As we first reported back on March 23, Brooklyn Dumpling Shop is coming soon to 131 First Ave. (aka 82 St. Mark's Place).
In recent days, more details have been reported on how they plan on doing business in this COVID-19 era.
Owner Stratis Morfogen, the founder of Philippe Chow in Chinatown and Brooklyn Chop House in the Financial District, revised his opening plans after the pandemic shut down the city. Patrons can now expect an automat-type arrangement — not to mention temperature checks at the door.
Here's the Post:
The shop — now slated to open in July — vows zero human interaction. Instead of a server behind a counter, patrons will be greeted by an 11-foot-high wall of lockers, which will contain orders of steaming hot dumplings.
"When restaurants reopen, nobody is going to be saying, 'Do you feel like Chinese or Italian tonight?'" Morfogen said. "It will be, 'Where do you feel safest?'"
And the safety measures in place:
The front of the shop will be staffed by a single greeter wearing a face covering and gloves, of course, who will beckon customers through a device that’s able to scan body temperatures.
If a patron draws a red light instead of a green one, it could mean they have a fever — or perhaps that they were holding a cup of hot coffee. For a final verdict, the greeter leads the customer to a wall unit that takes wrist temperatures. If the second reading lands in the red zone, sorry, no dumplings, according to Morfogen.
Only two customers will be allowed into the shop at a time (versus a planned capacity of 10 for the earlier design). Once inside, customers who haven’t already ordered from their phones can visit one of two wiped-down self-ordering kiosks.
And how about ordering food then? Let's go to Eater:
[C]ustomers will be able to do so on their phone or through an ordering kiosk nestled among the nearly ceiling-high row of food dispensers. Diners won’t have to touch the pad; instead they can hover their fingers on the panel to make selection and to pay with a credit card, Morfogen says.
The stack of lockers — reminiscent of the Horn and Hardart automats that were a ubiquitous presence in NYC in the mid-20th century — flash red when an order is placed, yellow when the order is two minutes from coming out, and green when it’s ready to be picked up. Diners continue to receive text updates throughout and scan their phone on their locker when it’s ready to be picked up.
For now, you can visit the Brooklyn Dumpling Shop website for details and updates ... and a look at their 32 varieties of dumplings, which include some far-flung combos like peanut butter and jam and wonton with vanilla ice cream.
As previously noted, workers divided this former single-occupant storefront into three spaces. Eiyo Bowl, a vegan quick-serve restaurant specializing in acai and rice bowls, was the first tenant to sign a lease here.
The previous tenant, Foot Gear Plus, closed in July 2018 after nearly 40 years in business.