Kushner’s Huge, Neighborhood-Changing Office Complex Brings Restaurant Row to Dumbo

Photo by Susan De Vries

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    A new restaurant row is taking shape in Dumbo, promising to transform what was formerly industrial space belonging to the Jehovah’s Witnesses into a lively area of shops and offices.

    Beach-inspired restaurant and bar Taco Dumbo opened Monday at 56 Prospect Street in Dumbo Heights, the neighborhood-changing 1.2-million-square-foot office complex that was the biggest sale of 2013. It is being developed by RFR Realty, LIVWRK and Kushner Companies, the real estate firm headed by Donald Trump’s son-in-law Jared Kushner.

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    Taco Dumbo owner owner Brendan Hirsch. Photo by Sean Devlin

    Taco Dumbo joins recently opened Shadowbox NYC, cafe Bluestone Lane and fitness studio Row House. Also poised to open here soon are Untamed Sandwiches, Glaze Teriyaki and Dig Inn. This is just one of five buildings in the sprawling complex, whose tenants also include Etsy, B-Reel, Wipro Digital, WeWork, Prolific Interactive and Frog Design.

    Taco Dumbo brings a little slice of the Left Coast to this corner of Brooklyn between Adams and Pearl streets under the BQE.

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    Photo by Sean Devlin

    Taco Dumbo is a Southern California-inspired taco shop and bar that strives to bring the good vibes of the west coast to New York. Reminiscent of a beachside stand with its sheet metal menus on the walls and a surfboard that doubles as a table in the center of the space, the interior’s sense of escapism from the big city was intentional, according to owner Brendan Hirsch. Hirsch co-owns the restaurant with partners Christian Palikuca and Jonathan Krieger.

    The veg-friendly menu includes cauliflower and tofu bacon tacos as well as more standard fare such as chicken tinga and short rib tacos. There are also “nori tacos,” aka sushi, with spicy tuna and wild salmon, and a “cold pressed margarita bar.” A variety of salads, rice bowls, grain bowl, and tostados round out the menu. Taco Dumbo is open from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. seven days a week.

    Photo by Sean Devlin

    Photo by Sean Devlin

    Hirsch, a veteran of the service industry with nearly 20 years of experience under his belt, set out to create a space that aligned with his own love of surfing and positive vibes. “I wanted to make something that was in line with my own morals — something that wasn’t pretentious and makes people feel good when they enter the space. It’s supposed to feel like an escape.”

    taco dumbo heights 55 prospect street

    Photo by Susan De Vries

    The project has been about six months in the making, said Hirsch. In line with the casual ethos of other Dumbo Heights tenants such as Etsy and WeWork, Hirsch had one desire for his restaurant that didn’t quite come to fruition, but would have been something if it did.

    “If it was possible, I’d have everyone take their shoes off and have sand on the floor,” he said.

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