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.
Brooklyn Barge Bar
Summer just wasn’t the same without the barge bar we were promised. Everything else seemed so dull in comparison to a life of boozing at sea, afloat the ultimate dream boat (or barge, anyway). We may be nearly a week into fall already but nothing, not even the rotation of the earth, will stop the Brooklyn Barge Bar’s slow, purposeful path to a good time. If you’ve stuck with ’em, rejoice because the Barge Bar has finally sliced through all that red tape and opened up the gangplank.
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.”
Despite a stalemate with the local community board, it looks like Brooklyn Barge Bar isn’t dead in the water just yet. Aiming to be Brooklyn’s smaller version of the Frying Pan, the bar recently announced on Facebook that it hopes to open later this month. There are photos circa late March of the team building the gangway in Kingston, New York, and they’ve also launched a website detailing its menu and plans for engaging the community in (hopefully) non-alcohol related outdoor activities like sailing and fishing (though we’re not sure drunk fishing will be left totally out of the equation).
When the 21-floor Level Hotel opens in Williamsburg, on the corner of Wythe Avenue and North 13th Street, it’ll have a look that’s closer to The Standard, High Line than to the neighboring Wythe Hotel. The owners, Yoel Goldman and Zelig Weiss (Weiss also owns the Condor Hotel in Williamsburg) considered going the red-brick route, but decided against creating “this big giant building and pretending that it was always there” in part because “that’s not what the neighborhood is about,” said Mordy Steinfeld, director of operations and development with Riverside Developers. “It’s about authenticity and creating the space you need for the area you serve.”
Allow us to float an idea: a bar on a barge off of Greenpoint. “It’s weird,” Will Drawbridge admits, but he means weird in a good way: he wants to bring Brooklyn Barge Bar to the East River this spring. Hey, in a world of water-tower bars, anything’s possible.
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