Beyer Blinder Belle. Marvel Architects is designing the food court.
The food court’s remaining stations are still being determined, but will likely be smaller companies. “We really want to engage the local restaurant community or even food trucks,” a spokesperson for the Yard told Brownstoner, noting that Russ & Daughters represents the court’s anchor, “and now we’re focusing on smaller guys.”
In addition to various vendors, the food hall will include a lounge and bar area as well as a public plaza out front. The hall marks the first time the Yard has had a publicly accessible building.
Russ & Daughters station will be more cafe than sit-down restaurant. Like nearby DeKalb Market Hall, Yard Commons will have communal seating in addition to limited seating at individual vendors’ stations.
No opening date nor hours have yet been announced, but the hall will likely open in 2016, and it will certainly begin serving early in the day to cater to its designated breakfast and lunch crowd.
According to a Navy Yard spokeswoman, evening and entertainment programming ideas have not yet left the drawing board, but are still being considered.
Yard Commons is one of many in-the-works multi-vendor, cafeteria-style eateries in Brooklyn and beyond, including City Point’s DeKalb Market Hall in Downtown Brooklyn and the highly anticipated Bourdain Market in Chelsea.
Bringing in Russ & Daughters as an anchor tenant echoes the plan to have Katz’s anchor DeKalb Market Hall. Both Lower East Side Jewish-food spots will be crossing the East River to open retail spots for the first time.
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