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813 Nostrand (and Union) now closed as a BBQ place — Brooklynian

813 Nostrand (and Union) now closed as a BBQ place

Over the last 6 or so years, 813 Nostrand has briefly hosted several business: Tavern on Nostrand, Crow Hill Bistro, and Liv Cafe.

It will soon be G. Lee's Smokin' BBQ.

...featuring owner and Chef G Lee!




  • July 25:

    My dog and I took advantage of this evening's lovely weather and walked by this place. The owner had the front open, and he is in the final stages of finishing the interior. looks like it could open by Mid August.

    photo: BBQ place's 4SQ page

    I do not follow the CB alcohol applications on the South side of EP, but one does not appear to have made it to the SLA level yet.

  • July 30th:

    I am pleased to announce that I have selected this location for the End of Summer Brooklynian Gathering.

    This event is tenatively scheduled for Thursday, September 5th, 2013 at 7 PM.

    Should readers wish to discuss this event, they should do it on this thread:

  • Dear G. Lee,

    When do you think you will be able to have your Grand Opening?


    (real name)


    August 4, 2013

    Dear (real name),

    Thanks for your inquiry and patience. Our expected opening was July 1 however we suffered delays with city agencies. We are now looking at Mid-Sept. Please stay updated with our website for further notice.

    I will add you to my email list to send comps to you for party of two.

    Thanks again for your patience.

    Best Regards,

    Dixie & Dallas


    So, it looks like this won't open until mid Sept.

  • more press:

    A sit-down Texas and Southern BBQ joint with a full bar called G. Lee’s Smokin’ BBQ will soon open east of Franklin. The menu will range from Texas-style barbecue to catfish and shrimp Louisiana po’ boys, Carolina pulled pork and fried okra. The restaurant is going to project old black-and-white westerns on the ceiling and host live music a couple of times a month. The rest of the time they’ll be playing honky tonk, blues, and soul. G. Lee’s Smokin’ BBQ has completely finished its renovations and already has its liquor license. The owners say they’re planning to open by the end of September or early October. The restaurant, located at 813 Nostrand near Union, will join a handful of other sit-down spots east of Franklin and has room for 70 people, including at the bar

  • This photo is of the adjacent block. Looks like the 1950s

  • Oct 27:

    Their website now says "Opening in Late October"

    This would give them exactly 4 days....

  • I'm not holding my breath....

  • Me either.

    He only recently filed for a liquor lic, Oct 2, 2013.

    (I didn't previously jabber about his application process because that side of the parkway is CD 9, and I must limit my jabbering to CB8. Sanity reasons.)

  • He really doesn't seem to understand how long governmental bureaucracies take to spit out permits and the like.

  • Those that have been thru similar processes apply for permits before they even sign the leases. can always cancel the applications later, but one can not recoup money that is spent renting a space that they have already sunk lots of money into for renovations, but isn't earning any money.

  • Other than the liquor license, they seem ready to go. I happened to park right across the street Saturday night and they had a bunch people inside. When I inquired about a takeout menu, they said they're not open yet (it was a function for friends & family) but soon. So I wonder if they will open first as food only.

  • Liquor lic is now in place! The SLA site is stating his lic went live 10/30/2013.

    Is he now open?

  • I'll check for signs of life tomorrow afternoon.

  • Nevermind!

    G. Lee has informed me that

    the Soft Opening will be on Nov 24,

    and the Grand Opening on Dec 1.

  • As of today they have a sign stating that their opening today. Menu looked pricey and pretty small. Hopefully it will be expanded for the grand opening.

  • The Lubavitch seem to have their own source:

    I'm not a vegetarian, but one ton of meat is a lot of meat.

  • I went there a few days ago. The ribs are really delicious - Texas style by way of St Louis (or maybe the other way around). The half smoked chicken is good, very juicy for something so smokey, but the ribs were a step above. I will be back for them again.

    The proprietor and his waitstaff are really nice, I hope they get some momentum going. It was quiet in there. It's not a busy stretch of Nostrand in the evenings, it would be sad to see this go the same way as Shark Bites on Rogers.

  • I saw this week that G Lee's is closed and being renovated at the moment. Is there a topic thread with more information?
  • Nope. You are the first to post about it.

    Will the renovated version still be operated by G Lee?
  • Not totally sure. I'll drop in there next time I pass by. Looks to be the same guys in there. 

    I know from talking to a server once they had some trouble getting traffic and keeping the menu up to date (long-form meat smoking has to be a challenge for a restaurant without clout, i.e. Dinosaur).
  • edited July 2015
    Current status. They're removing the entire facade it looks like, although the bar (all I can see from the window) looks just the same. I haven't been able to ask anyone what's going on.image
  • I just walked past it and it looks like the above photo. I thought they were closing. Although,after seeing it so often, I think renovation is just a synonym for gone out of business. I hope they prove me wrong.
  • edited August 2015
    I was walking by this space a few weeks ago and saw a few people working in the newly renovated space. I spoke with a man named David, a long-term resident of the nieghborhood, who says he bought the space from G. Lee. The new interiors are nice and clean (though they don't strike me as trendy), with light gray paint. David says it'll be a sit-down Caribbean spot with a bar.

    David has had some affiliation with Tony's Pizza across the street, and mentioned having owned businesses in the area in the past.

  • edited August 2015
    So, here's the list since approximately 2003:
    Tavern on Nostrand,
    Crow Hill Bistro,
    Liv Cafe,
    G. Lee's Smokin' BBQ, and now
    To-be-named Caribbean place.
  • Sad that G. Lee's didn't survive. I hadn't tried it yet. I wish the city offered more incentives and support for new business owners.

  •  The city can offer all the incentives they can. If people dont come then the buisiness wont survive.We dont need welfare for businesses, we need businesses that have a realistic business plan and meet the needs of the community,  Restaurants are a very tough business.
  • I enjoyed G. Lee's food twice. However, the menu was fairly limited and it was pricey for the size of the portions. I really liked the owner -- I just think the bbq was not good enough or generous enough to attract an audience of regulars and visitors.
  • I went there a few times, but was always one of the few people eating.

    As a result, the food toook a long time to prepare. My theory is that he didn't have a large enough crowd to make prep work feasible, so the kitchen had to prepare everything from scratch, for each order. Once the food came, it was good.