The intersection of 4th Avenue and 15th Street on the Park Slope/Gowanus border is under construction. However, one corner is ready for your visit. Welcome to the quirky and comfortable A&E Supply Co. (548 4th Avenue) — a food and drink venue which is far too interesting for us to easily assign a food venue label.
The “A” in the store name is chef/owner Adam Harvey, followed by general manager/owner Ennio di Nino, who is the “E” of the supply company. The personal nomenclature makes sense. And getting to know these two owners provides great insight into the atmosphere of their new digs.
A&E had a soft opening last November when they started serving coffee and taking orders for Thanksgiving turkeys. A curious combo, but one that seems rather natural in the hands of Harvey and di Nino.
Currently, A&E is a bar, lunch spot, butcher, and cafe of sorts. And while that sounds like quite a few businesses, the sleek and warm space handsomely houses all of it under one roof.
It all makes perfect sense when you get to know the owners and learn about the amalgam of experience they’ve garnered at their young age.
Harvey and di Nino became fast friends when they were both working at North End Grill, a Danny Meyer restaurant in downtown Manhattan. Harvey was the opening sous chef while di Nino was on the opening service team. “It was kismet,” remarks Harvey when I sat down with them to discuss how it all began.
While the duo’s interests converged to eventually open A&E, their differing backgrounds contribute to why the new space offers up so much.
di Nino, who has taken the lead on the beverage side of the business, explains that New York State beers will be offered on tap, in addition to small batch and local spirits. “We wanted to make our selection interesting as well as affordable,” he explains.
As for the bar snack menu, Harvey points out that items such as their burger will be ground fresh before service each night.
And Harvey knows his charcuterie.
He spent a year at The Meat Hook, where he received the experience which allowed him to open up their whole animal butcher section. Expect fresh meats, cheeses, as well as home deli meats. “And the bone broth,” adds Harvey, which he considers one of the most exciting items on the butcher menu.
Conversation with the co-owners is easy, free-flowing, and quite simply a lot of fun. As we sat talking at the beautiful communal table in the center of their space, their affability makes it clear that they mean business when Harvey refers to their approach as “farm-to-party.” “People say farm-to-table a lot, but we want people to come in, feel at home, and yes, join the party here,” says Harvey.
“Hospitality never changes,” says di Nino, who oversaw a pizza business in Norwalk, Connecticut.
“We both drank the Danny Meyer kool-aid,” adds Harvey.
And while the two display confidence and aplomb, they also know they are learning along the way.
di Nino explains that selecting the right coffee was “the greatest challenge. But when we discovered Brooklyn Roasting Company, we knew we found the right place. They were super laid back.”
“Taste matters more than anything else,” adds Harvey. “We didn’t want to have lackluster decaf. And we’re still focusing on the proper ratio of milk to coffee. Those things are important.”
A&E will be rolling out its dinner menu soon, but in the meantime, the two perfectionists are fine tuning and getting to know the neighborhood. Harvey, who lives a short distance away in Park Slope, is also looking forward to the changes in the neighborhood as it grows.
“We are anti-strip mall people, and we believe in shopping at greenmarkets,” says Harvey. “But growth is coming. We can embrace that, too.”
A&E Supply Co.
Where: 548 4th Avenue at 15th Street
Hours: Coffee: Tuesdays-Fridays, 7am-8pm; Saturdays and Sundays, 8am-8pm. Butcher: Tuesdays-Sundays, 10am-8pm. Lunch: Tuesdays-Sundays, 11:30am-3:30pm. Bar: Tuesdays-Sundays, 5pm-late. Dinner and brunch coming soon. Closed Mondays.
Contact: email@example.com or 718-635-3388.