Bushwick Japanese Pub by Former Momofuku Chef Shuttered Its Doors After Five Months

Irina Groushevaia

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The short-lived izakaya joint Teo, a Japanese styled pub at the new development at 321 Starr St., by chef Jaoquin Baca, shuttered its doors this week and announced its closure on their website. The restaurant opened in December of 2018 and operated for only five months.

Their website farewell message read: “It is with much regret that Teo will be closing its doors. Thank you to the welcoming community in Bushwick, fellow businesses that supported us on this journey, and every guest that has come and shared in this experience with us. From our hearts to yours.”

Teo followed Baca’s previous restaurant, Brooklyn Star. Baca abandoned the Brooklyn Star when the rent on Lorimer Street became too high. Brooklyn Star was Baca’s break from his long tenure as the “not-quite-equal partner” of Momofuku celebrity chef David Chang.

Baca’s latest menu easily brings to mind Momofuku’s reputation. The chef updated his fusion combos, while keeping in mind small plate minimalism. Rich ramen, kabobs with baby octopus and eggplant, okonomiyaki pancakes layered with toppings, all made this joint busy on weekend nights. 

Chef Baca said in an email to Eater, that before Friday dinner service, the investors informed him about the closure, saying the concept was “too ‘ambitious’ for Bushwick.” Currently, the chef does not know his next step. “I’m really perplexed,” he said about the closure. “Feels like my best work.”

Cover image courtesy of Jaoquin Baca.

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