Kimberly Drew on the Soul Food Restaurant Staffed by Artists

"Although sometimes in New York we crave anonymity (I 100% do), in a place like Cheryl’s, it’s nice to just feel very seen."

by Kimberly Drew
|
May 28 2019, 3:15pm

That One Place is GARAGE’s guide to our favorite friends and contributors’ personal New York landmarks. Kimberly Drew, known best as @museummammy, tells us about Cheryl’s Global Soul, which epitomizes the romance of her Brooklyn neighborhood.

I never work from Cheryl’s—it’s just for food.

I don’t remember the exact first time I went to Cheryl’s Global Soul, but it would probably be about six years ago, which is how long I’ve been in the neighborhood. I find myself going there as often as I can—it’s a good weekend if I’ve been able to make the time to go.

Location-wise, Cheryl’s is positioned as an anchor to so many things I love about Brooklyn as a neighborhood. The Brooklyn Museum is right there. The Brooklyn Botanical Gardens are right there. The Brooklyn Public Library, Prospect Park, and then of course, Eastern Parkway—being able to pop into Cheryl’s in between any of those locations is really the romance that I have with my neighborhood.

Cheryl’s shows what I think a lot of us who live in the neighborhood hope for in terms of opportunities for black business owners. There’s a really healthy—and hopefully growing—group of black businesses in that neighborhood, and Cheryl’s really is a shining example of what that looks like. It’s also a place where many of the staff are artists, so it has a different feel when you know that people are invested in trying to build a culture in an otherwise commercial space. You’re not anonymous there, and although sometimes in New York we crave anonymity (I 100% do), in a place like Cheryl’s, it’s nice to just feel very seen.

When I go to Cheryl’s, I always order the exact same thing. I always get the pancakes with a side of bacon, home fry, and a mimosa. I always bring friends. I’ll always remember taking my mom there for the first time, because for years she’d call me on Sunday and say, “What are you doing?" And I would always say, “I’m on my way to brunch at Cheryl’s.” And so I finally got the opportunity to show her what I meant. Oh, she loved it. She had such a good time.

I have an ex who is a way better people person than I am, and she actually started the sending the people there before I did. I kind of rode her coattails into becoming a person that people recognize, but she’s a better connector than I. I started taking her there first, and then it became her place, and now it’s still my place.

As told to Erin Schwartz.