The second annual Taste of Bushwick will take place on Tuesday, June 16 from 6:30—9:00 p.m. The festival will bring together local food and drink purveyors based in Bushwick to benefit the OBIE award-winning theater company, The Bushwick Starr.
The Bushwick Starr has been in their location on Starr Street since 2001, long before Bushwick was largely recognized as a culinary destination. Instead, the members of the theater company patronized the local businesses that preceded them. According to executive director Sue Kessler, the theater company ingratiated themselves by attending community board meetings to learn about the “challenges and needs” of the neighborhood. An open dialogue began, and not long after, The Bushwick Starr developed after school arts programming in response.
As the neighborhood has changed, and the new restaurants with higher price points came in followed by condos, The Bushwick Starr has maintained strong relationships with both the original businesses and the newer ones. “Doing ‘Taste of Bushwick’ is a way to send the message that we are celebrating our neighborhood then and now,” Kessler said. “We are saying Bushwick is not just a buzzword… the spirit is in the same place.”
Last year the inaugural ‘Taste of Bushwick’ was held inside the Bushwick Starr theater space. While the event was a hit, the space was prohibitive. Boar’s Head, a returning vendor this year, insisted that this year the festival take place on their private Rock Street in Bushwick. The location change has allowed for the vendor list to increase from twelve to 30.
The stellar roster includes returning local favorites such as Mexican food heroes Tortilleria Mexicana Los Hermanos and farm to table restaurant Northeast Kingdom. New this year is “English country kitchen” Dear Bushwick, Ethiopian restaurant Bunna Café, vegan desserts from Champs Bakery and many more. There will also be plenty of alcoholic and non-alcoholic beverages to keep you hydrated.