Back in 1970 Michael Netter was a recent graduate, soaking up the big city’s vibrant art scene. A striving painter, he fell in with Andy Warhol’s Factory crowd after showing up to a party with his brand new Sony Portapak video camera (20-pound backpack and all). The new technology instantly attracted the pop-master. “Before, ‘Hello, how do you do,’ it was: ‘Can you do that for me?'” Netter says of his first interaction with Warhol. For the next few years, he followed him around, filming bits and pieces of Warhol’s world, from random conversations at the Factory, to the infamous first meeting between David Bowie and Warhol (“He was miming! And miming badly!”), and interviews with the likes of Cybill Shepherd, Brigid Polk and other Warholian superstars.
While everyone seems to be making the leap across the East River to shack up in Brooklyn, a small raw-fish-focused spot decided to jump in the opposite direction. Bergen Hill, a restaurant specializing in South American-inspired small plates and crudo dishes, closed the doors of its Carroll Gardens location in April, only to resurface a couple of months later in the East Village’s Cooper Square, with a tentative opening date scheduled for early July.
Deep in Chinatown, the team behind Forgtmenot and Kiki’s Greek bistro is putting down new roots–today they open Little Chair, a homey coffee shop on Monroe Street, under the Manhattan Bridge. The entrance is decorated with hanging greenery and potted flowers, like a rustic farm stand in the country. They also have a brand-new Mediterranean restaurant in the works next door.
After more than 16 years in Williamsburg, bookseller Spoonbill & Sugartown is opening a second store in not-so-distant East Williamsburg. The new location, in the front half of the Montrose Avenue storefront currently used as the bookstore’s warehouse and office space, will be open Friday through Sunday, starting today.
Remember that Austin Powers in Goldmember scene where Goldmember and Queen B offer Austin a pipe and a crepe? (Or a shmoke and a pancake, or a bong and a blintz…) He refuses, and Goldmember exclaims, “Then there is no pleasing you!” Well, a couple of entrepreneurial Brooklyn natives are hoping that the blinged-out bad guy was actually on to something. They’re in the process of opening their cross-branded Creative Vape and Creative Crepe and Coffee shops at Wyckoff Avenue and Hancock Street in Bushwick, where they’ll be putting an inspired (and arguably healthier) twist on the pipe/crepe combination by pairing colorful, made-from-scratch crepes with custom-made, hip hop-based e-juice and vapes.
If after falling in love with the ever-popular flat white you’ve found yourself searching for anything Australian, your prayers have officially been answered. In April, Bluestone Lane, the Aussie-influenced coffee roasters with locations in the West Village and on the Upper East Side, opened their latest cafe inside of 51 Astor Place. And earlier today another Oz-inspired cafe launched in Noho with a menu filled with simple dishes inspired by the Lucky Country.
Maison Premiere has been the Belle of the Brooklyn Ball since it opened in 2011– the Williamsburg oyster bar is perpetually brimming with enraptured guests and hovering, perspiring would-bes waiting for a seat at the horseshoe bar. Earlier this month, their off-the-chain booze operation earned them the James Beard Award for “Outstanding Bar Program.” I mean, where else can you find a classy, non-diabetes-forming answer to the tiki trend, an unrivaled selection of absinthe drips, and a $20 martini that looks worthy of Macaulay Culkin’s character in a sorely needed Richie Rich Redux?
The opening date of Coney Art Walls has been bumped up from Saturday to Friday this weekend, and we’ve learned there are some special activities planned for Memorial Monday. Natalie Lamming of D’Savannah Bar & Lounge in Flatbush says “shhh…”, but we’re going to tell you anyway that “Brooklyn’s Best Kept Secret” is bound for the one and only Coney. The live music event will include Carnival-esque performances by Lyrikal, Patrice Roberts, Kerwin Dubois, Voice and Farmer Nappy. Doors open at 1 p.m. and the soca starts at 6 p.m. $65 tickets are still available online for those who like to chip and whine.
In March we sounded the word that a spanking new Equinox is in the cards for the Whole Foods territory on North 4th Street and Bedford, likely opening in October. That whole building is so full of chains, what with Levi’s, G-Star, Scotch & Soda, a Citibank, and a WeWork, it’s pretty much Brooklyn’s answer to an average suburban strip mall. It’s no surprise Equinox would want to get in on the free-flowing $$ from health-conscious folks with cash to burn (perhaps tapping their day away over a laptop at WeWork?).
A replacement for the flash-in-the-pan Latin fusion cantina Lorenzo’s has arrived at the Jefferson stop in Bushwick. Daniel Cipriani, the proprietor of Sea Wolf, who also owns a pair of dining establishments in Williamsburg– Lodge and Urban Rustic– as well as the Playland Grill in Rockaway, told us that the surf-n’-turf corner spot has been krilling it, so to speak, since it officially opened a few weeks ago.
I don’t know about you, but sometimes checking out one of those boutiquey hair salons can feel like a walking into a staid Chelsea art gallery– the kind of place where you could hear a pin drop, and so would the girl with ungodly, shiny/straight hair who’s glaring at you from the back.
It was a long, hard winter which, honestly, now that I’m looking back on it, I managed to block most of it out. But dare I say that spring has perhaps been worse, and not necessarily because of the fits-n-starts weather that teased all of us into thinking life was about to go our way (yeah right). Instead, it was the uncertainty of whether or not the Barge Bar was ever going to reopen along the Greenpoint waterfront.