Take Note: Drink Beer and Write the Great American Novel
With weekly open-mic nights and communal composition notebooks on almost every table (each titled "Make Your Mark!"), Stain has the potential for elaborate displays of intellectual indulgence but instead draws in a sedate trickling of East Williamsburg neighborsless interested in filling their comp books with existence/self-hatred poems than with bubble letters and tic-tac-toe. Owned and run by Krista Madsen, a local novelist with no previous experience in business, the three-month-old lounge serves exclusively New York-made beers and wines, like the Harlem Sugar Hill Golden Ale ($5), Soho Cellars Chardonnay ($7), and the vaguely chocolate-flavored home-brewed Stain Red ($5). Physically spellbinding, Madsen seems to inspire quite a following (one of the first notebook entries: "Krista Madsen is a truly omnipotent, powerful goddess"), and built the bar entirely through friends' donationsmoney, but also furniture, carpenting services, and installation art involving mermaids, mannequins, and fire hydrants. "This bar is soooo, I don't know, Bedford Ave with a touch of Latin Grand Street," one visitor jotted in a comp book. Safely surrounded by unisex salons and dollar shops (versus cheese cafés and $100-vintage-cowboy-boot vendors), Stain has at least a couple years before the tidy destruction of that ever so slight, hipster-free "touch."
Get the ICYMI: Today's Top Stories Newsletter Our daily newsletter delivers quick clicks to keep you in the know
Catch up on the day's news and stay informed with our daily digest of the most popular news, music, food and arts stories in New York, delivered to your inbox.