In late 2008, a gritty east-side shop call Bunk launched Portland’s sandwich revolution with a devastating pork-belly Cubano served with camaraderie and a punk aesthetic. It short order, it defined the zeitgeist of Portland—keep-it-real; make it special. Now, life and sandwiches, the Bunk way, are heading to the other Portland: Brooklyn, New York. Eat Beat has learned that Bunk Sandwiches, aka “Bunk BK”, will open in October at 740 Driggs Ave., located in Williamsburg. The shop, is not far from where co-founder Tommy Habetz lived as a protégé to Mario Batali.
“It’s super exciting to be back here. The neighborhood really feels like Portland to me,” says Habetz. “It’s a chance for us to continue to up our game. Ultimately, we want to represent Portland the best we can, to make Portland proud.” Habetz and long-time Portland partners Nick Wood and Matt Brown have brought in a New York partner, Giorgio Angelini, an architect and touring musician (sounds like Portland to us). Heading the kitchen: Adams, former chef de cuisine at David Chang’s famed Momofuku Milk Bar. He’s also a touring musician. “Everyone here has a hand on the pot, and a hand on the guitar,” says Habetz.
"We’re going to have most of the classic sandwiches, like the tuna melt and fried egg sandwich,” says Habetz. “But we don’t want to be a cookie-cutter place. We want each Bunk to have its own soul.” Bunk BK will experiment with non-sandwich options, perhaps breakfact tacos, morning burritos, and Habetz’s cherry-coconut granola. They’re excited to see what Adams might bring, especially in desserts.
Mostly, Habetz says they’re looking forward to being around other great chefs, being inspired, and bringing that back to Portland. “That’s rock ‘n roll,” he says.
Bunk is the latest Portland food phenom to branch out to big food cities. Los Angeles will soon have three of Salt & Straw's experimental ice cream shops and an on-the-move Blue Star Donuts. Pok Pok and Stumptown Coffee Roasters have made incusions into New York and Los Angeles. Can Austin be far behind?
But can you go home again? With Bunk BK, Habetz and Co. will soon find out. “If Thomas Keller can do it, “ muses Habetz, “why not us?”