After years of preparation, the multifarious curatorial enterprise that is e-flux will open a bar and restaurant called Bar Laika at 224 Greene Avenue in the Clinton Hill neighborhood of Brooklyn on Thursday, with a dinner service of sea trout and a screening of a vintage Anri Sala film (1998’s Intervista), followed by Japanese curry.
Naturally, e-flux shared the news in an email sent through its e-flux announcement service, explaining that its “food menu is based on local Atlantic seafood and farm fresh and foraged vegetables, and is a result of a decade-long collaboration between e-flux and Hsiao Chen, an artist and chef.” Danna Vajda assembled the concise cocktail list, which has classics like the French 75 and the Sazerac, and Florence Barth is serving as the sommelier. The music is the work of Sanna Almajedi, and Lily Lewis and Anton Vidokle, who’s e-flux’s majordomo, are organizing the events program with an assist from Ingrid Erstad. The architecture? You can thank Nikolaus Hirsch and Michel Müller for that.
When I spoke with Vidokle about his hospitality ambitions back in April 2016, he noted that Clinton Hill “is in the center of this G train line, which passes through all these neighborhoods with a strong presence of artists and curators.”
His goal, he said, is to offer both art folks and locals “really good-quality food,” as well as book launches, poetry readings, and other cultural pursuits.
At the moment, the menu on Bar Laika’s website includes delights like soba-cha soufflé cheesecake ($8), torched shime saba sashimi ($10), and, for $6, “seasonal smoked pickles” (this is Brooklyn, after all).
It looks like Bar Laika’s going to be hitting the ground running on both the curatorial and culinary fronts, with a screening of an Otolith Group film on Saturday, an evening that will also see Anjalika Sagar, a member of that collective, preparing food. And next Tuesday, October 23, the scholar Elizabeth Povinelli will be introducing the screening of a work by the Karrabing Film Collective.
Beginning Monday, October 22, the space will be open from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m. to serve coffee. It will be shuttered on Wednesdays, but will otherwise be open until 1 a.m. each night, with curry available until closing time.
As it happens, Bar Laika will not be the only art-inflected new business in the neighborhood. Last month, Nina Schwarz and Su Beyazit inaugurated Relationships, a storefront at 920 Fulton Street in Clinton Hill, near its borders with Crown and Prospect Heights, that sells works of art and design and cups of coffee.