Buffalo & Bergen
Channeling her mother’s childhood memories of “Norma’s,” a classic pharmacy-soda shop at the intersection of Buffalo Avenue and Bergen Street in the Weeksville neighborhood of Brooklyn, Gina Chersevani set about creating her own version of an authentic soda shop: Buffalo & Bergen opened in 2012, in 330 square feet at the heart of the popular market. She sourced a reconditioned 1939 Sebastian Fountain from a vintage Woolworth’s counter – “My Cadillac!” she calls it – a gleaming two-ton apparatus that she lovingly polishes and keeps filled with an array of artisanal syrups, from Bourbon Vanilla Bean to Spiced Chocolate to Pineapple-Cardamom.
Along with classic egg creams, floats, and sodas, just like the soda shop of her mother’s memories, Chersevani – the inveterate mixologist – concocts fanciful soda-fountain cocktails like the Deeply Rooted, made with Avua Cachaca Amburano, Luxardo Maraschino Liqueur, Lime, and Gentian Root Soda; and the Into the Sun, on-tap and featuring Macchu Pisco, Aji Amarillo, Ginger, Pineapple, Lime, and Soda. Buffalo & Bergen serves delectable housemade knishes; for New York-New Jersey diehards, the “Turnpike” side sauce option offers a generous dousing of garlic-parsley butter. And, yes, the shop serves bagels; but not just any bagels: Buffalo & Bergen imports its sought-after stock made with the quintessential ingredient, New York water, baking them fresh and ready for a slathering of cream cheese, house-cured gravlax, or to become the foundation of a hearty sandwich; in the case of the Lox’d & Loaded, Chersevani’s award-winning Bloody Mary is actually garnished with an everything bagel topped with lox, cream cheese, capers, and red onion!
In 2019, she’ll open a second Buffalo & Bergen location on Capitol Hill. With more space, Chersevani will fulfill her dream of recreating the full-service delicatessen-dinette of her own childhood, where patrons can build their own meals, from falafel to chicken cutlet parmesan to rice pudding.
Buffalo & Bergen
1309 5th St NE