Behind the bar at Red Hook, copper pipes map out the New York subway network. It’s not the only link between the petite laneway bar and its namesake Brooklyn suburb.
Owners Tom Sanceau and Bonnie Shearston (Coppa Spuntino) wanted to turn the 26 square metre kitchen and bar into what they call the city’s first “permanent food truck”, so they drew on the suburb’s wealth of street food micro-cultures to create a thoroughly atypical American fast-food joint.
The Asian-Mexican Kung Fu Duck Taco is a star dish, while the shrimp roll and falafel salad back it up amply. If it’s a burger you desire, order the Resolution Breaker, served with a side of fried pickles. Otherwise there’s popcorn chicken and salty vinegar fries, each of which pairs particularly well with something from the range of US craft beers.
Behind the bar’s lacquered chipboard counter, Red Hook’s cocktail list has an American influence too. Most are based around dark spirits, but lemon sherbet, peanut butter ice-cream and creaming soda make appearances too.
But getting a drink is the easy part: the bar seats just 35 people before patrons start spilling into the laneway food court where Red Hook helps feed CBD workers by day.