FORT GREENE – Endswell Bar and Bistro celebrated its two month anniversary on the 1st of July. The space, opened by partners Jason Burelle and Thai Le, is bringing craft cocktails and French inspired dishes to the Fort Greene neighborhood.
Burelle, who has lived in Fort Greene for five years, says that so far, the response has been what they’d hoped for.
“It’s been going really great, the neighborhood has been coming out really strong, so kind of exactly what we wanted,” Burelle said.
Burelle and Le both come from hospitality backgrounds. Burelle, originally from Montreal, once owned a restaurant in his hometown and also worked as a bartender in London and Paris for many years. Le is originally from Vietnam, where Burelle says there is a lot of French influence as well. It was with these backgrounds in mind that the partners designed both the menu and the space at Endswell.
“We kind of just wanted to put ourselves on the plate. The fun thing about the neighborhood spot where we are [is that] I think we have a lot more leeway because the international crew wants something that’s a little bit more Montreal like our poutine,” Burelle said.
In addition to the poutine, they also plan to add a banh mi sandwich as a nod to Le’s background. Other dishes include coq au vin, duck rillette, mussels, and charcuterie. The menu was created in consultation with Chef Patrick Farell, who Burelle says taught at the French Culinary Institute for 14 years before returning to the private sector.
Being a part of the community was important to both Burelle and Le.
“To me, the fact that it’s in Fort Greene, in my neighborhood, I knew the people I was going to be catering to. I think that very much, it is a neighborhood restaurant, and it has a community feel,” Burelle said. Endswell has already worked with community staples Green Light Bookstore, BAM, and the Irondale Theater in hosting events at the restaurant.
The design of the space was influenced by Burelle’s years in Paris and includes lots of marble and greenery. It features a green wall, designed and maintained by Lydia Andrien. Burelle wanted people to feel welcome and at home. They grow many of the herbs and fresh garnishes used in their cocktails right on site.
“I think that a lot of people kind of gravitate towards that, bringing that kind of Brooklyn apartment feel to a restaurant space. A lot of people feel like with the bars and restaurants in New York and the challenge of having a smaller apartment, that really restaurants and bars become your living room space. So, I feel like we wanted to make it as comfortable and inviting as possible,” Burelle said. This includes the service, something that Burelle says he and Le are “very selective” about, wanting only the best in front and back of house.
Endswell is open for brunch on the weekends, featuring dishes like shakshuka, crepes, and croque monsieur. “We really want to have people come in and enjoy the space [for brunch] as much as they do at night,” Burelle said.
Looking forward, diners can expect a new summer cocktail list and a ten-seat sidewalk cafe to open in early August.
Endswell is located at 773 Fulton Street, between S. Oxford Street and S. Portland Avenue. They are open Monday to Thursday from 5pm-1am, Friday from 5pm-3am, Saturday from 11am-3am, and Sunday from 11am-12am.