Brooklyn Breakfast Restaurant Egg will close permanently this weekend



Williamsburg’s longtime breakfast hotspot Egg will close for good at the end of the month, owner George Weld announced. The restaurant will serve its last meals on September 27.

Weld told Eater the shutdown was “partly a financial decision and partly a concern for public health and the health of our staff.”

The restaurant has been offering take-out and delivery, as well as alfresco dining, for several months. While the takeout and delivery went “better than expected,” says Weld, they still only accounted for about 25% of Egg’s regular income. For outdoor dining, the restaurant was only able to set up four tables outside due to the location’s small street frontage.

And while indoor dining is expected to return to 25% capacity on September 30, Weld didn’t think that was a viable option for the restaurant. The revenue generated from operating the service at 25% capacity “was not going to help us break even,” says Weld, and he was concerned about the greater health risk than eating out. inside imposed.

“Even though we are great [rent] concessions from our owner, that would always be a huge struggle, ”says Weld. “We could either try to get through this winter with slow bleeding or take a clean break now and rethink what we’re doing.”

Inside the egg, pre-pandemic
Robert Sietsema / Eater

Although the restaurant started out as a pop-up, when it eventually turned brick and mortar, Egg quickly became a Williamsburg staple. The restaurant had several imitators in various parts of town, but none could match Egg’s pugnacious attitude or original menu.

Its cavernous premises on North 3rd Street, just off Bedford Ave., featured stark painted white brick, white tables, and a seating area at the back. It was a quintessential breakfast spot, and the food here had Southern, Virginia and Low Country-inspired flowers, according to its website. Egg proudly displayed his ingredients, including Anson Mills Oatmeal from South Carolina and Newsom Country Ham from Kentucky, and he sourced many of his other fixins locally from farmers’ markets and the northern farm. of the state of the restaurant.

Although the menu was reduced for the pandemic, it still included fried chicken cookies, chili cheese and heirloom tomato sandwiches, but its earlier, more eclectic menu offered plenty of surprises. The chorizo ​​and egg sandwich, available all day, was a particular favorite, paired with perfect fries and drizzled with coffee, served with frequent fillings. Another highlight was the Rothko Eggs, named after Mark Rothko, an American painter of color fields from the middle of the last century. It was a runny egg on a toasted brioche coated with Grafton cheddar cheese.

Two fried eggs at the bottom of the plate with oatmeal on the top left and quilted ham on the top right.

One of Egg’s typical egg breakfasts

In the future, Weld hopes to bring back a new version of Egg that is fairer and more sustainable for his staff. Weld has been trying for some time to increase the salaries of kitchen staff in the restaurant, he says, but to pay line cooks at least $ 45,000 a year in the current version of Egg, Weld should have increased. prices by at least 50 percent. On the menu.

“It feels like what we really want and what this moment can absorb is a long way off,” Weld said.

Weld plans to spend “the next few months” working on a new restaurant model for Egg that is better equipped to pay staff more. It can materialize as a more suitable place for retail or take out, although no firm plan has yet been set. The restaurant’s two sites in Tokyo, as well as the upstate farmhouse where Weld lives and grows produce to be supplied to the restaurant, remain open.

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