We already told you about a few haunted places in Williamsburg. We can now add Sweetwater to the list. Decades before the establishment morphed into its current incarnation as an American bistro, it was a restaurant and bar owned by Charles Szyjka that served up breakfast and booze to blue-collar workers. Szyjka lived upstairs, lost two wives to childbirth, and had a daughter named Anna who employees believe is responsible for the so-called haunting:
On a dark morning in September 2006, Miguel Vargas arrived for work at a Brooklyn restaurant called Sweetwater. He unlocked and lifted the security gate, took two steps inside and saw a woman in profile walking across the dining room toward a basement stairwell.
She was middle-aged with gray hair and dressed in white, like a wedding dress, he said, but not one from this century. And she appeared corporeal, “normal,” Mr. Vargas said, not nebulous or translucent like on television.
“I knew it was a ghost when I saw it. I said, ‘O.K., that’s it.’ And I walked away.” For the next half-hour he stood outside, trembling. When Mr. Vargas, a porter at the restaurant, told his bosses, they laughed.
Yet the previous porter had quit in a panic, restaurant employees said. He was napping on a table in the basement and claimed to see “the devil” standing over him. And other employees at this American bistro in Williamsburg have reported strange happenings: music turning on without explanation; lights flickering; odd patches of luminescence in the basement; and the feeling of being watched by an unseen presence…
Then there was a nerve-racking episode a few weeks ago. While digging up the dining room floor to reinforce support beams, workers unearthed a burial site containing a three-inch stone statue of the Madonna and child, a tiny gold ring, a pair of children’s brown Mary Jane shoes and bone fragments that the restaurant’s owner, Nina Brondmo, described as “probably from a small animal.”
They reburied the shoes and bones, put the statue on display behind the bar and a busboy took the ring.
“After that, all the glasses were breaking,” Wesley Ham, 35, the manager, said. “You would grab a glass and it would shatter in your hand, or you’d look over and all the glasses on the shelf would be cracked. Sometimes it would be 20 a day. I thought the ghost was not happy about its possessions being taken from the floor.”
The owner thinks the staff is just being superstitious, but who knows? The only thing we’re certain about is we like their burger.