135 Alexander Ave, Bronx, NY 10454
Stepping into Beatstro in Mott Haven is like stepping into hip hop's early days.
"And if you look up top, we have an exact replica of what Grand Master Flash used to create his switchback technique," said Alfredo Angueira, the restaurant's co-owner.
Angueira says the mock vinyl shop is like a speakeasy, concealing the borough's first hip hop-themed restaurant.
"It's not what you expect until you walk behind the curtain and you see another hidden gem. Very much like this borough," Angueira said.
Lounge furniture from nearby vintage shops echo a grandma's living room in the late 1970's and 80's, the era when the first rap lyrics were written in the Bronx.
The walls feature murals, rap pioneers and life in the borough way back when.
Photographer Joe Conzo is known as the man who took hip hop's baby pictures.
"I'm ecstatic and humbled to be part of the beginning and to see something grow and travel and go global," Conzo said.
Staying true to its concept, the food at Beatstro is also a remix.
"We kind of float through from Africa, to the Caribbean, to the Latino countries, and then to the South," said Leonardo Marino, the restaurant's executive chef and partner.
The chef says the menu and its ingredients are diverse just like the people in the Bronx.
The Josefina fritters are made with Jerk Pork, Dominican cheese and sofrito.
The menu also features crispy pork rinds and churrasco steak.
It's like the Bronx on a plate.
At Beatstro the top five rappers of all time may be up for debate, but the love for hip hop is not.