If you’ve been awake for the past 48 hours or so, you’re probably well aware that it is, in fact, the month of July which means some of you, dearest readers, may be wondering, “Where the hell is that floating barge bar you promised me?” Rest assured, the Brooklyn Barge Bar is not lost at sea — rather she’s docked and nearly ready for seafaring (we jest, the barge itself will remain at the landing, historic boats and scuba excursions will do the launching). “It looks like it’s far from being finished, but it’s actually really close,” owner Will Drawbridge explained. “There’s some final bits of paperwork to do and then we’ll be done.”
The competition for summer weekend destination has been fierce: while Rockaway added a skate bowl and a (still forthcoming) palm-tree paradise, Coney Island leveled up with a Smorgasburg and some murals. Coney’s latest gambit? A freaking trapeze school. That’s right: Trapeze School New York, which has an outdoor rig at Pier 40 in Hudson River Park, is adding another location in Coney.
It’s been almost a full year since we first caught up with the three guys behind Our Wicked Lady; needless to say, the East Williamsburg bar-venue-studio hybrid is unrecognizable as the gutted industrial space we first happened upon. Incandescent bulbs shine down on a long wooden bar, behind which glows an illuminated drink menu. “Do you think that font is too small?” Wayne Gordon asked.
While tonight is the soft opening (friends, family, and investors only), it’s clear Wayne and his partners Zachary Glass and Keith Hamilton, all service industry vets, are set on making everything just right for July 8 when they open their doors for real. “It’s going to be crazy,” Wayne said of the grand opening.
Williamsburg just got a new dance destination, far from the maddening crowds that line up at Output, Verboten, Kinfolk and Good Room. Black Flamingo isn’t another boxy club – it’s a vegan restaurant that houses an intimate basement lounge with a killer analog, vinyl-friendly soundsystem. For the past couple of weeks it’s been operating under the radar, in “very, very soft-opened” mode, despite a pretty impressive lineup of DJs. But with its menu launching this week, you’re certain to hear more about it.
With its takeout window on Delancey Street, Adventure Café seems like a “hole in the wall” in the most literal sense. But it’s actually an extension of Sourced Adventures, a chill group of outdoorsy experts who organize weekend day trips for those looking to spring from the cage.
Anyone is welcome to order Dough doughnuts or Cafe Grumpy coffee at the walk-up window or sit at one of the two round tables inside. But the cafe also shares a hallway with The Yard, a co-working space in which Sourced Adventures also has offices. So it doubles as a place for customers to chat about trip options, rent gear, and wait for shuttles to whisk them away to a snowboarding or paintball trip.
Turns out the East Village, already a destination for Filipino food, just got not one but two new Pinoy options. In addition to Tito King’s Kitchen, a bygone neighborhood mainstay has made a return of sorts. Elvie’s Turo-Turo was a First Avenue fixture until its namesake proprietress retired and closed the place in 2009, sending this reporter into a balut panic. Now the daughter of Elvie, Carla Cinco, has opened a new takeout joint just a half-block from her mom’s former perch.
Hot on the heels of James Murphy’s wine bar, The Four Horsemen, Williamsburg’s Grand Street strip is getting another “libation-friendly seasonal American menu” courtesy of Bill Baker’s, which opens next month.
In an opening announcement, the place, named after the banker grandfather of one of the owners, claims that its “menu of delicious American fare will make us one of Brooklyn’s favorite neighborhood restaurants.” With its remote location flush up against the BQE, it’ll have its work cut out for it if it expects to lure folks east of kindred spirit Walter Foods (not to mention another Grand Street newcomer, the forthcoming Witlof.) So, among other things, it’s playing up its beer program.
The brothers opened the first V-Spot nine years ago in Park Slope because Danny couldn’t find restaurants that offered appetizing options for his vegan diet. As he experimented at home, he realized that it’s “not as difficult as it seems to veganize something.”
Pioneer Works’ new bookstore in Red Hook, which had its grand opening on Tuesday night, is a remarkably small shop. Maybe the size of a very bitty studio apartment. “Wait, is this is? Or do you have back-stock somewhere?” we asked Zach White, the shop clerk. He laughed. “Nope, this is pretty much it.” But that’s kind of the point. “It’s almost like an installation, in a sense, because it’s so small and ever changing,” Zach explained. “I don’t feel like it will ever be a place for ‘I’m looking for this book, maybe Pioneer Books has it’ — instead you’ll come here and know that a book is gonna find you.”
The East Village already has Jeepney, Maharlika, Krystal’s Cafe 81, and good ol’ Johnny Air Mart, but where Filipino food is concerned, we say pile it on like it’s a tub of halo halo. The latest entrant into the category is a familiar face: Chef King Phojanakong of LES BYOB destination Kuma Inn has set up inside of East Village beer bar Jimmy’s No. 43 and replaced the menu with one featuring “Thai and Filipino inspired cuisine.” A message from Jimmy’s No. 43 says the full menu at Tito King’s Kitchen, which you can see below, launches tonight.
If you’re looking to round out a lazy Saturday at the Brooklyn Flea, grab a morning coffee on the way to the L Train, or snag some unique pieces to invigorate your summer wardrobe, The Vale Collective is ready to deliver. The ambitious cafe/boutique/gallery soft-opened this week inside of the old d.b.a. space at 113 North 7th St., and owner Stephanie McDermott and project manager Kim Lenoir (who are also Williamsburg roomies) are perfecting the store for its first weekend in business.
Well, we can’t say we didn’t see this one coming. Having just opened MP Taverna on Driggs and North 10th Streets (pretty much ground zero for Williamsburg’s shiny new condos) chef and restauranteur Michael Psilakis is now getting into the business of venues. What better way to connect to the neighborhood and a now nearly mythologized North Brooklyn cultural movement and indie rock scene? The Hall, a new music venue that boasts a mission to “put the focus back on supporting local arts, musicians, creatives, students and neighborhood residents,” won’t officially open till later this month. But we attended a preview event last night to see what we’re in for.