A city bar. A living room. A French “non-French” restaurant. A place for long conversations. These are just a few of the words Mona Poor-Olschafskie and Christian Perkins use to speak End of the world, their newly opened restaurant and bar at 38 Driggs Avenue, Sutton Street, Greenpoint. The duo’s vision for the restaurant is multiple, but their first priority is to create a place where neighborhood residents feel welcome.
“We wanted to open a place we would like to go on our own,” says Poor-Olschafskie, a hospitality veteran who lives a few blocks from Fin Du Monde. “An accessible place, not a place with a huge, super expensive wine list or a lot of ingredients that no one knows how to pronounce. ”
Note that neither Poor-Olschafskie nor Perkins have much experience working in these types of restaurants, although each has been in the hospitality industry for over a decade. Prior to opening Fin Du Monde, Poor-Olschafskie worked at several of the city’s largest breweries, including Threes Brewing in Gowanus and two locations in Carroll Gardens, Other Half Brewing and Folksbier Brauerei. Beers from its old haunts have made their way onto the menu at Fin Du Monde, which, in addition to a few bottles of wine, serves a Folksbier lager and Threes IPA on tap.
The restaurant’s food menu is vaguely French-American but strictly local, a deal Perkins chose while working for restaurateur Andrew Tarlow at successful restaurants such as Diner, Marlow and Sons, and his butcher’s Marlow and Daughters. Most recently, he helped open Annicka, a brief but well-received Greenpoint restaurant that focused on seasonal cuisine and local craft beer. According to Perkins, there is a similar philosophy behind Fin Du Monde, which aims to serve local produce and meat without charging more than $ 30 for a dish, which is not uncommon in many high-end restaurants in the city.
“It’s a tightrope walk, but it is possible,” Perkins says. “You have to create a very, very tight menu that doesn’t rely on luxury ingredients.”
In total, Fin Du Monde’s food menu consists of 10 courses, including desserts, and Perkins keeps it simple. The restaurant serves a “large French salad” topped with fried nuts and funky Roquefort cheese ($ 13). Further down the menu, there’s a roast chicken and pepper risotto ($ 22), as well as a braised beef bourguignon with butter noodles ($ 24). These dishes are meant to evoke a French bistro or a natural Parisian wine bar – but only in a way.
“It’s a non-French French place,” says Perkins. “It has a French name, but we like its awkward side.”
Like countless other restaurateurs, Poor-Olschafskie and Perkins had planned End Of The World long before the pandemic began in March. In July 2019, the duo launched a GoFundMe campaign to help open the restaurant and cover construction costs. Over a year and nearly $ 20,000 in donations later, Perkins compared End Of The World to a “train running on the tracks” that couldn’t be stopped. “We had no choice but to continue and we wouldn’t have wanted to stop anyway,” he says.
As for the name – translated to “end of the world” in French – Perkins says the restaurant is the “you want to be at the end of the world” kind of place, which he quickly adds, luckily, not now.
Fin Du Monde has approximately 20 seats for outdoor dining and six seats indoors at the state-mandated 25 percent capacity. The restaurant is open Tuesday to Saturday from 5 p.m. to 10 p.m. Closed Sunday to Monday.