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Hell Phone Is the Restaurant and Speakeasy You've Been Wanting in Bushwick

Enter through the back door...

Photos courtesy of Yannick Bindert.

If you’re a regular at Ange Noir Café, you might have noticed a bit of commotion going on in the back for the past few months. Your suspicions would be correct, as there is most definitely something beyond the café. Enter through a red phone booth and voila – you’re in Hell Phone, the new restaurant and speakeasy at 247 Varet St.

Vanessa and Anguy Pacini, the owners of Ange Noir, have been renovating for the past two years and have finally opened Hell Phone behind the existing cafe. Like something out of Doctor Who, it is an absolutely magical place – red velvet sofas made from repurposed phone booths, dark wood floors, original brickwork, and a piano you can dine on. And while the London phone booths may give the place a decidedly British flair, the restaurant is much more closely tied with the owners’ native France.

The menu focuses on a selection of savory and sweet crepes with plenty of vegetarian options. If you want your crepe gluten-free, they'll do that. "We didn't want to exclude anyone with this menu," says Vanessa. Served with a small side salad, the crepes are eaten with a knife and fork, the way they do in France. You’ll also find salads, charcuterie plates for sharing, and larger entrees.

The Raclette Crepe

The restaurant is in the midst of putting in draft beer, but currently offers 18 classic and signature cocktails like L’Heure D’Or (the golden hour), a cocktail reminiscent of a pina colada, and the Hell Camino, a spicy cocktail made with mescal and tomato. Bartenders are given the chance to experiment, and will happily make a cocktail to your liking. (For all the non-drinkers, they have virgin cocktails, too).

L'Heure D'Or cocktail

“The word here is discretion,” says Anguy of Hell Phone. Already he’s seen people bring Tinder dates to enjoy the low-key, sophisticated ambience. Much of the clientele so far has been guests from the adjacent NY Loft Hostel, as well as French expats coming for a taste of home.

Like their beloved Ange Noir Café, Hell Phone will host weekly music and comedy events in addition to dinner and drinks. Thursdays continue to host comedians for an improv night, while on Friday nights they’ve introduced live acoustic music. What makes these two places great is the seamless transition from day to night. Enjoy a coffee and croissant at Ange Noir in the morning, then return for a crepe and a cocktail come evening at Hell Phone.

Hell Phone soft-opened in July and is having its grand opening on Sept. 17. There are talks of celebrating Oktoberfest at the restaurant and more events to come. For now, the owners are enjoying watching people discover this new hidden spot with wide-eyed amazement. What was once the entrance to the restroom is now the entryway to a romantic, cozy restaurant serving unbelievably good food and drinks. Just keep this little secret between us.

Hell Phone is located at 247 Varet Street in Bushwick, behind Ange Noir Café. Hours: Tuesday-Friday 6 p.m.-12 a.m. and weekends, 11 a.m.-12 a.m. Brunch: 11 a.m.- 4 p.m.

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