Three years to the day after Claire Sprouse signed her lease at 747 Franklin Avenue in Sterling Street, the Brooklyn restaurateur has announced the end of her neighborhood restaurant and cocktail bar. Hunky Dory, a mainstay of Crown Heights known for his pioneering no-tip policy and great breakfast sandwiches, will serve his last drinks on October 31, the restaurateur said on Friday afternoon.
Maintaining the restaurant during the pandemic “has been both a marathon AND a sprint,” the restaurateur said in a commentary. Publish announcing the closure of the restaurant. “Frankly, it’s just not viable for me and this small business to continue, especially in a future filled with so much uncertainty.”
In the post, Sprouse highlighted the restaurant’s first two years of incessant activity – defined, first, by 18-hour workdays to get his business started and, later, by endless pivoting during the pandemic. – as a reason for closure. “The hours can get strange before [the closure]”the restaurateur wrote.” But we’re going to keep it wacky and fun until the very end. “
Crown Heights Restaurant temporarily closed after the start of the pandemic, only to return a few months later with a revamped outdoor dining menu and a no-tip policy. In an interview with Eater, Sprouse said she came to the decision after noticing that her reception staff routinely earn at least double the hourly wages of her minimum wage kitchen staff. “I still think employees should be paid the same amount whether they are putting something back on a counter or serving at the table,” she said at the time.
During the pandemic, the Crown Heights Restaurant took its outside dining, occupying a nearby outdoor space that became a stage for Comedy shows, dancing evenings, pop-up restaurants, mayoral campaigns and more hot turmeric toddlers than this reporter will admit. In November, Sprouse reassigned its indoor dining room as a general store and wine store called Hunky Depot, a decision also made by countless restaurants Through the city. The store is expected to finish its run this week before the restaurant closes, according to the announcement.
Sprouse, a veteran of the San Francisco cocktail scene, opened Hunky Dory in January 2019 with a focus on community and sustainability. In a review shortly after it opened, Eater reviewer Ryan Sutton applauded the laid-back hangout, calling it “unbelievably good and unconventionally beautiful.”
In March, the San Francisco Chronicle reported that Sprouse was planning to open a bar called Buddy in the Mission district of the city of California. The bar, which has not yet opened, lists an opening date in spring 2021 on his Instagram page. Eater has contacted Sprouse for more information on the shutdown.