Gallery: Habana Outpost: An Eco Restaurant Grows in Brooklyn

The solar system feeds power back into the grid when the restaurant doesn't need it.

The Habana Outpost, which started in 2005, features a $40,000 solar installation on its outdoor patio. The array is grid-connected and feeds in power to surrounding buildings when the Outpost’s power demands are low. Over the years, customers have put in their two cents about other projects the eco-eatery could work on to make it more sustainable.

Since then, the restaurant has set up a bike-powered blender, a rainwater collection system, composting and recycling stations, efficient lighting, compostable plates and silverware, a garden, and wheatboard panels inside the restaurant. They also have a fascinating solar chandelier that uses sunlight focusing panels mounted outside the store to suck in light through fiber optic cables.

Meenan has also converted his 1965 Lincoln Convertible to run off used veggie oil produced by the restaurant, and they’ve installed a US Postal Truck in the courtyard as a mobile eatery. Retired racing sails were used to re-cover banquet benches inside the restaurant instead of vinyl, the Habana Outpost sign used to be an old gas station sign that they resurfaced and repainted, and the wooden doors are reclaimed from a South American monastery.

The restaurant also works to help kids and organizations around the community through donations and activities that take place on site. Meenan regularly gives tours of the restaurant to groups, and a Kid’s Corner offers regular projects and programs to educate kids on the environment. Habana Outpost also supports the Urban Studio Brooklyn program, which offers design/build experience for NYC architecture students. In 2006 and 2007 two USBK groups designed and built a rainwater collection system and then a water reclamation system to water the courtyard’s garden.

+ Cafe Habana

Via New York Times

Images © Cafe Habana


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  1. marci1er1 September 8, 2010 at 5:46 pm

    I will like to thank all the employees from Havana Outpost, because they are very important part of this restaurant too, The idea from the solars panel and rainwater collection system is great is phenomenal for our planet. Thank you to the owner and his great team, specially Elvis Yancarlo Rosa, he is working hard for this place.

  2. brie987 September 7, 2010 at 11:53 pm

    Wow going there this Thursday!!!!!

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