Yesterday, I stopped by new Wiley outpost, Glorietta Baldy, which opens Monday. But my day’s real discovery was something else entirely. Courtesy of a flat tire that forced me to walk, not bike, home, I stumbled upon another brotherly Bed-Stuy outfit, this one from Adam and Ben Forgash. (Please forgive me for being late to the party on this, I’m so glad to be here now.)
Dynaco (1112 Bedford Avenue, no phone) is a jewel of a place that, if located somewhere like the East Village or Bushwick, would likely be on every “where to drink” list right now (it’s gotten some press of that type, by the way–but not nearly what it deserves).
Housed next to Bed-Stuy destination spot Do or Dine, it’s an ideal place to hole up for a cocktail or two as you wait for a table down the street or to pop into for any old occasion–even if there’s no occasion at all. The Forgashes quietly opened Dynaco in May–“We didn’t send a press release or anything like that,” Adam says–but since the start, he says, they’ve been doing a steady business: “That first night, almost every seat was full.” Now, it’s standing room only on the weekends but quieter on weeknights.
The crowd? A little older: “It’s not 20-year-olds trying to consume as much alcohol as humanely possible … I walk in here, and it’s people I want to know,” Adam says. Lack of douchebags, check.
Adam says he sees a lot of food-industry people, people who know a good spot when they find one, who know what they want to drink without browsing a cocktail list, which there isn’t– just a nightly drink special; Tuesday night’s was a Sazerac–but the Forgashes staff the kind of bartenders who know how to make whatever you ask for, and the brothers keep 12 craft beers on tap.
It’s a simple, narrow room, cozy and homey, with two booths at the front and a table and chairs at the back and a little passageway to a narrow alley for smoking: “It’s not glamorous, but people really like to hang out back there with a beer in one hand, a cigarette in the other,” Adam says of the outdoor space.
The space is detailed with personal touches that nod to the brothers’ history; the bar is named for an old Dynaco amplifier their father had when they were kids. “We both coveted it for years–for years and years,” Adam says, adding that Ben got it in the end. And at back of the bar there’s a curtain wall constructed from carefully-stacked speakers in warm shades of brown. “The whole place has this 1970s feel, no?” Adam says. It does, but in the most charming possible way.
And they play music at an amicable volume through old speakers, too.
Dynaco serves food, but only two things: chocolate cake ($6, with milk) and goldfish. “Would you like a piece of cake?” Adam asks.
“No thanks, I really have to be going.” Still, I linger for another 15 minutes and Adam tells me about building the place with his brother, how his wife found the light fixtures on Long Island one day and he immediately drove out to pick them up, about his excitement to light the wood stove during winter, and his preference for big wine stems and not having a website or a phone.
“Do you need that?” he asks.
The guys seem to be doing just fine without it. As I reenter the bright midday clamor of trucks and gypsy cabs on Bedford Avenue, I can’t wait to come back.
Click to the next page for the beer list and more photos, and if you like, find me on Twitter: @findthathannah
More photos on the next page.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on October 17, 2013