When asked "About Bodega" the questioner is usually faced with a long pause...do we go with the "sound bite" or with the "the story". Since the question is usually asked in the restaurant when all hell is breaking loose, a quick "Modern Mexican with an Urban Beach Vibe" works best. Now; the story.
We signed our lease with no real idea what to do ( this is not as uncommon as you think). We had collaborated on restaurants before; a trendy Cuban night spot and an Beachy Oyster bar on steroids. Obviously we were into this "escapism' thing and wanted to keep the ball rolling. But what was was happening now? Our research team found many trendlets across the foodie landscape; Comfort Asian, Burger Bars, Meatball Shops, Street Food, Craft Cocktails and DIY - locally sourced - farm to table anything as long as it involved a pig. So off we went - eating and drinking our way across the food capitol of the world - Brooklyn.
Our mission: to find the next great foodie concept that we could reinterpret, package as our own and sell out to investment bankers. Well, we drank great cocktails and ate great food but something else was afoot. What we found was handcrafted everything - from the furniture to the bartenders whiskers to the ipod playlist to the smoked radish martini. These were not "concepts", they were just restaurant people doing their own thing. Now we were on to something, after all- breaking rules and blurring boundries came natural to us. And now the Taco part...
We love farm to table as much as the next guy but after 4 or 5 Artisan Cocktails a single Bay Scallop on burning hay does not get you home. We needed further "inspiration" before suffering The Belt & I 95. One thing we discovered was that Brooklyn was not lacking in the Taqueria department. What started out as a late night snack turned into an inexpensive second meal that often triumphed the main event. Sometimes we would hit more than one in a night - hitting the brakes for the Calexico truck or doing a Taco Mix drive-by.
So that's the long answer to the "About" question. No multi-continental quests, no focus groups, no "I grew up in San Diego" childhood memories of long lost fish taco heaven. Just a realization that doing your own thing is how we roll and that everything tastes better in a tortilla.