I could spend time curating dozens of the most current, hip, hospitality joints near my house - or we could simply talk about Graham Baba Architects.*** These are the craftsmen/women who make them the artistic, gritty, and chic places they are. Their aesthetic taste is responsible for entirely too many of my choices - where to spend my money, my time, and my hunger.
I've written about many of these spots in the past, and it's high time to say "thank you" to the architects for giving me somewhere creative, intriguing, and excellent to sit.
Thank you for the Kolstrand Building. And all the oysters, bikes, and cocktails within. (Walrus & the Carpenter, Staple & Fancy)
Thank you for the Melrose Market (in conjunction with Dunn + Hobbes).
Thank you for Rain Shadow Meats.
Thank you for Marigold & Mint.
Thank you for the Piston & Ring Building (La Spiga, Plum Bistro)
Thank you for iron railings, gritty gears, and sanded wooden beams.
Thank you for reusing railway ties.
Thank you for making "wood-firing" at Eltana Bagels possible, and for Skillet Diner. Thank you for the Terry Ave Building (now Cuoco and Brave Horse Tavern). Thank you for Revel & Quoin.
THANK YOU GRAHAM BABA!
***Frank Bruni of The New York Times describes their work eloquently: "a palpable conviviality that so many restaurants aim for but so few achieve. That kind of warmth and vibrancy often boil down to luck: to the animation of the crowd that gathers, the pitch of people's voices."