After months of build-up, Berg’n (899 Bergen Street, Brooklyn; 718-857-2337) made its debut in ever-gentrifying Crown Heights this week, giving the neighborhood a brand new beer-hall-food-stall combo from Eric Demby and Jonathan Butler, the same folks behind Smorgusburg and Brooklyn Flea. The area has already embraced the place — the massive hall was busy but not packed when the doors first opened, but later that evening, the line stretched the length of the building.
And the people here really look like locals: the crowd was split evenly among families with young children grabbing coffees and pastries, young professionals sipping suds and working on their laptops, and groups of friends splitting grub from the different eateries.
This space housed a garage for many years, and Demby and Butler have kept the open floor plan and high ceilings. A bar lines one wall, a coffee stand is tucked into a corner, and lots of natural light comes from pull-down glass doors and skylights. The food stalls are in a row against the far wall. The massive footprint could easily be in a suburb somewhere, but where food courts at the typical mall are clinical, Berg’n remains personal, with touches like hooks underneath the tables for purses, and delicate tiles along the coffee shop wall.
As with the partner’s SummerStage and concessions projects, the options available here are plentiful. You’ll find brisket and pulled pork from Mighty Quinn’s, and Thai skirt steak salad and bahn mi hot dogs from Asia Dog. Pizza Moto, renowned for its wood-fire mobile ovens, installed its first gas deck oven here, and it’s slinging slices and whole pies. And finally, there’s that novelty item that’s been hyped in pre-opening press — Ramen Burger fills the last stall, serving its namesake food item as well as ramen fries, which are deep fried slices cut from what appears to be the same noodle-bun hybrid used for the sandwich.
Berg’n also features a nouveau beer garden, and it boasts an impressive beer list put together with assistance from Brooklyn Brewery’s master brewer Garrett Oliver. On draft right now, you’ll find a Belgian-style white from Portland Maine, Reissdorf Kölsch from Germany, hard cider from Michigan, and artisanal sodas from Brooklyn’s own Brooklyn Soda Works. The bottles and cans list numbers upwards of 30, and there is a small list of reds, whites, roses, and bubbles for wine drinkers, too.
Berg’n is open Sunday through Thursday from 8 a.m. until 1 a.m. and Friday and Saturday from 8 a.m. until 2 a.m.
This article from the Village Voice Archive was posted on August 28, 2014