A brand new restaurant in the south Bronx is dedicated to paying homage to the roots of classic hip-hop in the borough and all around.
Naturally, it’s called Beatstro.
“We wanted to keep the aesthetic very nostalgic but modern, it’s something that’s hard to pull off,” said Beatstro’s co-owner Alfredo Angueira.
As far as nostalgia goes, the front of the 135 Alexander Avenue eatery is designed to replicate a record shop from the 1970s.
It’s only after you pass through a black curtain that the hip-hop speakeasy’s retro-modern design is seen, heard and tasted.
Antique furniture sits underneath huge crystal chandeliers while the wall art is themed to the Bronx of the 1970s.
Famous photos of the Bronx and hip hop’s early days from Joe Conzo hang near murals of rappers and teens of the 70s painted by local artists such as Andre Trenier.
“It’s got a familiar feeling like it’s your grandma’s house, but it’s like your grandma was super cool,” said Angueira.
Some of that ‘super cool’ feel is showcased in the wall of solid gold speakers towards the restaurant’s rear.
More than Beatstro having a unique style, it has a unique attention to detail.
“When I came in to do the project I was very excited, I wanted to make everything right. We even did research on what color and kind of shag rug a kid would have during the 70s in the Bronx,” said Trenier.
“With the subway mural, I wanted to know how high the train’s undercarriage would be, I wanted everything to be simply spot on,” he added.
“Andre was in here for about two and half months before we opened,” Angueira said as he pointed out that the dish racks beneath the subway mural were meant to appear as the train’s bottom.
While Beatstro may not have typical ‘artifacts,’ it does have a replica of Grandmaster Flash’s original turntables hanging in the front alongside records across many genres of music.
“This isn’t just about hip hop, it’s about appreciating all music especially of the 1970s and 80s,” Angueira said.
As far as cuisine goes, it also pays homage to Bronx roots.
“When people eat here we want them to taste the 70s and 80s as well. We want people to have what people ate in the Bronx at that time and experience the food’s unique ethnicity, we have southern dishes, Puerto Rican dishes, and of course some modern stuff mixed in as well,” said Angueira.
Some of Beatstro’s boogie down menu consists of spicy shrimp tostadas, fried chicken, smashed watermelon and pickled rinds plus much, much more.
The hip hop homage restaurant will also be having open mic nights, DJs spinning on Fridays and Wu-Tang Wednesdays plus much, much more.
Angueria is proud of his Bronx roots, he knows that the borough’s much anticipated upcoming has been ‘written on the walls for sometime,’ which was part of his inspiration to pursue opening up Beatstro.