Q+A: Smile to Go
Matt Kliegman and Carlos Quirarte’s hip eatery, Smile to Go, opened in DUMBO last June— it's located inside Shinola Store at Empire Stores. The healthy and tasty Mediterranean-inspired takeout store is an off-shoot of their popular café, The Smile. We sat down with Matt Kliegman and Carlos Quirarte to hear more about the business and what brought them to DUMBO.
We always wanted to have a place where customers could experience the Smile in a slightly more casual, quicker, more industrial setting with fresh baked pastries.
What's the Smile To Go origin story?
We opened The Smile in March 2009 in a cozy, landmark townhouse on Bond Street. But we always wanted to have a place where customers could experience the Smile in a slightly more casual, quicker, more industrial setting with fresh baked pastries. We were drawn to the building on Howard Street as well as the block— small like Bond Street but with tons of stoops that customers could eventually utilize. We opened in January 2012 and have been busy ever since.
What brought you to DUMBO?
DUMBO has the ingredients we like: amazing architecture, cobblestone streets, creative industries, and a firm foundation of residential tenants.
What is your favorite thing on the menu?
The menu’s constantly changing but the rotisserie chicken and roasted potatoes are always a favorite of ours. You can also never go wrong with a sea salt chocolate chip cookie, we promise.
What makes this location special?
It’s our first Brooklyn outpost which is exciting for us. We’re on Old Dock Street right by the Carousel and the water, so it’s an especially scenic intro to Brooklyn.
What's your favorite place in DUMBO (other than your own spot, of course)?
We both love Brooklyn Bridge Park. It has the most breathtaking waterfront view in the city, the perfect spot to take in a sunset.