In this version of the Resy Rundown, we’re sitting down with Sara Conklin, the owner of Greenpoint mainstay Glasserie and the now-open Radio Star, located just blocks away. Situated right next to Transmitter Park, Radio Star is an expansion of all the things diners love most about Glasserie, offering an all-day menu and community meeting space inspired by the history of radio.
Here’s everything you need to know about Radio Star before you go.
1. The menu is similar to Glasserie’s — with lots of new additions.
Radio Star retains the same Mediterranean-inspired cuisine that Glasserie has built its reputation on for the last decade, even keeping the same chef, Yusuf Lovett, to run the kitchen. Here, the menu is an all-day concept that runs the gamut from grab-and-go sandwiches to full sit-down dinners.
“I’ve lived in the neighborhood, and I don’t think we have a great [all-day] option. We have lots of great options during the evening, but I feel like the neighborhood’s transformed dramatically in the last few years, and there’s so many more people here milling about in the day,” Conklin says.
There’s a saffron cream cheese pastry roll, a breakfast sandwich using the griddle bread made at Glasserie, and a full coffee program for breakfast. Lunch runs heavily vegan-friendly, Conklin notes, with an avocado salad and charred broccoli rabe among the options. For dinner, expect pistachio chicken croquettes, sautéed ginger squid, chicken liver terrine, and plenty of seasonal vegetables done on the grill.
“We’re pulling from our decade-old Glasserie background, but it won’t be redundant,” Conklin says.
2. You won’t leave thirsty.
The wine list also leans heavily Mediterranean, and will only offer plenty of by-the-glass options.
“Navigating through a glass list, to me, is way more exciting [than purchasing by the bottle],” Conklin says, adding that the staff at Radio Star will be extremely knowledgeable about the wines on offer and more than willing to take guests through the menu to find them something they’ll like.
Expect classic cocktails with a Radio Star twist, like a labne-washed martini, a bespoke beer made at Dutchess Ales just for the restaurant, and, a frozen drinks machine for the warmer months.
3. The nearby park holds a lot of significance for Conklin.
Conklin knew immediately that Radio Star would be inspired by and created in homage to the importance of nearby Transmitter Park, where WNYC first broadcasted from in the early 20th century.
“We went deep with the decor aspects in that regard. There are original tables, chairs, and lighting from the period. We really tried to make it feel authentic, so that the theme will come into play,” Conklin says. “We’ve got posters on the walls and bits and bobs from maps of transmitters.”
Radio Star also boasts a large side patio that will seat 50 guests, a front patio for 12, and an interior dining room for 40. There’s also a sizable private dining room that can accommodate up to 100.
“The front space has a diner feel. It’s got six stools, there’s Formica, and almost an apothecary-style back bar that’s original from the ’20s,” Conklin says.
For Conklin, the ethos of radio and the nearby park was too important not to inspire the space. “I was enraptured by the original version of [radio and transmission], and how it was such a big tool as far as making the government and the city and the people more of a unified community,” she says. “I keep saying that [a restaurant] is kind of like that. It’s for the people, not in a silly way, but it just has a ‘come in whenever you want,’ welcoming, community feeling that is akin to the philosophical radio relationship of that time.”
4. Conklin cares about the restaurant’s impact, and its neighbors.
Being so close to the park has also led Conklin to think more about the restaurant’s impact on an environmental level, beyond being a community meeting place.
To that end, Radio Star will be an entirely gas-free facility, Conklin says.
“We’re making strides [to be more green]. We’re composting and we’re in very lengthy conversations with the park about all of this,” she adds. The Friends of Transmitter Park have been advising her and the team on how to use runoff to water their plants, implementing biodegradable packaging, and learning the best practices for composting.
“They’ve been really helpful with advising us on how to proceed. We want to be friends,” Conklin says.
5. Neighborhood loyalty, even when accidental, runs deep.
Conklin’s decades-long relationship with Greenpoint started because of a happy accident. Glasserie, which has been open on Commercial Street for more than 10 years, was originally supposed to be in Bed-Stuy or Clinton Hill.
“Obviously it was a great accident, and I’m really happy to be here,” Conklin says.
She knew that the next restaurant she opened would also have to be in the neighborhood she’s lived in for more than 20 years. Despite the five-minute walk from Glasserie, she says Radio Star feels like it could be in a totally different place, especially as its block, Greenpoint Avenue, becomes more and more of a hot spot.
“We had a lot of time early on when we were waiting for permits to do research [on the area], which is really the essence of the space and why I bonded with the concept at all,” Conklin says, “It always feels like you just gave birth to something.”
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