After months of speculation and anticipation, The Pink Teacup (a southern-style chicken and waffle restaurant and hangout) has finally made its way to Fort Greene. I had a chance to sit down with producer, restaurateur and Pink Teacup Owner Lawrence Page to get a sense of what he has in store for the neighborhood.
The Pink Teacup
The Pink Teacup is an old brand, established in 1954. It became well known for their chicken and waffles and famous clientele.
In 2010, while in meeting with rapper Mobb Deep at the Pink Teacup, Page found out that the restaurant was going out of business. Afraid to see an institution with so much history burn, he bought it.
After the Flatiron location closed down (rumored to be because of a lost liquor license…a testament to the fact that New Yorkers are just a bunch of drunkards), Paige eventually relocated to Brooklyn.
Brooklyn, here we come!
Why our humble (not really) borough? New York was changing. Tastemakers were dispersing and Manhattan was no longer the Mecca of kool (yes, with a ‘k’). The obvious choice was Brooklyn (keyword: obvious!)
The Man with the plan
Lawrence Paige was born in Birmingham, Alabama, but moved to Long Island when he was in grade school. The southern-style and comfort food dishes are actually inspired by his mother’s recipes.
He sounds passionate about making his mark on the Brooklyn scene. Gentrification is no stranger to New Yorkers, especially Brooklynites. It may be the first gem of city-living knowledge that newcomers become privy to as they seek out an affordable place to stay at night. Coffee shops and restaurants have become the visible signs that the neighborhood is accommodating a new clientele.
The Pink Teacup is doing the same, but the message is different. Page wants to embrace the new economic and racial diversity, but establish a reminder of the culture of “old Brooklyn.” Perhaps it is no coincidence that Pink Teacup is located just a few blocks away from Spike Lee’s studio.
The objective is for Pink Teacup to become a gathering place for the diversity of peoples now drawn to Brooklyn. Page wants it to exude comfort, ease and certainly a kool factor; somewhere where someone can have a piece of fried chicken alongside a nice merlot (metaphor intended). He gave a special shout out to cognac drinkers; yes, you are welcome too. Prefer a mojito? – have it pink.
5 Questions for Lawrence Page:
1. What is your favorite Brooklyn moment?
“The day I met Biggie.” (Jay Z invited him to a video shoot in Brooklyn, where he met Biggie and Lil Kim on the set.)
2. What was your most bizarre moment in Brooklyn?
“I found a stranger sleeping I my manager’s car.” The man honestly thought it was his car, so he got in and fell asleep!
3. What is one thing you would change about Brooklyn?
“Replace the mayor with myself.” (said half jokingly)
4. You jump up at 5am, what are you thinking?
“How can I make someone smile today?”
5. What was your fondest childhood memory?
He led a bike crew with about 20 kids from his neighborhood. They use to take root beer bottles out of the delivery trucks and redistribute them.