What’s a $7 coconut water doing on the same menu as a $10 fried chicken sandwich?
A quick look at the food lineup at Indoors at Nowadays — the home of long-running outdoor dance parties Mister Sunday and Mister Saturday Night — can be perplexing, but rest assured: co-owners and DJs Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin have carefully curated the kitchen playlist at their new indoor venue, which debuted its kitchen and bar offerings last Thursday.
That $7 Harmless Harvest coconut water, a 16-ounce bottle of which retails for $5 online? It’s one of Carter’s standby drinks when he spends a night out (a rarity now that he has a 2-year-old).
“I often don’t drink alcohol when I go out myself,” said the 36-year-old musician and party host. “The kombucha and coconut water are my two go-tos — I never see it in another place. In my own little special world I get a hand in creating, I can have a coconut water.”
In the musical microcosm Carter and Harkin have established at the border of Ridgewood and Bushwick, the business partners are also serving food prepared by the team behind one of their favorite restaurants.
Rucola — a Boerum Hill eatery by restaurateur Henry Rich, specializing in farm-to-table Northern Italian cuisine — won Carter and Harkin’s loyalty when the two both lived in Fort Greene.
“It’s just a pretty great place, pretty reliable,” Carter says. “When we would do Mister Sunday when we were down in Gowanus and Industry City, it was such a nice thing to be able to finish the party at nine o’clock, pack our records up, get in a taxi and go on up and have an actually really nice meal that started at 11 o’clock.” (His favorite dish, which may or may not qualify as a meal, is the chocolate pudding, which “has a layer of olive oil right on top of it that is insanely delicious.”)
Harkin loves Rucola so much, he hired the company running it, Purslane, to cater his wedding.
But Carter says the menu choices at Indoors reflect not only the owners’ preferences, but the transitioning neighborhood hosting the venue.
The Ridgewood-Bushwick community is a unique collage of recent transplants pursuing their dreams in artists lofts; older creative types settling into domestic life; Puerto Rican and Dominican families; and established Queens residents of Italian, Irish, German and Polish heritage.
Says Carter, Indoors at Nowadays — a 5,000-square-foot kid- and dance-friendly space with communal seating, counter service and two audiophile-approved sound systems — aims to welcome them all.
Younger artistic types are more likely to gravitate towards vegan bowls like the $9 “Army of One” (brown basmati, royal trumpet mushrooms, yellow lentils), while the older crowd might lean toward the $10 fried chicken sandwich (cucumber, gruyere, spicy mayo) and the $6 fries. Brunch frittatas and two-for-one Bloody Marys on the weekends are expected to appeal to all. Indoors’ beer selection also spans a wide variety of tastes, from a trendy upstate session ale to Tecate to Guinness.
“You think on paper, the guys who throw a party come to an industrial neighborhood — and we see this in Yelp reviews — ‘who are these hipsters?’ But then if you come into Nowadays on a Tuesday night during the summer, you see all the representatives of the neighborhood,” Carter says.
“We want them to consider this a home base for them.”