It used to be that throwback drinking meant quaffing Prohibition-era cocktails and Hemingway sippers. But these days, we’re seeing an emphasis on even older traditions, and a resurgence of traditional techniques that have long fallen out of use. Mead, the fermented honey drink that was made as early as 7000 BC in China and was drunk in North Europe during the Bronze Age, is making a comeback that started in the homebrew community and grew outward. And in just a few short months, Williamsburg will be home to one of the largest mead brewing operations in the country.
Both touring bands and local music fans (aka members of an aloof subculture that you wouldn’t understand) have probably felt a shifting tide. Over the summer, a huge wave of closings washed into Bushwick, sweeping away DIY spots like Palisades then Aviv while making its way through Greenpoint. When it finally crashed into downtown, it showed no mercy to even longtime establishments like The Stone (which plans to close in February of next year), and Cake Shop, with its perfectly legal bar and ten-year lease. Meanwhile, Market Hotel is treading water after cops conducted a “gotcha” raid in October. It might seem like from here on out the only alternatives (start going to Terminal 5? move to New Jersey?) are pretty grim, but at least one still-standing Brooklyn establishment is taking advantage of the vacuum to reimagine themselves as a venue.
OK, we’re almost in the clear for anything New Year’s Eve-related. But before we hurdle head-first into 2017, there’s one more place we lost over the holiday weekend that’s worth pouring one out for: a Williamsburg bar called Daddy’s.
Last year was a rough one for cultural spaces of all kinds in New York City, so it was somewhat fitting (if not totally sad) that a slew of local spots said their peace-outs during New Year’s Eve festivities. Among the departing establishments that went out with a bang on one of the drunkest night of the year was Over the Eight, a Williamsburg bar which closed up shop after “three and a half years” of “slinging cheap drinks and treasured times” (as we heard back in November when the owners first announced their departure).
No matter how much you love your favorite DIY venue, there’s no sense in getting too attached– as anyone who’s been in the game for a while will tell you. But having lost seemingly countless art caverns and show spaces in the last year, we’ve reached a certain moment where posi vibes and healthy acceptance of the city’s natural ebb and flow, suddenly feel less like rational bits of wisdom and more like things we say to make ourselves feel better because everything is terrible right now.
Whether by force of landlord, party police, or unnatural disaster, we’ve lost some of the greats– Palisades is gone (for good), Market Hotel (indefinitely, save for some vegan markets here and there) maybe too, and Secret Project Robot went away as well. Since the beginning, the duo behind the latter, Rachel Nelson and Erik Zajaceskowski, have vowed to return in one form or another, and now good things are finally happening. “Secret Project Robot just signed a new lease!!” they announced on social media last week. “the art zombie rises!!!”
A bar called Rebecca’s has opened its doors on the corner of Bushwick Avenue and Jefferson Street, replacing a sign printing store that recently relocated to a bigger location on Broadway. Rebecca’s is brought to you by the same collective behind Norbert’s Pizza, and they celebrated their opening Friday night with a bustling party, offering free pizza and dollar beers.
Rather than focusing on pizza and heroes, Rebecca’s is a true bar, boasting a full liquor license to boot—no soju tryhards here. For now they’ve just got cheap libations like $4 well shots, $6 mixed drinks, and beers as cheap as a bottle of Rolling Rock for $2. They plan on adding a small vegetarian food menu with appetizer-type fare like nuts and hummus plates, and possibly using the small back space for DJs, art shows, or movie nights. And “if you’re lucky,” Rebecca says, you might get some Norbert’s pizza, as they plan on offering it from time to time. Keep Reading »
The sun is shining, birds are chirping, and I somehow just got an email from Al Franken with the subject line “Time to panic.” Looks like it’s Debate Day.
As Hillary and Donald face off in Long Island tonight, some will watch alone in the dark, while clutching a pint of ice cream in sheer fear. Others will jump into the thick of it and head to Hofstra University, where street performer and purveyor of love and farts Matthew Silver will be debating fringe candidate Vermin Supreme. Good luck finding them. Thousands of protestors — not to mention a 51-foot joint — are also expected to descend on the Hempstead school.
Don’t worry, you can also watch from a safe distance. Here’s who’s throwing watch parties, offering drink specials, or otherwise spicing up this evening of discourse.
As of this afternoon, for the first time ever, you can make your way up to the tip top of the brand new William Vale hotel, clink glasses with your crew and look out over the expanse of Brooklyn from the Westlight, the new Williamsburg luxury hotel’s 22nd-floor bar with 360-degree views of the city skyline. Suddenly, Brooklyn will look almost insignificant and underdeveloped, teeming with pathetic, spartan life. Shift your godlike eyes down toward the Wythe Hotel and its unfortunate patrons will look like drunken, desperate ants. “Literally, that’s the Wythe– look how little it looks,” a PR rep laughed along with us.
When word first emerged that Abby Ehmann, an East Village party organizer and neighborhood chronicler who’s resided in the hood since 1989, would be opening a bar on Avenue B, not everyone was all about it. There were enough bars, people said– in fact, there are several of them located on the block between 10th and 11th streets already. And worst of all, weren’t the proliferation of bars (especially the fancy cocktail ones) part of the problem?
Ask anybody who’s not from the so-called flyover states to describe a Midwesterner and you’re absolutely going to hear some variation on the word “nice.” But try asking an actual Midwesterner to say something about their own and it’s likely to be along the lines of, “Well, they don’t take themselves too seriously.”
Thankfully, Frank Bevan and Eric Odness, a pair of super chill Minneapolis rock-n’-roll vets, fit the latter description, and likewise their Greenpoint bar, Lake Street, is about as unpretentious as it gets. Just whatever you do, don’t call it a “Minneapolis-themed” bar.
“I can’t stand hearing that,” Frank said. “I don’t know what that means.”
When America is faced with what seems to be an endless stream of police brutality, discrimination, and gentrification toward black and brown individuals, sharing an article for the fifth time can start to feel fruitless. Those of us who continue to see this kind of gut-wrenching news on our social media feeds can start to wonder what exactly we can do to help.
It’s been a rough summer for the Brooklyn venue scene. Palisades has left a hole in our heart so big that we couldn’t help but dream up some (nightmarish) replacement tenants for the Broadway-Myrtle space. Lucky for the owners of The Acheron– the unofficial home for Brooklyn-made punk and metal that closed last month in a flurry of sweaty thrashing and loud-as-hell sets– they don’t have to see their former digs overtaken by some slick newcomer.