The LES's Tiny Fork is Now a Southern Restaurant Called The Derby: Here's Why

The Derby is up and running in the former Tiny Fork space
At what point did you make the decision to transition from Tiny Fork to The Derby? Was The Derby an idea you had been wanting to put in motion for awhile?

Opening a Southern-style restaurant has always been an idea I've wanted to put in motion, but it never seemed to be the right timing or location. I love Southern food and the friendly, hospitable culture that goes along with it, so after we hit a few speed bumps with Tiny Fork, I decided to make this my passion project and open a restaurant with The Derby concept I had always envisioned.

What did you learn by transitioning from Tiny Fork to The Derby in such a quick time period? What was that experience like?

Transitioning the restaurant was not easy. We added in warm wood paneling and brass-studded slat benches that were custom built by Brooklyn artisans to give the space an authentic character that only comes from things crafted by hand. The experience was stressful but well worth the hard work we put into it. I'm very happy with the result and think my passion for the restaurant really shows in the details.

Does the closing of Tiny Fork mean Lower East Siders just aren't that into seafood? What was it about a Southern-style restaurant that was so appealing? What do you think will make this place resonate with the neighborhood?

Southern food is a better fit for the location, and the inviting, "Southern hospitality" atmosphere -- combined with delicious, upscale Southern-inspired dishes -- really resonates with the neighborhood. The Derby concept is something I'm very passionate about. Patrons are encouraged to come for the mouthwatering biscuits and organic fried chicken and stay for the lively atmosphere and delicious bourbon cocktails...and I think that's the type of restaurant Lower East Sider's are looking for.

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