CBS2's Elle McLogan Samples The Offerings At Industry CityBy Elle McLogan

NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) – In Sunset Park, a collection of abandoned warehouses have been rehabilitated to form Industry City, a sprawling complex of offices, event spaces, art exhibits, and food vendors.

With 16 buildings on 35 acres, Industry City is an “adaptive reuse of old industrial warehouse buildings that had fallen into decay for decades,” explained CEO Andrew Kimball.

“These buildings are now coming back to life with an incredibly unique ecosystem of innovators and makers, where design meets tech and fashion meets manufacturing,” he said.

“When the development began, only about 1,900 people came to work on 6 million square feet of space. We’ve added almost 100 jobs a month since then, and we’re now up closer to 7,000 jobs and 450 businesses. And key to that growth has been creating a very vibrant food scene . . . dominated by many immigrant entrepreneurs.”

Among them are Jenny Jiae Lee and her parents Sue and Don Lee. The family operates Ejen, a food stall devoted to the traditional comfort food of their native Korea.

“There’s a huge fermentation aspect to Korean cuisine through kimchi, our gochujang sauce, soy sauce,” she said.

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The menu is pulled directly from her childhood favorites, including kimbap – a Korean roll resembling sushi.

“These are the flavors of my childhood. My mom used to make kimbap on every single road trip that we had. For huge celebrations, the family would gather and make dumplings by hand, so these are really the flavors that I grew up with as a kid, and also, [the food] encompasses the experiences that I had growing up.”

Occupying a space nearby is Brooklyn Kura Brewery & Tap Room.

“We are New York’s first and only sake brewery,” explained president Brian Polen.

Equipment including fermentation tanks fills the back of the space. At the front, guests can sample the product, which gets poured from a tap.

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“I think there’s a lot of opportunity for sake to become something like craft beer and fine wine and transition outside of Japanese restaurants,” he said.

“We want to learn as much as we can about sake brewing, and that largely takes place in Japan,” said head brewer Brandon Doughan. “That said, we’re here in New York. We’re using American rice. We’re using Brooklyn water. So we’re not claiming that we’re making traditional Japanese sake. We want to take those influences and see what happens here in New York.”

Industry City
220 36th St #2-A
Brooklyn, NY 11232
(718) 557-9432 ext. 200
https://industrycity.com/

Ejen
Industry City Food Hall
254 36th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11232
http://www.ejenfoods.com/

Brooklyn Kura
Industry City
68 34th Street
Brooklyn, NY 11232
(347) 766-1601
https://www.brooklynkura.com/

What’s something few people know about but everybody should? Whatever it is, Elle McLogan is tracking it down on The Dig. Join her hunt for treasures hidden across our area. Follow Elle on Twitter and Instagram.

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