© 50 Norman / Photography: GION

An authentic slice of Tokyo in New York City. We’re talking 50 Norman, a unique new venue in the waterside Greenpoint area of Brooklyn where three of the Japanese capital’s finest establishments present their coveted merchandise. Named after its very address in the borough’s Greenpoint area, 50 Norman is a market-inspired retail concept which occupies a 3,500 sq.ft. (325 sqm.) unit on the premises of a low-rise industrial building. As for its interior design, it’s hardly a surprise that architect Jo Nagasaka, who heads Tokyo-based practice Schemata and is known for his ability to recontextualise industrial materials and masterfully tweak ditto spaces, has been tapped to work his magic here.

Previously occupied by a car repair shop, the premises have been stripped bare and redesigned, using reclaimed woods from a demolished old house in Kyoto to convey the true essence of Japan and its famed hospitality. The setting sees an exposed ceiling with wooden beams and utility pipes, freshly painted brick walls and new concrete flooring. As said, 50 Norman comprises three different sections. Up front sits CIBONE, a renowned lifestyle and artisanal goods store with a tightly curated range of items. Brimming with trophies, it sheds light on Japanese art pieces that not only respect the traditions, but also interpret them with an edginess and modernism. Additionally, CIBONE highlights different emerging Japanese artists in the gallery space by the entrance.

The series starts with artist Teppei Ono, one of Japan‘s leading ceramists based in Kochi prefecture. The two large booths is where Dashi Okume can be found. Owned by the eponymous seafood company which has had a presence at Tokyo‘s former Tsujiki fish market since 1871. As the only dashi specialty shop stateside where you can buy your own blends of dashi packs, there’s a selection of no less than 30 ingredients, such as dried bonito, kelp, and mushroom. So, you can select your ingredients and staff will grind and package them into individual dashi packs using specialty machines. The shop also sells ready-made dashi packs, dried fish, miso and dashi-soy sauce kits, which are all additive free.

Needless to say, you can savour the delicacies on the spot as there’s a bar with seating, offering a menu of freshly made dishes which all use dashi. Opening late October on the premises is another place where to indulge in delicacies. HOUSE is a gourmet restaurant run by chef Yuji Tani who also owns the HOUSE Nishi Azabu dining venue in Tokyo. The Kyoto-born chef will serve seasonal dishes – mind you, the offerings will sometimes even change daily – prepared not only with French and Japanese ingredients, but also with French techniques. The restaurant is situated in the back room at 50 Norman which can be enclosed with a sliding door to create a more intimate atmosphere. The restaurant features an eight-seat counter that faces the kitchen, allowing you to witness the staff’s culinary dexterity first hand.

50 Norman
50 Norman Avenue (Greenpoint)
New York, NY 11222
Telephone: +1 646 4342912 (Dashi Okume)
Daily 11am-8pm

© 50 Norman / Photography: GION