Formerly an antiques store and a book shop, its interior is now paneled in reclaimed wood and locally milled cherry. The centerpiece is a long zinc bar built by Brooklyn's Aleksey Kravchuc from Works Manufacturing.
An evolving circle of vegetable and livestock farmers, cheesemakers, and foragers have helped build the Whale's reputation as a legitimate farm to table restaurant. Previous chef Steve Browning cultivated a butchery and charcuterie program that continues to produce coppa, dry aged grass fed steaks, bacon and numerous other products from whole animals.
Mark and Bettina
Born in Yorkshire England but having grown up in Zambia, Mark had already traveled tens of thousands of miles by the time he moved to New York in September 1994 (from Florence, Italy where he had gone to watch the World Cup in 1990 and stayed for four years). His first job in New York City was at The Odeon in Tribeca, and he soon found living space in a rented loft in Williamsburg. By 1998 he and his roommate/business partner Andrew Tarlow had secured the lease to an old diner on Broadway and Berry and convinced talented chef Caroline Fidanza to sign onto the project which became Diner. Many years of fun followed, resulting in more restaurants (Bonita, Marlow & Sons) and a family. Mark and his wife Bettina eventually came across a small farm in the Berkshires and by 2010 decided to give up the city life to experience country living, raising pigs, sheep and chickens. Mark commuted a while longer before deciding to sell his share of the Brooklyn businesses to his partner. It did not take long for Mark's love of "restaurateuring" to kick in, and Prairie Whale opened its doors on October 17, 2012.
Chef Daniel Studwell
Chef, Prairie Whale, from opening day Oct 17, 2012 through August 2022: Stephen Browning