Eat This New York
Eat This New York is the story of two best friends' struggle to open a restaurant in the food capital of the world. As Billy Phelps and John McCormick suffer through financial crisis, the loss of their chef, and a crumbling relationship, the filmmakers turn the camera on New York City's legendary restaurateurs who prove that dreams can come true. Billy and John's gamble to open a restaurant together takes shape on Division Street, a unique block in Brooklyn that separates the Satmar Jewish community of Williamsburg from the Latino neighborhood of the South Side. During the course of a year, they convert a former check-cashing shop located under the elevated train tracks of the J/M/Z subway lines into a retro speakeasy. But before the restaurant is fully built they come close to bankruptcy and almost call it quits on their friendship.
Film #45 of June 2013 Challenge
This documentary follows two friends in their quest to open a café in Brooklyn. With no previous restaurant experience, they discover that getting their establishment off the ground is no easy feat. Despite significant delays as a result of limited funds, they find satisfaction at the end of the journey.
The movie is interspersed with interviews from established NYC restaurateurs who describe their beginnings in the industry and share their experiences of what it takes to be successful in the ultra-competitive NYC restaurant market. I found the interviews to be completely unnecessary. The film would have stood on its own if it had focused solely on the friends’ day-to-day struggles to get their business open and maintain their sanity. It felt like there were two separate documentaries that were hastily combined together.