Tilt, the basement bar and club underneath the McKibbin Lofts not to be confused with nearby arcade sports bar Tiltz, is about to get a whole lot gayer. The bar, which co-owners of the legendary Lit Lounge opened in December 2016 with The Trash Bar’s Aaron Pierce, is about to re-open as The Vault, a gay bar helmed by a team who are no strangers to queer Brooklyn nightlife.
The trio of owners—Meg Cavanagh, Cameron Cole, and Josh Luis—met through their various involvements (“bartending and DJing and working for drag queens”) in Brooklyn’s thriving LGBTQ nightlife scene, primarily at the now-closed Williamsburg space This N’ That. Cavanagh explains Tilt’s owners reached out to some of their friends about how to go about transforming the space into a gay bar, and their friends referred the trio to Tilt. This isn’t the first time something like this has happened; East Williamsburg bar The Rosemont went from a jazz club to a queer space filled with drag shows back in 2017. “It’s always easier to start a space that has some kind of beginnings to it than to start from scratch,” Cavanagh adds.
After five years near the Morgan stop, bar and restaurant Tutu’s closed up shop in November 2017. While some vacant storefronts lie empty for what seems like eternities—nearby sports bar Tiltz had a two-year gap between announcing it would open and actually opening—the Bogart Street space is already home to a new tenant: Benelux, a bar and restaurant serving European-inspired food and cocktails that officially opened for lunch, brunch, and dinner yesterday.Keep Reading »
Emelyn Stuart has run The Ocktober Film Festival, a showcase of emerging filmmakers, since 2013. Each year, she’s rented venues for it. One year, she recalls the lights shutting off; they had run over their allotted rental time, and there were no exceptions. “I said to myself, I will never, never, never have to go through this again,” she says. “I will find a home for this festival, and [the filmmakers] will be able to stay as long as they want, and they will be able to talk about their films for as long as they need, and I’m not going to be rushing them.” She found that home in Stuart Cinema and Cafe, her own space in Greenpoint she opened at the start of September alongside Chief Operations Officer Carl Gilbert Jr.Keep Reading »
When Bushwick DIY venue Palisades closed in 2016 after an unsuccessful quest to get up to code following a police raid, we briefly brainstormed what the space at 906 Broadway might become. A corporate music venue, a new Vice headquarters, some kind of chain store? None of these appeared, but in June a Sicilian “casual dining experience” called Concrete officially began serving dinner and weekend brunch there, with plans to begin hosting live events later this fall.Keep Reading »
Troutman Street between Evergreen and Central Avenues in Bushwick is a block awash with construction. Jackhammers, scaffolding, and dust make their home alongside the bar Precious Metal, an auto shop, and the notorious dorm-like apartment complex Castle Braid. One of the newest additions to the block is Ambrosia Elixirs, a cafe, event space, and “home for plant medicine” that’s taken up residence in a small storefront, fittingly flanked by a large, leafy tree.Keep Reading »
Those seeking a healthier bite to eat near the JMZ trains can now get their fill at Leaf, a new restaurant on Myrtle Avenue offering salads, rice and quinoa bowls, coffee, beer, and wine.Keep Reading »
Karaage and waffles (Image credit: Momo Chicken Shack via Instagram)
The ever-popular Momo Sushi Shack in Bushwick has spawned a sister restaurant not too far from its origins. At the corner of Starr Street and Wyckoff Avenue lies Momo Chicken Shack, which opened in late July. Smartly taking note of how much customers loved munching on karaage or Japanese fried chicken thighs at Momo Sushi Shack, business partners Tito Cabrera and Chance Johnston decided to expand the concept into a full restaurant with modestly-priced fare (the karaage is only $9). But perhaps the real star behind Momo Chicken Shack is general manager Valerie Boyle, who helped craft the menu along with Momo Sushi Shack’s chef Izzy Alvarez.
After a five-year-plus hiatus, Mono + Mono is officially back in business starting tomorrow, July 10. The much-loved Korean fried chicken joint known for playing classic jazz closed down after a fire blazed though the building in 2013. There were a few times over the years when it seemed like it would re-emerge, only to no avail. But now it’s finally up and running, and has returned to occupy its old haunt on East 4th Street. Keep Reading »
It’s been said that adding plants to your living space is a great way to improve both the appearance of a room and your own personal well-being. But what if you’re really bad at keeping plants alive? Well, in that case, maybe a cactus will be good. They don’t need to be watered very much. Plus, if you happen to be passing through the Lower East Side, you can browse a variety of Southern California cacti, now that The Cactus Store pop-up has returned to spend another summer near Seward Park. Keep Reading »
Combine a classic wood-fired kitchen and hearty Mexican fare, and what do you get? The new foodie’s haven in Greenpoint: Oxomoco.
Mexican restaurant Oxomoco—whose name refers to the Aztec goddess of the night—opens June 5 at 128 Greenpoint Avenue in Brooklyn. It operates under the ownership of Chef Justin Bazdarich—known for popular LES/Clinton Hill pizzeria Speedy Romeo—and his childhood friend Chris Walton, who runs a successful restaurant franchise in Arizona.
Bedford + Bowery spoke to Bazdarich by email about the inspiration behind his and Walton’s new enterprise, which was borne of countless trips to Mexico that forged a shared love for its culture and cuisine. Keep Reading »
The last time we checked in with the Spanish Benevolent Society’s beloved restaurant La Nacional, they announced they’d be closing for a “complete renovation” in March 2016, with a planned reopening featuring new chefs in May of that same year.
The Spanish Benevolent Society’s executive director Robert Sanfiz finds it “really hilarious” to look back on that optimistic estimation. “We had go through major structural work,” he tells me. “Ultimately, it was going to eat a lot of our time and a lot of the money we put away.” Despite the delay, La Nacional will officially reopen on June 15, which coincides with both the 150th anniversary of the Spanish Benevolent Society and the World Cup match between Spain and Portugal. Keep Reading »