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Gran Eléctrica has a marked sense of playfulness while not seeming at all gimmicky or obvious in its design. In a sense, the design reflects the cuisine, which Hamawi describes as “authentic Mexican with a greenmarket philosophy.”
In other words, both the food and the decor are traditional with a twist. Instead of the kind of margarita that is found at just about any Mexican restaurant in the city, Gran Eléctrica has a beet version whose vibrant pink hue belies its subtle earthiness. The walls are covered in what looks, from a distance, like traditional toile, but up close, black and white images take shape and reveal themselves to be Day of the Dead figures, in the style of artist José Guadalupe Posada, inhabiting an eerie DUMBO landscape. Jane’s Carousel is populated with skeletal horses and a haunted bride and groom grace the DUMBO waterfront. Housed in an historic Brooklyn waterfront building, Gran Eléctrica is imbued with charm and a rich past, while its design and cuisine nod to its history but look to the future.