Last Thursday night, the newly opened Brooklyneer welcomed a boisterous crowd of Manhattanites and Brooklynites alike. Some ventured in from Film Forum across the street, while others trudged in after a grueling day of work. While everyone inside indulged in the artisanal wonders of the neighboring borough, gulping down Coney Island Brewery ales and chowing on Williamsburg and Flatbush sliders, we stood outside on the street assailing exiting diners to get their immediate reactions on what they just ate.
“It doesn’t feel like Brooklyn,” said Lauren, a short brunette, as she smoked her cigarette. “I guess it’s more Bowery than Brooklyn.” Her two friends, Christopher and Donna, had a hard time mustering up enthusiasm about the place.
Christopher, a tall, bearded man, was fond of the Navy Yard cocktail he ordered, but said that it’s probably best to go with one of the many brews on tap. “You know, I’m happy to find a bar in this neighborhood that doesn’t have big TVs everywhere,” he said. Lauren nodded in agreement. She had ordered a simple Coney Island Ale, which she enjoyed very much.
Donna, forgetting to mention what she thought of the food, fixated on the decor. “I loved the huge communal sink,” she said, “and they have great smelling hand soap. And there’s an old fashioned photo booth right near the bathrooms, which is pretty cool.”
Aaron, a young man who was also out for a cigarette, raved about the Red Hook sliders (pulled pork shoulder, Sixpoint Brownstone Ale BBQ sauce, Mama O’s kimchee slaw, cilantro). As for the bar itself, he said, “It’s funny how controversial this place is. It doesn’t really feel like Brooklyn, but it doesn’t quite feel like Manhattan either.”
Kristin and Jonathan, a handsome couple from Carroll Gardens, loved the feel of the place. “My favorite part was the wallpaper,” said Kristin, “it was all weird shapes but when you look closer, you see it’s all rats, pigeons, parking meters, and other stuff. It’s very New York.” Jonathan added, “It’s wholesome meets eclectic, and it’s free of the glitzy allure of other West Village bars. I like it a lot.”
One exiting couple, also named Kris and Jon, left after just 15 minutes inside, with Jon commenting, “I had a Brooklyn Lager, which was fine, but it’s just way too noisy in there.”
Have a tip or restaurant-related news? Send it to email@example.com.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on December 6, 2010