The Promise of Bonfire

March 6, 2008 at 10:14 pm 9 comments

On a recent 50-degree day, I pushed open the door at the soon-to-be Bonfire Grill to see what was shaking there. Lots of wood and workers, for starters. Amid the saw dust, and in spite of the toxic paint smell (water-based, they said!), I understood that it was going to be a beautiful place, and man, what a bar. Feeling emboldened by easy access, I went into the building’s basement to sniff out an owner, whom I found in an office that lookeding semi-loaded (the office, that is!) with a laptop and flat-screen television. My kind of management.

A chat revealed the following—

  • The owners have other restaurants, most notably one on the Upper East Side called The Uptown Lounge.
  • One of the owners used to work at (or own—it’s one of those two) the Irish Cottage, so when Wine Bar put out signals that it was closing down, he moved on it. That explains why this particular restaurant management team is banging some stakes into Forest Hills.
  • I asked if they were hiring; my impression is that they had already run through that process, but if anyone is interested, keep checking craigslist in case they advertise for more staff. And of course, once they open, just ask the manager.
  • Yeah, we heard there’s going to be brunch on weekends. Mardi Gras also serves brunch, by the way, and Bonfire’s owner did mention that particular down-the-block competitor as comparable to what they have in mind, though their menu will be more aligned with Uptown Lounge’s. Actually, I just hope that by “brunch,” they mean starting at 9, because that’s a painful void in Forest Hills since UJs closed down.

Projected opening date, at least as of that conversation, is March 10, so keep your eyes open and let readers of Splitting Hairs know if you get there first.


Entry filed under: Austin Street, food, Forest Hills.

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9 Comments Add your own

  • 1. gerry whelan  |  March 14, 2008 at 3:41 pm


  • 2. harlow winter  |  March 14, 2008 at 11:40 pm

    where will said bonfire grill be? thx.

  • 3. karbeth  |  March 15, 2008 at 6:56 am

    It’s on Austin Street, right next to Manny’s cleaning on the corner (the side street with Our Lady). Hope that helps.

  • 4. David  |  April 4, 2008 at 12:15 pm

    Who writes this stuff?
    there is no laptop or flat screen in the office….
    the owner /mgr doesnt even drink…….

  • 5. karbeth  |  April 4, 2008 at 3:32 pm

    Maybe they moved it, but when I was there, that is what I saw. Honestly.

  • 6. Ashley  |  April 4, 2008 at 5:18 pm

    you saw the owner drunk??/

  • 7. karbeth  |  April 4, 2008 at 5:24 pm

    Now I see the problem–the original post is misleading. The office was semi-loaded, not the owner! That’s a real gotcha mistake, too. Apologies for any confusion!!

  • 8. Ashley  |  April 4, 2008 at 5:36 pm

    oh…….I was wondering cus i know him quite well…
    thats not his style…..
    but there is no such thing as a pop up office…
    im sure with building the place himself etc…..he just didnt have the office ready when you snuck down there…lol

  • 9. karbeth  |  April 4, 2008 at 8:16 pm

    There was an office in the basement, and it was a nice setup, even at it’s early stage.


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