Chalk It Up: A Union Hall That Invites You In

You might think that Union Hall is where labor union members turn out for job calls. But not here. This Union Hall is on Union Street, as in "Union vs. Confederacy," and as the billiards suggest, it's a place you're invited to hang out. (Brooklyn Artisan photo pool)

You might think that Union Hall is where labor turns out
for job calls or votes. But not here. This Union Hall is on Union Street,
as in “Union vs. Confederacy,” and as the colliding bocce suggest,
it’s a tavern that invites you to hang out. (Photograph by Brooklyn Artisan Photo Pool)

CHALKBOARDS ARE A TIME-HONORED PRACTICE IN THE FOOD BIZ. Think of bistro menus propped on bentwood chairs in Paris, think of kosher deli listings on overhead blackboards while everyone’s shouting out orders, think of chalkboard easels outside restaurants along the streets and avenues of Brooklyn. Chalkboards can be as quick ‘n’ easy or as glamorous as the establishment requires. (Starbucks, for instance.)

Union Hall handshake logoAfter all, unlike print on paper, all you need to change an entrée (or adjust the prix fixe) is a moist bar cloth, and presto! The slate is as erasable as an iPad. The original tabula rasa. A little inspiration, a little colored craie (French talc stick), and the board becomes an invitation to express yourself or your business’s image. To quote your favorite philosopher or reference your favorite comics. To DIY or yield to your betters. In general the medium is fluid rather than stiff, friendly rather than formal; compare the above with the same Union Hall‘s logo at right.

From time to time over the next few weeks, Brooklyn Artisan will be sharing what we’ve seen through our lenses, with comments or not – mostly just letting the chalkistas speak for themselves.


  1. I love hand-written boards! On my last visit to NYC, right across from Brooklyn, at the New Amsterdam Market, this board caught my eye:


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