Marlow & Sons: Retail Bakery, Bar & Restaurant

81 Broadway Brooklyn, between Berry and Wythe        Tel. 718.384.1441

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Their Success…Marlow & Sons has been attracting guests for pre-dinner cocktails and oyster tastings ever since it opened in Williamsburg in 2004. Recently however, guests have shifted towards making Marlow & Sons more of a one-stop destination rather than a mere stopover in their evening plans. Although the eclectic bistro-like dining room is ideal for a pre-dinner pit stop, the small but solid menu options have made guests want to settle down for a full meal.

The entrance space hosts a small retail shop serving coffee, baked goods, artisanal jams, homemade granola, dairy products, sundries, and even apparel. The market has a farmhouse feel where guests are greeted by name. The staff are genuinely pleased to be serving the guest, and make sure to create an enjoyable experience for them. This is very inviting to the guest and seems to ensure repeat patronage.

Upon first glance this country-like farmer’s market would not appear to hold such a hidden gem in the back. The entrance space segues into the bar/dining hall through a narrow wooden portal that brings the customer into a very modest setting filled with reclaimed wood, communal tables, a long rustic-looking bar top and mixed antique marble and mirrored décor. The menu is seasonal and focused on high quality ingredients. Main dishes change daily as well as recurring specials that are prepared in different ways.

Originally, Marlow & Sons became popular not only for their wide selection of oysters, but for their smaller dishes such as the house-made charcuterie and pâté, chicken liver mousse spread, assorted crostini, marinated olives and cheeses. As Marlow & Sons began to grow a loyal fan-base the menu also started to adopt some mainstay items such as the brick chicken and the Spanish tortilla. The key to this successful following lies in the simplicity of the menu. As a guest, it is exciting to walk into an establishment for a meal and feel that you can’t wait to glance over at the special’s board, ready to be enticed by the daily chef creations.

Marlow & Sons caters to an area where people truly care about their food and want to know that there is some integrity in what they eat; so the use of local fresh products to create simple dishes at an affordable price is what is attracting locals as well as out-of-towners. A condensed menu gives the customer the sense that they can’t go wrong with their choice and eliminates the ordering anxiety that happens all too frequently in restaurants around New York City.

Take Aways…Marlow & Sons wears many hats: bakery, coffee shop, market, bar and restaurant. They serve only quality, farm-to-table fare at breakfast, lunch and dinner in their casual and old style setting. The daily specials are the stars of the menu and promise to be seasonal, unpretentious and delicious. Guests immediately feel that at Marlow & Sons, they are a part of the community and that the staff strive to make you feel at home. Repeat clientele are impressed with the multi-faceted dynamic brought to them in a friendly and cost conscious matter and keep coming back for more.

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