I met Anna shortly after she graduated from NYU and joined the Zandl Group. Anna has not only been a fantastic, fun and inspiring co-worker, but also an amazing friend. I am in awe of her pioneering spirit (she was the first person I knew to move to Bushwick – and I recall drivers of this skeevy downtown car service I used to take me out there, not wanting to wait for us on the street outside of NorthEast Kingdown – it was too sketchy even for them!). Anna, however, had a great eye for what tastemakers were up to and thankfully she brought us all along for the ride!! Anna has also always been on the forefront of hospitality trends and when she left Zandl to open Cafe Ghia we were first of all SAD but also absolutely super excited for her. Read below the break for Anna’s take on influential restaurants and bars, places she can’t live without and newest spots in her neighborhood that we should all check out – and pictures of Anna dancing! THANK YOU ANNA!!!!
YOUR 3 FAVORITE RESTAURANTS THAT YOU FIND INFLUENTIAL SPECIFICALLY FOR CAFE GHIA
1) Cafe Gitane – I lived in Nolita briefly in 1999-00 after college and my friends and I loved Gitane for it’s food and atmosphere. When we were imagining Ghia, the influence was in their efficient use of space. They turn it out.
2) Prune. Of course, Prune is amazingly beautiful and delicious but the influential part for me in terms of Ghia is in their service. The servers are incredibly gracious, unpretentious and kind. That blows me away and is so special and appreciated in NYC.
3) Cafiero Lussier Event Design/Catering – obviously not a bar or restaurant – they do events, production design, catering, decorating and sell amazing vintage. Their aesthetic is impeccable and every detail is attended to thoughtfully and delightfully. They have the eye.
3 BRANDS/STORES/SERVICES YOU CAN’T LIVE WITHOUT
1) Wyckoff Starr Coffee. It’s been my first stop of the day for years and I rarely go a day without visiting. A true Bushwick institution. It feels like home in the neighborhood – I have so many wonderful memories of morning coffee meet ups and aimless days starting there and taking me unexpected places with new people. I love the sweet hilarious staff and the people I know I’ll find there.
2) goodyoga. It’s my exercise jam and not JUST because it’s a block from home. I like the people around it, the aesthetic and the fact that the teachers check on me outside of class if I have an injury. It’s the perfect mix of community and private space for me.
3) Brooklyn Charm. I love everything about this place. The shopping experience is super fun (unless you go on a packed weekend), and you can customize something lovely really affordably. It’s my go to for gifts.
WHAT’S NEW IN YOUR NEIGHBORHOOD THAT I SHOULD ABSOLUTELY CHECK OUT
Archie’s Pizza!! So good and so fun.
I’m embarrassingly behind on visiting new spots but I’m most excited about what’s happening in Ridgewood. Specifically The Keep on Cypress and Onderdonk and Sons on Onderdonk. Let’s plan a night out! YES! YES! YES!