708 Washington Ave (formerly Mason and Mug) is becoming Mexican — Brooklynian

708 Washington Ave (formerly Mason and Mug) is becoming Mexican

"But when that restaurant unexpectedly and unceremoniously shuttered last month, fans were left wondering just where exactly they were supposed to get their guasmole and salsa borracha fix. Now they have an answer, as Chavez will open El Atoradero Brooklyn, a new, more ambitious restaurant at 708 Washington Avenue in Prospect Heights, in late September."

http://www.grubstreet.com/2015/07/el-atoradero-reopening.html

Comments

  • Sounds great, yet perhaps a bit ambitious. I hope they can pull it all off, and well.
  • I went to the restaurant in the Bronx. Fantastic. Head and shoulders above preexisting Mexican in the area.
  • I do look forward to an entity that will knock Chavelas from its throne.
  • Lina Chavez did the catering for my wedding last year, and we've become friends.  She is an amazing treasure and we are so happy for her - and happy for us that her new place will be in walking distance
  • edited July 2015
    It would not surprise me if this Mexican place opened before the other new restaurant on Washington I am watching, Longevity:

    http://www.brooklynian.com/discussion/38020/years-later-810-washington-at-st-john039s-finally-emerges-from-the-past-as-a-sit-down-restaurant-#Item_54

    The Mexican place is taking over a relatively small space, that previously had a restaurant.
  • edited August 2015
    El Atoradero Brooklyn is legally known as Brooklyn Carnitas LLC.

    Said entity has now begun the process of obtaining a full liquor license, and seeks to use its backyard to help make a profit and get people mildly intoxicated.

  • I'd gently encourage her to use the LLC name as the name of the restaurant.

    Establishments with odd and/or difficult-to-pronounce names have a shaky track record in this neighborhood (lookin at you: Skazzy Cafe, Almadera, God Is, Thirstbaravin, La Nouvelle Vag, et. al. May ye rest in obscurity).
  • This blurb was in the nytimes food section for fall openings...


    Seriously the neighborhood is Little Mexico now. I do love mexican food, but what I wouldn't give for a really killer salad or a legit Chinese place to open.


    El
    Atoradero Brooklyn The Mexican chef Denisse Lina Chavez drew rave
    reviews for her cramped cubbyhole in the Bronx until a rent increase
    prompted its closing this summer and a hunt for a larger footprint. “I
    would have preferred Manhattan, but it was too expensive,” Ms. Chavez
    said. “Besides, 90 percent of my customers come from Brooklyn.” She will
    have about 50 seats, a bar and a small garden in which to serve her
    home-style Poblano cooking. She will keep her small Bronx bodega.
    (October): 708 Washington Avenue (Prospect Place), Prospect Heights

  • It does seem like it's getting a little overboard with the Mexican restaurants, though they all seem busy quite regularly so maybe there is still room for more. This place sounds different and I have a feeling it will do well. I'm over Chavela's and I hope this is able to compete with it. Chavela's needs to be shaken up a bit to step up their game. My last few visits were disappointing. I feel like they're just playing a numbers game now and have lost interest in caring about the satisfaction of individual customers or the quality of their food and drinks.
  • My head hurts to think about this, but I think the recent closing of Vicente's dropped us to 13 places in the area formed by Vanderbilt, Atlantic and Nostrand and EP.

    When Atoradero opens we be back up at 14.   

    ...actually, we will be at 15 if you include the truck that often parks at EP and Franklin.

    http://www.brooklynian.com/discussion/43891/la-burrito-bar-comes-to-underhill-whynot-attempts-to-count-all-the-mexican-places/p1


  • Wow, this is great news.  I got up to El Atoradero's Bronx location a couple times before the landlord shut it down.  It easily became the Mexican I measured all others against.  The food was terrific, and Denisse was clearly very proud of the (well deserved) good reputation that her cooking was receiving.

    I think this is going to be a game changer.  I'm not so much thinking for the burrito-type Mexicans, but more for the Chavella type places. 

    Does anyone know if it's going to have a liquor license or be BYOB?
  • edited September 2015
    No liquor license has been requested yet.     ...I'll watch for an application.
  • No liquor license has been requested yet.     ...I'll watch for an application.
    Does one need a license for a BYOB?
  • edited September 2015
    Update @bkchickie :
    It seems the restaurant has begun the process of applying to NYS SLA, before going before CB8.    Hence, I missed it on my radar.

    I believe they need to go before CB8 at least as a formality in order to get the lic.

    They are seeking a full liq lic, as well as one of those expedited temporary lics:

    https://www.tran.sla.ny.gov/servlet/ApplicationServlet?pageName=com.ibm.nysla.data.publicquery.PublicQuerySuccessfulResultsPage&validated=true&serialNumber=1288230&licenseType=OP

    https://www.tran.sla.ny.gov/servlet/ApplicationServlet?pageName=com.ibm.nysla.data.publicquery.PublicQuerySuccessfulResultsPage&validated=true&serialNumber=1288231&licenseType=ST

    They started their application process back on Aug 17.
  • Thank for the info.  Like I said, I'm really looking forward to El Atoradero opening up.
  • I saw workers installing restaurant equipment last night, which has prompted me to spend 10 seconds creating this map showing the proximity of the other Mexican restaurants.

    image
  • I am OK with having a top-quality Mexican food district at my doorstep.
  • Like every bubble, this one will burst, and drench us in salsa.
  • Has this place opened yet?
  • edited December 2015
    Nope.

    In addition, their liquor lic is still pending.

  • Thanks. Their website was unclear on whether they were open yet.
  • edited December 2015
    I spoke with the operators today. They hope to open "within a week"

    Signage being painted today. Link above now indicates liquor lic was granted on Friday, 12/11/2015.

    image
  • edited December 2015
    rumor that it will open tonight, Dec 18th.
  • Yes! Will definitely keep my eyes open when making the rounds tonight.
  • image image Just coming back from the place. Got the ribs dish. Pretty good!
  • edited December 2015
    As I mentioned before, this place is definitely good, but I won't be a regular here due to the relatively high prices; seriously, I'm not paying $10 for a quesadilla. Granted, the tacos are cheap, but probably not too filling. 

    As to the move (while I'm not complaining as it means opening another great eatery in the area), I question whether the rent hike in the BX was more than the ultimate rent that she's paying in Prospect Heights. It may very well be the case, which would make the BX landlord the ultimate fool as he thought he had some kind of leverage, but I just find it hard to believe. Even if the rent hike didn't surpass what she's paying for rent now, I guess, as a matter of principle (the Gothamist article states that the BX landlord increased the rent dramatically because the place was popular with food critics), I'd probably do the same thing and get the heck out of that building. Then again, maybe she feels that the potential increased revenue (even when considering high PH rents) from new and old customers would make the move worth it. 
  • Whether a rent is "too high" is closely related to the amount of profit one can earn at a given space.

    Their new location is surrounded by people who regularly eat out and spend $25 on a meal, whereas the old one was not.

  • As I mentioned before, this place is definitely good, but I won't be a regular here due to the relatively high prices; seriously, I'm not paying $10 for a quesadilla. Granted, the tacos are cheap, but probably not too filling. 

    As to the move (while I'm not complaining as it means opening another great eatery in the area), I question whether the rent hike in the BX was more than the ultimate rent that she's paying in Prospect Heights. It may very well be the case, which would make the BX landlord the ultimate fool as he thought he had some kind of leverage, but I just find it hard to believe. Even if the rent hike didn't surpass what she's paying for rent now, I guess, as a matter of principle (the Gothamist article states that the BX landlord increased the rent dramatically because the place was popular with food critics), I'd probably do the same thing and get the heck out of that building. Then again, maybe she feels that the potential increased revenue (even when considering high PH rents) from new and old customers would make the move worth it. 
    The quesadilla was pricey buy good. But the tortas for $1 more are enormous and look highly delicious.

    And, yes, I'm pretty sure the talented chef is also taking the opportunity to move upmarket with the help of some more experienced partners.
  • edited December 2015
    Ms. Whynot and I ate there tonight.    The sandwiches are indeed huge;  I had one and struggled to finish it.

    She had two tacos, both of which were $4 a piece, but one was much larger than the other. 

    As a result of having table service and similar price points, Citrico has direct competition.    I suspect one of them will be gone by 2017.
  • edited February 2016

    More press

    BTW, Citrico appears to be losing this battle.

  • I was worried that the "magic" that the place in the Bronx had wouldn't carry over to Brooklyn, but that doesn't seem to be the case. The food is great and the atmosphere is fun. Hopefully the full liquor license will come through soon.
  • They have now acquired the adjacent storefront and opened a bar:  http://www.grubstreet.com/2017/02/madre-mezcaleria-opens-in-nyc.html

  • Their Mezcal bar is a pretty big thing for the neighborhood.  Of the few Mez only bars in the city, it has the largest selection.  That's very bold for washington avenue.  If you, or any one you know likes mezcal you know how obsessive mezcal people can be.  It's a bar full of obsessives, some who travel far to get there and ask endless questions about what to try next, often paying $20 for the opportunity. In that sense, its a love it or hate it kind of place. But its definitely more interesting than your average bar.  It's a fun place.  I wish it were cheaper to drink there. 
This discussion has been closed.