Williamsburg and Greenpointers cashing in on Airbnb to the tune $39 million

airbnb-brooklyn

The Airbnb controversy continues, but one thing is indisputable. Airbnb hosts in Greenpoint and Williamsburg are cashing in.

During the Review Period, most revenue from private Brooklyn short-term rentals came from Community Districts along the Northern Brooklyn waterfront and in the neighborhoods often collectively called “Brownstone Brooklyn.” As depicted in Figure 12 below, the Williamsburg/Greenpoint Community District had for the largest concentration of private short-term rentals in Brooklyn, generating $39 million for hosts—40 percent of the boroughwide total and nearly 10 percent of the citywide total. Like the Lower East side, the Williamsburg/Greenpoint Community District was one of the most rapidly gentrifying neighborhoods in New York City, as reflected in the disparity between the rents paid by old and new renters in 2012. 14 Other popular community districts included Downtown Brooklyn/Fort Greene ($14.7 million revenue), Prospect Heights/Bedford Stuyvesant ($14.4 million revenue), and Park Slope ($8.67 million revenue).

No one is sure how this is going to all pan out — the Attorney General has made Airbnb his pet project — but for the time being it’s a hot market for hosts in North Brooklyn.

Slick Willie – now open in Greenpoint

slick-willie

Slick Willie
179 Meserole Ave in Greenpoint
718-389-0090

A new restaurant has finally opened on a quiet block in Greenpoint called Slick Willie. Named for a Greenpoint-born bank robber, Willie Sutton, the cafe boasts menu categories like Solitary Confinement, Hiding Out For a While and On the Run. We can’t wait to try the Contraband burger. For now, they’re only open for lunch and dinner, but as a chalkboard above the bar boasts: “Dinner and bar when prohibition is over: Full liquor, beer coming soon…” [Read more...]

North Brooklyn gets lots of love in Village Voice’s Best of 2014

Taqueria Izucar, credit Serious Eats

Village Voice’s best of New York issue is out and not surprisingly North Brooklyn has lots of bar and restaurant mentions — and oversights. (No love for Roberta’s?) Some of its choices we find a bit odd, but hey, we’re happy to see Peter Pan, St. Anselm and Taqueria Izucar get some love. Here’s their ‘bests’ from Bushwick, Greenpoint and Williamsburg:

BUSHWICK

Best Ethiopian Restaurant
Bunna Café

While Bunna Café might seem like a Brooklyn cliché (it serves vegan Ethiopian food next to a vacant lot in Bushwick, after all), Ethiopian cuisine has long held vegetarian and vegan dishes in its repertoire thanks to extended fasting periods imposed by the Ethiopian Orthodox Church. Chef Kedija Srage cooks up a colorful array of meatless wots and tibs served alone or as part of combination platters arranged on top of injera. (Bunna’s take on the porous sourdough flatbread is fluffier and less sour than its peers’.) Ethiopian beers and honey wine are available, and cocktails — like the Pushkin, a White Russian made with Ethiopian coffee and toasted sunflower milk — are particularly inspired. The righteous brewed beans are roasted throughout the day and served espresso-style. Srage and café owners Sam Saverance and Liyuw Ayalew have also carved out time four nights a week to perform a traditional coffee ceremony, where an audience observes the roasting process and drinks the results.

Best Cuban Sandwich
Cafetería La Mejor

Find the intersection of Suydam and Wilson in Bushwick, and we guarantee you won’t miss Cafetería La Mejor — its façade is hued turquoise and magenta, so fluorescent we suspect you can see it from space. The place turns out a limited menu of Cuban coffees, a handful of sandwiches, and pastries; grab a counter seat or sashay up to the window and order the sandwich cubano. You’ll get a knock-out classic rendition: roasted pork, ham, swiss, and pickles stacked in generous — but not off-balance — quantities on that white Cuban bread slicked with grainy mustard. The whole thing goes into a press until the cheese is melted and the exterior toasted. We’ll admit we raised an eyebrow when we read the menu description declaring that our sandwich would arrive “eggshell crisp,” but that descriptor proved exactly right, providing an immensely satisfying crackly foil to the hearty filling within.

Best Vegetarian Deli
Hana Natural

Hana Natural is actually a grocery store, and its main purpose is to provide Bushwick with organic and natural products. But it also houses a deli, offering its customers a huge selection of sandwiches, including a list of vegetarian options so numerous, it puts other vegetarian restaurants to shame. Many of these are creative re-creations of popular carnivorous sammies, the meat swapped out for fake meat and then laden with fresh vegetables, cheese, and various condiments. In particular, the deli makes a mean veggie BLT, exchanging bacon for veggie bacon, which is made of soy. Or try the tofu Reuben, which uses grilled tofu in lieu of corned beef. [Read more...]

Le Fanfare – new Italian restaurant with live jazz opens in Greenpoint

Le Fanfare

Le Fanfare; credit Greenpointers

There have been lots of new restaurant openings in Greenpoint of late including Esme and Le Fond. Now we can add Le Fanfare to the list, which opened quietly at the beginning of September:

The team behind NoLita’s Epistrophy Cafe brings homemade pasta, fresh seafood and other timeless Italian fare to this charming spot on Greenpoint’s main drag. Jazzy live acts perform on a tiny stage at the back of the narrow space decked out with checkered floors, communal tables and a small bar.

Greenpointers paid them a visit:

The cocktail list is short and classic, with drinks around $11, and the bar is comfortable and pleasantly backlit by a clouded mirror studded with star-like lights. … Seating beyond the bar falls into three categories: long communal tables, small marble two-tops built in along the wall, and exceptionally nice semi-separated marble-topped booths built for four….

Le Fanfare is a fantastic space in which to spend an evening. I do have some reservations about the food, which perhaps I judge harshly because every other aspect of the experience was so finely tuned and because certain dishes – that white bean dip, good god, I’m considering going there for some right now – compelled me to keep going back for another taste. I hope that, given a chance to break in and find their stride, Le Fanfare becomes a top choice for the neighborhood on nights that we want to spend sitting comfortably and living well.

Le Fanfare is open Tuesday through Saturday 5:30pm – 1:00am and Sunday 5:30 pm – 12:00 with live jazz Wednesday – Saturday.

Le Fanfare
1103 Manhattan Avenue 

New York, New York 11222
347-987-4244
website

Pix: A Way To Say Goodbye

pix

We’re enjoying the debut single from London’s Pix, aka Hannah Rodgers. It was produced by Dreamtrack, who’s been getting much buzz lately (and a best new music mention). We’re looking forward to hearing more from Pix. [via]

Bushwick’s The Coffee Shop posts “Greedy Infiltrators” and an anti-Semitic tirade

the-bushwick-coffee-shop2

Um, this can’t be good for business. WTF?! Whoever is running  Bushwick’s The Coffee Shop’s Instagram account posted the above “Greedy Infiltrators” picture and the following tirade:

Ok, what I REALLY want to talk about is how to consider the Jews (oh yes, let’s talk about it) who want a piece or all of Bushwick. My stubborn Bushwick-oroginal neighbor is a hoarder and a mess- true.. and he’s refused selling his building for lots and lots of money. His building and treatment of it makes the hood look much less attractive and I would like him to either clean up or move along. BUT NOT be bought out by Jews however, who in this case (and many cases separate- SORRY!) function via greed and dominance. [Read more...]

Forrest Point – beautiful new bar & restaurant now open in Bushwick

forrest-point

Forrest Point is at 970 Flushing Avenue, not far from the Morgan stop and Jefftown. It’s from the same people who run 983 Bushwick, which is across the street. Gothamist paid them a visit and was impressed:

First and foremost: the fantastic outdoor seating area, boasting room for 70 imbibers on chairs, benches and even swings and couches. We may be nearing the end of the al fresco season, but the on-site fruit trees still have their greenery, amplified by hanging ferns and quaint strings of incandescent bulbs. The design is by Emporium Design (Boulton & Watts, Blind Barber), and the Forrest Point team also enlisted Art Battles’ Ben Angotti to add some dramatic murals to the facade, including a gorgeous elephant and some borough-appropriate plaid. Then there’s the bright fluorescent sign perched atop the building, like a beacon drawing you in to a whimsical jungle bar.

Inside, seating for 60 more beneath birdcage lamps and an industrial, unfinished ceiling. Matching isn’t high on the list of priorities here; stools of all shapes and sizes ring the perimeter, tables of varying sizes offer more places to perch. The bar doles out glasses of milk punch ($9)—a cocktail variety gaining popularity among serious cocktail dens like Midtown’s Betony—as easily as it does shot-and-beer specials. The eclectic food menu spans Tuna Tartare Tacos ($12) to Chicken Fried Oysters ($14), Porchetta Sandwiches ($8) to Shwarma Style Chicken Flatbread ($11).

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Here’s the menu: [Read more...]

Northside restaurant update: openings, closings and four Michelin stars

le-fond

Le Fond, credit: Urban Daddy

First, the bad news. Free Williamsburg favorite Potlikker has shuttered. Maybe it was the prices — they could be a tad spendy– but we loved the food and vibe. We hope Liza Queen (who previously ran Queen’s Hideaway in Greenpoint) finds a new home. We miss her food already.

The generally well-received Potlikker on Williamsburg’s Southside appears to be closed for good. The phone number for the Bedford Avenue restaurant is disconnected, Open Table is no longer facilitating reservations, the establishment was locked up tight over the weekend, and the reliable neighborhood Thai restaurant Khao Sarn has announced plans to relocate into the space in November.
Liza Queen, a talented chef and restaurateur known for her trailblazing Greenpoint restaurant Queen’s Hideaway, opened Potlikker in 2012 with high hopes and a 14 year lease. The reviews were mostly positive, though some felt the menu was overpriced. (It wasn’t cheap.) Queen has not responded to our email requesting comment about the closure, but this hilariously strange Yelp review suggests Potlikker’s been closed since July.

Le Fond, a so-called “Neo Bistro” (whatever the hell that means) is now open in Greenpoint. You can take a peek at their menu here. Urban Daddy has more pictures and we can’t wait to try it. Greenpointers was impressed:

The menu features good-looking starters such as marinated mussels with white beans, tomato confit and fennel, and rabbit terrine with apple mustard, hazelnuts and toast. Mains include a daube de bouef with red wine glazed vegetables, and hake with sherry caper vinaigrette and black lentils. There’s also a griddled burger with dill relish and French fries if you’re in line for something a little more American.
When I visited at the weekend I tried the skate with carrot browned butter puree, fennel and lemon parsley sauce. It was superb, with the anise flavor of the fennel playing deliciously against the sweet carrot and the slightly salty, perfectly cooked skate wings. I also had a beautifully moist almond cake with poached pears and a salted caramel sauce.

In other news, four Northside restaurants were awarded Michelin stars! [Read more...]