Let me introduce you to Bryan Mayer, the butcher, as you’ll likely be hearing a great deal in the next few months about this Brooklyn transplant. Mayer, who traded bass playing for butchery after reading Bill Buford’s Heat, taught himself his craft based on a lot of practice and the Kitchen Pro series of books published by the CIA. Tom Schneller, an author of one of those texts, became an in-person teacher when Mayer took a job as the head butcher and teacher at Fleisher’s Grass-Fed & Organic Meats in upstate New York. For four years, Mayer oversaw the operations of Fleisher’s shops in Kingston and Brooklyn, lectured on meat fabrication and charcuterie at the CIA, and, the accomplishment of which he’s proudest, trained aspiring butchers and helped them open their own shops all over the country.
Now, Mayer has moved to Philly and he, along with Michael Pasquarello (of Bufad, Cafe Lift, and Prohibition Taproom) is hard at work opening a his own shop in Fishtown.
Kensington Quarters, as the shop will be called, will comprise four distinct but complimentary features: a butcher shop, a bar, a restaurant, and a classroom. The heart of the operation will be the full-service butcher counter focusing on fresh, locally-raised and pastured beef, lamb, chicken, and heritage breed pork. On the lofted second floor of the space you can expect communal tables for dining and for classes so you’ll have the opportunity to learn from Mayer the basics of breaking down a bird to the subtleties of sausage stuffing.
It will be located at Frankfrord Avenue and Thompson Street across from the Fishtown Tavern and in between Adorn Boutique and Bottle Bar. The space is still under construction--and will still need significant updates to plumbing systems before they’re ready to open--but they’re hoping to do so in early 2014. Trust that when Mayer and Pasquarello are ready to welcome eaters, drinkers, cooks and students to Kensington Quarters, we’ll be first in line.