Israeli all-day cafe K’Far opens in Williamsburg

On a recent Friday, the lobby of Williamsburg’s Hoxton Hotel buzzes with life. Thirty-year-olds with blurred Zoom backgrounds recite status updates into their AirPods for all to hear, hotel guests descend the main staircase with suitcases, and in the minutes before 5 p.m., a small crowd gathers in front of the Central Room Elevator: The entrance to Laser Wolf, an acclaimed Israeli kabob joint on the hotel’s rooftop nine floors up.

Not all of them are hotel guests, says an employee working in the lobby that afternoon. The loafers apparently consist of locals who come here to work and visitors from out of town. Examining the scene, it appears that all that is missing are cups of coffee and something to nibble on. K’Far, the missing piece of the puzzle, opens on Tuesday, November 22.

The new restaurant, whose name means “village” in Hebrew, comes from Michael Solomonov and Steve Cook, the restaurateurs behind Philadelphia’s acclaimed Israeli restaurant Zahav. After opening a Laser Wolf outpost in Hoxton this spring, Solomonov and Cook will bring a full-service coffee bar, bar and restaurant to their ground floor.

Clients work on their laptops in the lobby of the Hoxton Hotel in Williamsburg.

The lobby of the Hoxton Hotel.

With approximately 150 seats, K’Far is almost twice the size of Laser Wolf upstairs, laid out in a central dining room and a smaller seating area at the rear. In the nearby lobby, the team will operate a coffee counter stocked with coffee, pastries, and bagel sandwiches, along with a bar serving wine, cocktails, and beer.

Pull up a chair to any of these spaces and the design philosophy will immediately take over: if a surface isn’t meant for eating, place a planter on it. At the restaurant, the warm dining room is dressed for fall with salmon-colored chairs, custom tile work, and orange booths that resemble a cute pair of corduroy pants. In a few weeks, the team will extend the service to a 40-seat enclosed courtyard whose roof can be opened in the warmer months.

A sticky bun is topped with crushed pistachio pieces.

The pistachio sticky bun.

An egg sandwich on a squashed Jerusalem bun.

An egg sandwich on a Jerusalem bagel.

In Philadelphia, where K’Far opened in 2019, the bakery has become known for its “Yemenite lattes” (coffee blended with cinnamon and cardamom), Jerusalem bagels (a long, crunchy bagel sprinkled with sesame seeds) and other daytime meals. In Brooklyn, Solomonov wants the place to be seen as more of an all-day restaurant for any occasion. The dining room may feel more like a special occasion venue in the evening, but the fact that there’s a takeout counter with pastries and coffee opens up the possibility of “people coming down from their hotel rooms in their pajamas,” He says.

The restaurant opens for breakfast at 8 a.m. each morning for coffee, pastries, and toasted toast served on kubaneh, a separate Yemenite bread that is baked Pullman-style and then sliced. The baked goods, available in the restaurant and to-go at the lobby counter, come from chef Katreena Kanney, who was part of the opening team for K’Far in Philadelphia. In addition to the expected babka and rugelach, she is preparing borekas stuffed with potatoes and other fillings and pistachio sticky buns.

Salads and a kubaneh patty melt join the menu around 11 a.m., and on weekends, look for labneh pancakes, pita French toast, and shakshuka at brunch.

Four plates of food are arranged on a circular table at K'Far, a new restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

Dinner is served at K’Far.

Dinner, which starts at 5:00 p.m. every night, is technically new. The food made a brief appearance at K’Far in Philadelphia when the restaurant first opened, but only one item on the late-night menu, the chraim, a tomato stew served with grouper and two long hot peppers, has been served before. . The menu lists around eight appetizers and as many entrees, including a short rib with amba and passion fruit, and a unique version of breaded chicken schnitzel in shredded filo pastry.

In other words, it is eating without stopping. “In Israel, meals don’t start or end,” Solomonov says. “Continue.” Find K’Far in the Hoxton Hotel lobby, Sunday through Wednesday from 8 am to 11 pm and Thursday through Saturday from 8 am to midnight.

Plants hang from the ceiling of a dining room in Brooklyn, Williamsburg.

The dining room seats about twice as many people as Laser Wolf.

Seating and plants on a covered outdoor patio at K'Far, a restaurant in Williamsburg, Brooklyn.

An outdoor patio will seat about 40 people when it opens this fall.

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