Many Still Mourn Vox Pop

By Julian Dunn
Special to Brooklyn Daily Eagle 

DITMAS PARK — There’s a brand new coffee shop in Ditmas Park, Brooklyn, and it’s serving up more than just espresso.

First-time café owner Josh Ruben has opened Whisk Bakery and Café at the corner of Newkirk Avenue and Westminster Road, just east of Coney Island Avenue and directly across from P.S. 217. The café held its grand opening party on Sept. 17 in conjunction with local artists’ association Flatbush Art Studio Tour (FAST). FAST’s paintings, photographs and even a wooden sculpture remain on the cafe walls for another month.

Ruben and his team hope to not only show art, but also hold music performances, films, and trivia nights by staying open late at least once a week. Interim manager Todd Neufeld, 30, says they’re trying to create a casual community hangout space in a neighborhood still smarting from last year’s loss of Vox Pop Café, the only lecture/performance space in a neighborhood that both Time Out and AM New York have described as one of the best for food.

“We’re not trying to recreate Vox Pop — [it] wasn’t run so well,” Neufeld said of the café, which closed in April 2010 due to unpaid state taxes and fines. “But they did such a great job; the space had a lot of warmth.”

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