Cooking delicious food and supporting local artists

Sunday, January 20, 2013
Brooklyn Moon, a Southern and Caribbean eatery, located at 745 Fulton Street (between South Portland Avenue and South Elliott Place), has delicious food and a rich history of supporting local artists. With a recently-completed renovation, the work of local artists hanging on the walls and greenery adorning the outside, the restaurant reflects the sensibilities of owner Mike Thompson, a Brooklyn Native and longtime Fort Greene resident who has Bajan roots.

FAB: Please describe your business and role.

Mike Thompson:  Brooklyn Moon is a casual, funky, unique, embracing place with great, affordable food, and I am Brooklyn Moon’s consummate glue.

FAB: How did you get your start in business?

Mike Thompson:  I was a waiter for six years at a restaurant in Manhattan, working doubles.  I got tired of the same things happening with management – people getting fired for bad reasons, management not listening.  I learned plenty about the restaurant business though. I was always expanding my duties beyond what was asked of me. And so, I decided I would open a restaurant – try it myself.

FAB: How long have you been in the area and what made you choose it.

Mike Thompson:  Well, I was born in Crown Heights, lived in Flatbush for a while as a kid,  and then grew up in Queens until my 20s. In 1990, when I decided to open a restaurant, I was living on Washington Park and Myrtle. I loved the area but there really wasn’t any place to eat. So I decided to open up here.

FAB: What do you love about the area?

Mike Thompson:  What I loved when I opened up was the architecture; the real sense of community.  So many young people.  Imagine everybody was in their 20s and trying to do something with their life. In terms of restaurants, back then I was a bit of a frontiersman – just not a lot to eat out here.  And we had all kinds of things going on – a rotating art gallery; poetry readings; one-man shows; music.  The neighborhood continues to evolve, but there are still pockets of what attracted me originally.

FAB: There’s still art on the walls.

Mike Thompson: That’s right. It’s more of a permanent exhibit now. Dwayne Rogers curates the whole thing and has art up. And then we’ve got Ray Bangs, Jamel Shabazz, Kehinde Wiley, Nina Lawson, and Mike July.

FAB: What do you think of the new plaza at Fowler Square?

Mike Thompson:  I love it. I was slightly skeptical at first, although I suspected it would work. I thought it would be a more rigid environment, but I love that the seating is user-defined. I go around that corner and it’s different every time.

FAB: What would you recommend to other businesses to be successful?

Mike Thompson:  Be prepared to make it your life. And know that there is a life in it for you. Cater to everyone.  Invite them in. Have a staff that reflects the community. If you’re a restaurant, be flexible with your menu.  

FAB: What do you want people to know about Brooklyn Moon?

Mike Thompson:  How good the food is. I’ve got some of the best food in the neighborhood, and we’re now serving breakfast from 8:00am to 2:00pm.

FAB: What do you want people to know about you?

Mike Thompson:  Not much. The older I get, I just want to keep it moving. For me, it’s always about getting ready for tomorrow, getting things tighter. It’s always about tomorrow.

Brooklyn Moon
745 Fulton (S. Portland and S. Elliott)
Fort Greene, NY
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