As we emphatically announced last month, the folks behind the notoriously debauched East Village gallery-slash-bar Lit Lounge are set to open a cafe-slash-nightclub in Bushwick. Well, that day has finally come… sort of.
On Sunday, the cafe part of the operation, Currant Cafe, opens its doors, serving up coffee, tea, a range of fresh pastries (blueberry wild cheese Danishes inclusive), Sloppy Joes and corned beef on rye. There’s even a tasty sounding curried lentil, walnut, spinach and cauliflower sandwich for vegans. The subterranean bar and nightclub, Lit Brooklyn, is set to open sometime in the fall.
The cafe’s name is a nod to the Artcraft Fluorescent Light Corporation (fits well with “Lit,” right?), which found its home in the Mckibbin lofts in the 50s. The owners took the word “current” (as in, electricity currents) and swapped the “e” for an “a” to incorporate the element of food (as in, currants are food).
Lit co-owners Eric Foss and David Schwartz, Trash Bar owner Aaron Pierce and Rafik Video owner Mindy Wyatt (who is also Schwartz’s fiancé) initially set their sights on Bushwick because it reminded them of how the East Village once was. “Bushwick, which is where we live, has a lot of great cultural happenings in terms of art and music,” says Wyatt. “It matches the prior clientele of Lit back when it was at its most bustling and genuine.”
When Wyatt and her partners laid eyes on a vacant space in the McKibbin lofts at 248 McKibbin, they knew immediately they had found “the one.” “We all saw the cafe, which was pretty much finished enough to fix up with a small but creative budget and personal time,” Wyatt recalls. “Then we saw the basement and it was a side-eye glance and then a holy hell look at each other – ‘This is IT.’”
So what can we expect from the downstairs space come fall? Two separate areas: a low lit bar fashioned from reclaimed barn wood and custom chandeliers and a downstairs disco complete with dance floor and DJ. Sounds like the underground lair of bad decision-making we’ve always dreamed of. But wait, there’s more. “There’s one more space in the building that will be a surprise,” Wyatt says. “Let’s just say its name is The Shaft.” Interesting…
So, when you’re nibbling on your grilled cheese sandwiches and Carolina Hot Browns on ciabatta this Sunday, you can fantasize about the future late nights spent down below. And in the meantime, if you’re hankering for a good time, the OG Lit Lounge in the East Village is still very much open.
Currant Cafe opens Sunday at 248 McKibbon in Bushwick. It is open daily from 7am-9:30pm