A Caribbean restaurant called BK9 has been in the works for about a month and a half in the space on Fifth between Bergen and St. Marks that was last occupied by a decrepit storefront church. All the signage and fixtures are in place, and it looks like it should be opening any day now.
Owner Gary Casimir told Park Slope Stoop that the restaurant will serve the Carribean food that he and the eight other co-owners grew up eating, but with a "healthier, foodie-er" twist. Chef Jeremie Tomczak previously worked at Marcus Samuelsson's acclaimed Red Rooster up in Harlem, and his menu hews toward the traditional but has a decidedly cheffy angle. Traditional menu items like doubles, drum pan chicken, whole red snapper and fried sardine escovitch, oxtail, and curry goat are joined by less traditional dishes like pork belly sliders, quinoa fritters, a burger, and roasted root vegetables. All the hallmarks of Island cuisine, from jerk to callaloo, salt fish, stew peas, bammy, and Haitian griot, are represented.
The restaurant is nicely designed, with a bar that seats about 12, lots of windows up front, and Edison bulb lighting. These dishes, when done right, can be incredibly delicious (as anyone who's spent any time eating in Jamaica can tell you), and the pedigree of the chef seems to bode very well.