Restauranteur Eric See is determined for his new venture, New Mexican restaurant Ursula, to succeed.
That’s why Ursula, which is opening on September 30 in Crown Heights, will be designed around New York City’s new COVID-19 dining regulations and consumer habits, featuring take-away and outdoor seating.
Although the city has given indoor dining the green light, See said only one or two indoor tables will be available.
“It’s a new concept,” he said.
See is most excited about the New Mexican style breakfast burrito, which features hash browns and green chili instead of home fries. Ursula will carry the coveted breakfast dish, along with other authentic southwestern fares. That includes sopaipillas, fried pieces of dough that are either eaten drizzled with honey or stuffed with savory ingredients.
“Southwestern food is really underrepresented in this city so that is unique,” See said. As for sweet treats, Brooklyn baker Lani Halliday will be using Ursula as the production space for her gluten-free baking company Brutus Bakeshop.
“A lot of the cookies and pastries I’m making are all spin-offs from family recipes,” See said.
See had been in flux after his Bushwick bakery The Awkward Scone closed in June 2020, but was inspired to open a new restaurant in order to sustain himself and his community. “I have an opportunity to create jobs again and that’s important to me,” See said.
During the first leg of the pandemic, See used Awkward Scone’s kitchen to prepare meal and grocery kits for the Street Vendor Project and Partnership with Children, two New York City organizations focused on food insecurity and economic relief for disenfranchised people and at-risk children.
Those programs have become a hallmark of the times, and See plans on continuing that work at Ursula.
“I’m looking at doing that same kind of community food relief in the future,” See said. He also wants to continue to donate proceeds to LGBTQ+ organizations and initiatives as part of his ongoing goal to give back to his community.
Ursula is named for See’s grandmother, a resilient matriarch who overcame adversity. See said it made perfect sense to name his restaurant after her — a spirit of persistence in the face of hardship.
“Her story resonates with me and I am seeing what has been going on in Brooklyn, how people are coming together to support each other and keep the community alive, that’s inspiring me to keep it going,” See said.
“I’m looking forward to serving the community again.”
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