A cozy, gorgeous gastropub tucked away in north Greenpoint, just a stones-throw from the East River. There’s a wood-burning stove up front, a small bar and a handful of tables. The hardwood floors, original tin ceilings, old-timey cocktails, and a small seaside-inspired menu hearkens back to an earlier era when Greenpoint was a working port and the space was a pub frequented by dockworkers. Come for an inventive small plate and a fancy cocktail. Achilles Heel is one of many popular restaurants in North Brooklyn created by Andrew Tarlow who also founded Diner, Marlow & Sons, and Reynard.
In its more peaceful hours, Achilles Heel, a revived waterfront bar with a painted stone facade in the Greenpoint section of Brooklyn, reminds me of McSorley’s Old Ale House. At both places, you can rub the winter out of your hands near a hot stove (fueled by coal at McSorley’s, firewood at Achilles) whose feet are propped on beat-up floorboards. Neither spot is in any hurry, and time there moves at a pace that is decidedly prehashtag. Their light has a faraway, amber quality you could call cheerful gloom. They are among the most soothing places in the city to cradle a glass while the day shortens and slips into the night.
a café and bar meant to evoke the always-open grocery and drinking spot that once sustained Greenpoint dockworkers at its West Street address between 1900 and 1960. Details like the hardwood bar and mirrors are original, and once he had signed on the space, Tarlow took a solitary bar stool he’d found straight to his carpenter and asked him to make a few more. There’s a meat-slicer behind the counter for the domestic cured hams, wooden apple crates loaded with fresh produce for purchase, breads baked at Roman’s for sale, and several hundred pounds of new equipment for the baristas to make George Howell pour-over coffee and espresso drinks.
Brooklyn empire builder Andrew Tarlow (Reynard, Diner, Marlow and Sons) extends his reach to Greenpoint for this cute corner cafe that turns into a bar at night, offering a tightly curated drink list focused on beer and wine plus a small menu of snacky food; with its copper-topped bar, intricate wood details and funky little tables, the comfy space feels like it’s already been around for ages.