NAVY YARD – Russ & Daughters, the defining Lower East Side appetizing joint — and an old New York Jewish standby that has managed to keep up with the times — opened its doors officially in a sprawling space in the Brooklyn Navy Yard Wednesday night, February 27.
Russ’s great-granddaughter Niki Russ Federman was born in Brooklyn and lives in Park Slope, and she told Bklyner it was a natural move: Brooklyn now is a source of cultural energy “in the same way that the Lower East Side back in the day was this melting pot of people and ideas.”
More practically, they were able to take not just a line of counters in Building 77 but a vast kitchen that can supply everything from their cafe on Orchard street to bagel aficionados around America.
She’s thrilled, she said, “to be able to have this amount of space where you can stay part of New York for another four generations.”
Navy Yard Chairman Hank Gutman was also kvelling amid the endless trays of borscht, latkes, smoked fish, babka and rugelach.
Brooklynites will “no longer have to “cross over to that outer borough of Manhattan,” he said, while “even in the most bagel deprived parts of this vast country you can now get an overnight shipment of Russ and daughters.”
Russ & Daughters soft opening earlier this month was marked by long lines, and Federman said that one thing Russ doesn’t plan to do is serve “fast food.”
“We still slice everything by hand,” she said. “We give the same experience we have for 100 years.”
– with reporting by Ben and Eli Smith