After traveling Europe extensively, Figiolia, former owner of an ambulette business, and his business partner, ex-Wall-Streeter Dan Berkery, decided to open a European spot in Bushwick’s neighboring neighborhood. “We were in a place in Amsterdam some years ago, a place we kept going back to,” Figiolia says. “And the umpteenth time we were there, it dawned on us that, hey, there’s no TVs and there’s no music, and it was like one of the best places I’d ever been. And so I said, ‘Would that work here?'”
You read that right. This ain’t no sports bar. “You wanna have a conversation, you can have a conversation. You wanna watch the Yankee game, you gotta watch it somewhere else,” Figiolia, a native Long Islander says. “We have a friend who teases us, he says, ‘You’re doin’ everything you can to make sure nobody goes to your place.’ So we conceded. We’re gonna have music. But we’re not gonna have the TVs.”
The name of the bar is an homage to the Trappist Monks who famously brew their own beer, considered among the best in the world. “The bar’s not gonna be a monastery, but we’ll have some touches that will suggest that,” Figiolia says. Among the beers they plan to serve are Triple Karmeliet, Saison, St. Feullien, Emelisse, and, of course, a selection of Trappist beers.
The Monk is putting the finishing touches on the interior at their spot, a former plumbing company, at 67-68 Fresh Pond Road. They plan to open within the next couple of months.