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John Perez is a veteran event planner who spent 12 years producing wandering parties with his partner, Jen Schiffer. Last year, the duo fell in love with an industrial space in Williamsburg, and they turned it into Verboten, a musical playground that opened in March. Crowds flock to the former metal shop to hear the city’s top underground acts, participate in deep-house yoga, and take in cabaret shows.
Now, the pair has debuted Cabaret Bar (60 North 11th Street, Brooklyn; 347-223-4732), a full-service restaurant adjacent to the main room.
“Verboten means forbidden,” says Perez, and that concept echoes throughout the cavernous space and into the restaurant, where chef Chris McLaughlin’s menu focuses on sinful entrees inspired by his Spanish heritage. Look for patatas bravas poutine and paella spring rolls, and carnivore sliders — bacon and sirloin patties coated in bone marrow and melted cheddar on pretzel rolls. He’s turning out a “TV Dinner of the Day,” composed of an entree and sides like cornbread, mashed potatoes, and a cupcake for dessert. And some dishes will also be available via a late-night menu for those seeking sustenance after midnight.
McLaughlin’s brunch menu is similarly decadent; it includes chocolate pancakes, omelettes, and eggs Benedict. And regardless of what time you visit, you’ll always find a DJ setting the mood along with a modern cocktail menu inspired by dystopian novels such as A Clockwork Orange and 1984.
Groups can grab a table to sit close to the DJ or opt for a high-top along the wall. The 78-seat eatery is cloaked in candlelight and dark colors — and you won’t find a window to the outside world here.
Cabaret Bar also plans to host supper clubs, private events, and art exhibits on a rotating basis.
Click on the next page for more forbidden — but still safe for work — photos.