New Ridgewood restaurant criticized for ‘soft-core porn’ wall art


| ejankiewicz@queenscourier.com |

THE COURIER/Photos by Eric Jankiewicz
THE COURIER/Photos by Eric Jankiewicz

John Black recently opened a restaurant called Cream in Ridgewood.

A new Ridgewood restaurant hoping to capture the influx of hipsters has alienated them with a series of photographs of nude women.

The bar stocks Brooklyn-made vodka. One wall is lined with exposed brick cobbled in California. The handmade chandeliers hanging over the oak-wood bar cost $600 a piece. Cream offers food that would be found in higher-end restaurants, such as pan-seared striped bass, herb-marinated rack of lamb and crème brûlée. Besides two floors for seating and a bar, Cream also has a backyard garden with wooden benches.

“You can have a drink here and really good food without going to Williamsburg or Manhattan,” owner John Black said.

It should have been an instant hit.

Many of the restaurant’s features appeal to reviewers but then they get to the photos.

“Wall décor is tasteless, with faceless women in various states of undress. Downloaded, low-res black & white nudie pics don’t make a restaurant’s décor artsy or sexy — just tacky,” one reviewer wrote about the restaurant on Yelp. “Even the bathroom has an 8×10 of a naked woman sitting on a toilet … gross.”

Others have complained of staring at “a crotch shot while eating” and that the photos border the line of “soft-core porn.” All of which made one reviewer on Yelp feel like they were “in some strange restaurant in NJ.”

But owner Black argues that the pictures are beautiful and that people who complain about the naked pictures are being obtuse. “I’m not showing any dirty girls,” Black, 76, said. “The hipsters should go back to the south or wherever it is they came from. They want me to be like Williamsburg.”

Black owns the Myrtle Avenue building that houses Cream and lives in the neighborhood.

He bought the building on Myrtle Avenue, in 2006 but due to Department of Building inspection problems, he wasn’t able to open the business until this May.

“We did everything twice and I had to spend an extra $300,000,” he said. “But in the end I said, ‘I’m not a quitter’ so I finished the job.”

 

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