Waterfall Lounge: A family legacy of culinary excellence and community

Waterfall Lounge & Bar is located at 4703 Church Ave., Brooklyn, New York.
Photo by Tracey Khan

Nola Rodney, the proud owner of Waterfall Lounge, has embarked on an exciting new venture that blends her culinary background with a passion for community and ownership. Known for her talents in the kitchen, Nola’s journey into the business world is deeply rooted in her family’s legacy and aspirations.

Owner of Waterfall Lounge & Bare, Nola Rodney and her son Pharaoh during their grand opening.
Owner of Waterfall Lounge & Bar, Nola Rodney and her son Pharaoh during their grand opening. Photo by Tracey Khan

A Culinary Journey with a Twist

Trained as a chef, Nola’s path into the culinary world began with a catering business she started in 2015 after attending culinary school. However, transitioning from cooking for pleasure to running a business came with challenges. “Sometimes you think, I like this thing, maybe I should do it as a business. It doesn’t always work like that,” Nola explained. The onset of the COVID-19 pandemic in 2020 forced her to innovate and pivot to virtual services, which proved highly successful.

Despite her accomplishments, Nola humbly refrains from calling herself a chef. “People always call me chef, but I don’t call myself a chef. My mother’s a chef. My mom had been cooking before I was born, over 40 years. That’s a chef,” she emphasized, acknowledging her mother Doris Rodney’s long-standing expertise and influence.

Doris Rodney the Matriarch of the Rodney Family business - The Hills & Waterfall Lounge.
Doris Rodney the Matriarch of the Rodney Family business – The Hills & Waterfall Lounge. Photo by Tracey Khan

Inspiration and Motivation

The decision to venture into the nightlife and hospitality business wasn’t solely Nola’s choice. Her mother, a significant influence, has been in the industry for decades, and Nola herself started working in the family business at a young age. “I’ve been in nightlife, believe it or not, keeping the door of my mom’s party at 18,” she recalled. This early exposure to the business side of hospitality laid the groundwork for her current venture.

Nola’s motivation also stems from a deep sense of ownership and responsibility. “Ownership is important to me. It’s important that whatever I do and get into, I own it,” she says, highlighting the significance of setting a strong example for her son. “One of my biggest things is showing him how to survive in a capitalistic society.”

Inside Waterfall Lounge & Bar during its grand opening.
Inside Waterfall Lounge & Bar during its grand opening.
Photo by Tracey Khan

Waterfall Lounge: A Unique Experience

Waterfall Lounge, an offspring of the family-owned The Hills Restaurant, offers a distinct Guyanese flavor that Nola is keen to showcase. “When I started coming up with the verbiage, description, mission statements, and stuff like that for this business, I kept saying Caribbean, Caribbean, Caribbean. And then I was like, no, it’s Guyanese. That’s what you can expect,” Nola asserted. The menu at Waterfall Lounge features authentic Guyanese dishes and cocktails, ensuring a unique culinary experience.

The ambiance at Waterfall Lounge is designed to be inviting and vibrant. “Vibes is why people leave their homes and come out,” Nola says. The lounge promises a relaxed yet sophisticated atmosphere where family, friends, and coworkers can feel comfortable and enjoy good food, drinks, and company.

Waterfall Lounge operates with a dynamic schedule. On weekdays, it opens at 4 p.m. and closes at 2 a.m., while weekends see extended hours starting at 11 a.m. This flexibility accommodates special events like the much-anticipated “two-to-two” party on Saturdays, a nod to a traditional Guyanese celebration from 2 p.m. to 2 a.m.

Waterfall Lounge has outdoor dining just in time for summer 2024.
Waterfall Lounge has outdoor dining just in time for summer 2024. Photo by Tracey Khan

A Commitment to Community

Beyond serving delicious food and creating a lively atmosphere, Nola is committed to positively impacting the community. “It’s super important, like I mentioned before, ownership. Ownership in our community is significant,” she said. Waterfall Lounge will be a place for great food and entertainment and a hub for community initiatives to address local needs and provide valuable resources.

Nola Rodney’s Waterfall Lounge is more than just a business; it celebrates heritage, a commitment to ownership, and a beacon of community spirit. For more information or to experience the unique vibes of Waterfall Lounge, visit them at 347-365-9318 or follow them on Instagram @waterfallloungebk.