Bushwick resident Marvin Carbajal recently opened up The Stoop Bar & Grill a few blocks from the block where he grew up and has lived on since 1987.
Located at 853 Wyckoff Ave. between Cornelia Street and Jefferson Avenue in a space previously known as San Cecilio Beer Garden and Grill, Carbajal hopes that his new establishment will foster community the way stoops did during his Brooklyn childhood.
Carbajal was born in Honduras and raised by his grandmother. His parents moved to New York City shortly after he was born to establish themselves in the States. Carbajal didn’t meet them in person until they naturalized in the States a decade later, when they brought him and his sisters to Bushwick.
Moving to Bushwick during the crack epidemic was a shock to Carbajal, who was raised on Hollywood’s portrayal of Americans and was stunned to discover the country’s flaws. American citizens weren’t as overwhelmingly wealthy as media had led him to believe: “[Bushwick] looked like a scene from World War II at times,” recalls Carbajal.
The importance of having his stoop clean and safe was a central part of Carbajal’s upbringing. On the stoop, he would devour sunflower seeds, quarter juices, and deli sandwiches with his friends—which is why his new restaurant pays homage to his formative years.
Carbajal played soccer and studied physical education at Long Island University, from which he holds a Master of Liberal Arts degree. He tells Bushwick Daily that the language barrier he overcame to get his education “gave me the resilience to keep owning everything.”
Carbajal also graduated from Bushwick High School, where he now works a physical education and health teacher.
about the stoop
Carbajal has support running The Stoop from his family members Megan and Fernando ‘Lefty’ Velasco. The two pitch in with the restaurant wherever help is needed. “You can’t do it alone!” smiles Carbajal. Roughly 40 members of Carbajal’s extended family live on the same Bushwick block, he estimates.
Inside The Stoop, the bar and main dining area are separated by a few steps—an inner stoop, if you will. The entire restaurant is designed to feel familiar to anyone who has ever lived in a Bushwick apartment: exposed brick walls and a fire pit in the backyard add to the convivial atmosphere.
The palettes that carried in the gravel for the backyard were recycled to be playful backyard furniture, an unplanned design aesthetic Carbajal is very proud of. There’s also squishy back yard table made from a tire!
about the food
Jazmin Molina, described by Carbajal as “the soul” of The Stoop, doubles as the establishment’s head chef and head of cocktails. Molina tells us that her menu is a “mix of flavors,” elaborating that because “we have a lot of different cultures coming into one” she doesn’t want The Stoop to tie itself down to one cuisine.
Carbajal and Molina connected this past year when she moved into the neighborhood after having spent most of her life living near Union Square.
If you can only order one item off of The Stoop’s menu, let it be Molina’s Churros ($10), which come with sides of whipped cream, caramel sauce, and fresh fruit. This dish alone should get all your friends to come with you to this new Bushwick destination.
Another choice menu item is the the guajillo shrimp tostaditas ($14), which are just plain fun to eat. The guajillo sauce (try this one to recreate at home) complements the shrimp perfectly, and they’re served with a black bean puree and topped with the kick of serrano pepper. There are so many delightful flavors and textures in this dish, it doesn’t even need the side of crema it comes with, though that’s a nice addition, too.
The Block Party, a choice of any three items on the menu for $38, is another throwback to Carbajal’s upbringing. The name requires no explanation, and it is a great, affordable way to grab dinner with your buddies, especially for those who those can’t be around food without asking to try everyone’s dishes.
The Stoop’s plating and presentation is truly gorgeous. Take a peek below to see some of Molina’s other offerings!
about the cocktails
The Stoop is both a restaurant and cocktail bar, and the wildly imaginative cocktails definitely set The Stoop apart from other Bushwick eateries.
Molina wanted to ensure that her unusual drinks were approachable. One way she’s achieved that objective is using Bushwick street names for the cocktail list: diners can order a Halsey, a Weirfield, or a Myrtle Wyckoff. All the syrups used for cocktails are made in-house, too, including the almond-based syrup orgeat!
Feel like a rebellious teenager again by ordering The Stoop ($12), Megan’s favorite cocktail. It’s a very sweet Hennessy based drink, with simple syrup, fresh squeezed lemon, peach schnapps, and cranberry juice, and comes served, appropriately, in a brown paper bag.
The Smoke Signals ($12), part mezcal and part scotch, is for those who prefer unsweetened cocktails. Carbajal notes that it is “not for everyone” and Molina advises “it’s meant to be sipped on.” This smoky beverage is poured into a cinnamon smoke-filled glass, and the fascinating preparation process alone makes this one worth ordering!
The Weirfield ($12) garnished with charred lemon, glitters like a snow globe in the right light! The lemon adds a nice depth to this drink, which is also part mezcal, part gin, and part St. Germain.
During the The Stoop’s daily happy hours, all of the cocktails are half priced. Stop by to take advantage of the much lower drink prices on weekdays between 5 p.m. and 8 p.m., on Saturdays from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. and on Sundays from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m.
Featured image of Marvin Carbajal pictured with The Stoop cocktail. All photos by Alonzo Maciel for Bushwick Daily.
Disclosure: This Post Contains Affiliate Links to Support Bushwick Daily.
A family-owned fusion restaurant and cocktail bar celebrating the neighborhood.
853 Wyckoff Avenue (Located near the Halsey Street stop on the L train), Queens, NY, 11385,
Wed-Thurs: 4 p.m.-midnight. Fri: 3 p.m.-3 a.m. Sat: 12 p.m.-3 a.m. Sun: 12 p.m.-midnight.
718 821 0902