Seersucker Owners Planning Vietnamese Restaurant For Smith St.

Chef Rob Newton and partner Kerry Diamond are conducting research in Vietnam, as they embark on their third venture together.

When co-owner Kerry Diamond e-mailed Carroll Gardens Patch last week and mentioned she was traveling through Vietnam with business partner/chef/boyfriend Rob Newton, the news appeared to be nothing more than a summer vacation to Southeast Asia.

But when an alert went up on EaterNY Wednesday evening that the dynamic Smith Street duo are planning a Vietnamese restaurant, it became clear that this particular vacation was also a reconnaissance expedition.

According to Eater, the pair intend to open a new Vietnamese restaurant in "a space right across the street from their second project, "—an all-around-fantastic coffee shop and .

A staffmember at Smith Canteen was unable to confirm the location of the new restaurant to Carroll Gardens Patch on Wednesday evening. But, as occupies the space directly across from Canteen on Smith Street, a vacant venue on the opposite side of Carroll Street seems to be the only possible destination.

Diamond told Eater that she and Newton love Vietnamese cuisine and construction has already begun at the new location, which will be the third venture from the team. It is due to open sometime next year.

Another reason for the expansion, Diamond told Carrol Gardens Patch, is to create a new opportunity for longtime employees.

"There are several people who have been with us since we opened Seersucker and Smith Canteen," said Diamond. "You want to retain the amazing people you're lucky to have on your team and have opportunities for them to grow. When you're small, you just can't do that. I think that's a realization a lot of small restaurateurs come to." 

The couple also really believe in the neighborhood, she added. "Clearly, we're bullish on Carroll Gardens," said Diamond. "People keep asking us to expand to Manhattan. But, for the meantime, we're very happy here."

M + E/Michael Fusco Design, the Brooklyn graphic designer who did the Smith Canteen logo and identity, is working on the new spot. And Jane Kim, who designed Smith Canteen in conjunction with Newton, is designing the space. 

No word yet what dishes will appear on the new restaurant's menu. But if the flavorful, haute Southern cuisine at Seersucker and expertly baked pastries at Smith Canteen are any indication of how seriously the couple will take this new project, you can bet it will be pho-nomenal.

Lorraine July 26, 2012 at 12:32 PM
Attention chefs: how about an old fashioned but good Chinese place? Soup dumplings, anyone? Much needed!
Elizabeth Kenney July 26, 2012 at 02:52 PM
Glad to see South Smith St finally getting some nice eating. HBH and Milk Bar, now Vietnamese. Yay!
Anthony July 26, 2012 at 02:55 PM
Not yuppie enough to survive in this neighborhood. Yuppies cannot fathom going into a good ol' Chinese restaurant and ordering an egg roll. Instead, they want a spring roll with wheat grass and organic fava beans.
AD August 06, 2012 at 06:46 PM
I don't know how to feel about this as a CG resident, as much as I yearn for Vietnamese food on a weekly basis, I'm a little concerned at what a chef like this will charge to pay the rent in that location. I'll be honest, if it ends up being 10 dollar a pop for "a gringo's" take on pho, banh mi or xeo... i'd pass and encourage others to do the same. There's quite a few places nearby in the city that make it worth the getting your ass out of the neighborhood and paying the right price. Sure i'm know most of us can afford to overpay for food, but you just need to step back and ask why should you? I'm also assuming much on the about the Seersucker Chef's intentions, I absolutely love their food and am I'm a frequent customer. And if say on his travels he drew inspiration from places like Cuc Gach in Ho Chi Minh city (vietnamese country homestyle)... THEN i think he could really be onto something great, with something he's great at, and adding value to neighborhood by introducing NEW vietnamese flavors and traditions to the foodie crowd in brooklyn. But if it ends up just being flavor spins on typical vietnamese fare like pho with the Smith St. rent price, then I'd be heavily dissappointed. Then again there are a lot corn-fed yuppies jumping out from that new building above the 2nd St. F stop that would likely make him a rich man. I can see them lining up now. Oh well.


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