Important discussions and decisions have a new home in Congress (208 Court Street, Brooklyn), a drinkery opening today on Court Street in Cobble Hill. Owners Lauren Weisstein and Anatoly Dubinsky met 10 years ago when Weisstein started bartending at Dubinsky’s Soda Bar in Prospect Heights before moving behind the bar at another one of her partner’s projects: Crown Heights’ Franklin Park. About a year ago, the duo starting talking about opening a place of their own, and a fondness for Cobble Hill and desire to venture to new territories brought them west of Flatbush Avenue and into a former fruit and produce market on Court Street.
In addition to eight rotating beers on tap and four wine offerings (two red, two white), six seasonal cocktails (all priced at $10) feature a range of base spirits and currently include a rye-based Trinidad sour, a vodka-amped Aperol spritz (one of Weisstein’s favorites) and a citrus-charged royale with anejo, Cointreau, St. Germain and orange bitters. And while a printed cocktail menu will always accessorize the bar, Weisstein encourages patrons to do their own thing. “It’s a full bar, where there’s something for everybody,” she says. A happy hour featuring $4 drafts, $5 wells, and $1-off wines will go into immediate effect, as well, and will be on offer every day from open until 7 p.m.
Aesthetically intricate details, such as hand-painted gold signage, a vibrant blue storefront and specially designed wallpaper from friend and graphic designer Michael Marwit outfit the space, which is meant to cater to the neighborhood’s sophisticated post-work drinking crowd. “We just tried to make it really visually beautiful and warm,” Weisstein notes.
Congress opens today at 2 p.m. and will be open from 2 p.m. until 4 a.m. Monday through Friday, and from noon until 4 a.m. on Saturdays and Sundays.