Memorial Day weekend has officially arrived, and while many of us plan to head to the beach to check out the Coney Art Walls, Riis Park Beach Bazaar, the Rockaway boardwalk concessions, and this season’s newcomers to Beach 96th Street, others are way too lazy to take that hour-long train ride and are keeping it local. After all, there’s a lot going on here in town: from a theatrical prom to pin shopping to outdoor movies to the newly reopened Nowadays and Seaport Smorgasburg, to boozing on floating bars in Chelsea, Greenpoint, and Tribeca.
Bars + Restaurants
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?
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.
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.
Plenty of upscale diners have hit the food scene as of late– for one, there’s Juno, the Bushwick restaurant that John Barclay (founding dude at Bossa Nova Civic Club) recently pulled out of– and there was even a short-lived spot called Amancay’s Diner that was, well, a bit more of a downscale kind of place, with a spin-the-bottle setup and an owner who was better known for throwing jello-wrestling parties than his food.
But Hail Mary– a new Greenpoint restaurant that opened on Wednesday night in the former home of 68 and then subsequently (briefly too) Hook & Cleaver which was run by Chopped chef Diane DiMeo– is pushing the diner concept even further with their avant-garde take on the American everyman classic.
It’s forecast to rain all weekend (boo), but today the weather gods are giving us a pretty tantalizing taste of the summer vibes around the corner. And we all know what that means: soaking up drinks, drinks, and more draaanks galore.
The Passport Program is a not-too-shabby way to make your summer imbibing a little bit cheaper, especially if your #goals this summer include expanding your cocktail repertoire and hitting new bars on the drink scene.
When you’re out picking up groceries for the week, ever wonder what recipes the other shoppers have up their sleeves? If you shop at Trader Joe’s you’re probably too busy elbowing people out of the way and fighting over the last jar of coconut oil to really get a good look at your neighbors’ shopping lists. (Wait, does anyone handwrite those things anymore?) But if you live near the sleepy old-school Essex Street Market, you’ve surely got a little more time to poke around and wonder about the diverse cast of vendors and shoppers rubbing shoulders amid the fruit and vegetable sellers, Japanese specialty items and fancy cheeses. If there’s anywhere you’d shop to whip up something unique, it’s here.
It’s the time of year again, when the venerable Essex Street Market marks its anniversary with an all-out block party, taking over the stretch between Delancey and Rivington with pushcarts, astroturf, outdoor DJs, and delicious food galore. It’s been 76 years and as the longest-surviving market from the La Guardia era, it deserves to celebrate. (To get the full deets on its history, check out our deep dive into its roots. You can also get a free market tour at the party, from Turnstile Tours).
Behind an old-school bodega-like awning Josh Ku and Trigg Brown are putting the finishing touches on Win Son, their brand new Taiwanese-American restaurant, officially opening on Thursday. The place has an unassuming facade (I almost walked right past it, actually), but is home to a relatively spacious neighborhood eatery awash in natural light. Win Son lies somewhere between upscale and approachable, but with an angle on one Asian cuisine that’s surprising enough to turn all sorts of heads.
Brooklyn Brewery today announced plans to roll out their barrel program to the Brooklyn Navy Yard in a big way. The Williamsburg-based beer operation already has a warehouse at the yard where they’re aging 2,000 barrels of wine, bourbon, rum and mezcal by way of experimental processes. But come 2018, the company will open their new “primary headquarters” to the public inside Building 77 at the center of the yard, where they plan to produce 50,000 barrels of beer annually.
This morning, real-estate brokerage firm Eastern Consolidated announced that the retail condo at 17 Orchard Street– otherwise known as homebase of The Fat Radish– was sold. The 2,500 square-foot space was snatched up for $2.5 million by Elijah Equities (a real-estate company that recently made headlines for leasing their 5th avenue storefront to a Chinese burger chain, Uncle Sam Fast Food).
Bedford Avenue has more than its share of coffee spots, starting with the El Beit reboot that opened in March. But this next one promises to be a little different. Equilibria, opening just down the block from Oslo and Black Brick, isn’t just a cafe offering free wifi– it doubles and triples as a pharmacy and wellness store.