Eco-Trendy

At the Habana Outpost, drinks come in biodegradable cornstarch cups and the plates are made from sugar cane

Rumors are flying on New York's nightlife blogs that Jon B. (Home and Guesthouse) wants to open an eco-friendly nightclub. But at Habana Outpost (757 Fulton Street) over in Brooklyn, green drinking's nothing new.

The Fort Greene–base of Sean Meenan's Café Habana is a cheerful, community-oriented eco-eatery that offers outdoor markets on Saturday afternoons and movie nights on Sundays at 8. The drinks come in biodegradable cornstarch cups. The plates are made from sugar cane. The lighting inside (boy, is there lighting—not much opportunity for romance here) is partially powered by solar panels in the courtyard, and while most of the seating is outdoor, the centerpiece of the Outpost is the world's first sunlit chandelier.

The Outpost reopened for the season on Saturday amid music, models and mojitos, culminating with the anticlimactic unveiling of the new downstairs lounge. Hordes of people gathered in long lines inside for frozen drinks (um, not frozen) and freezing bathrooms; outside, hungry patrons huddled in front of chef Oscar Teco's food truck, waiting for Habana's renowned grilled corn. (The orders eventually got so backed up that they stopped taking them.) The crowd's attention to the stage waxed and waned, waxing again when the burlesque performers began. The emcee swallowed a phallic balloon. Pinky Special wiggled through her entire set in a hula-hoop. It started to rain.

It's strictly bare essentials at eco-friendly Habana Outpost
photo: Andy Kropa
It's strictly bare essentials at eco-friendly Habana Outpost

Everyone regrouped inside, taking smoke breaks underneath the umbrellas that staffers quickly pitched, and waited for the basement door to finally open. When one of the employees momentarily left it unattended, we took the opportunity to sneak downstairs. Bad idea: The rain combined with freshly painted steps to create a steel ski slope, and our friend went down hard. Her toes were smudged black with paint; two days later, she claims it still won't come off.

Much later we discovered that the vibe in the lounge is just as chill as it is everywhere at the Outpost—irritatingly so for busy days like this. But the people are pretty, the atmosphere is festive, and, in the spirit of energy efficiency, revelers can pedal their way to a buzz on the bicycle-powered blender.

We'll drink to that.

 
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