New bar alert: Rocka Rolla now open in Williamsburg

rocka-rolla

credit: Gothamist

Rocka Rolla, 486 Metropolitan Avenue in Williamsburg

Rocka Rolla is the latest establishment from the people behind Skinny Dennis. We checked it out last night and its like Skinny Dennis for the classic rock and hair metal set, for those who prefer Van Halen to Merle Haggard. Unfortunately, it won’t have live music like its older brother. That said, it does have food — sausages and fries — which is a plus and an outdoor space with a view. Well, a view of the BQE that is. [Read more...]

Blind Barber, Williamsburg, Brooklyn – Have a pastrami taco while you get a haircut

Blind Barber; credit: Vanity Fair

Blind Barber; credit: Vanity Fair

Also, one more reason to make fun of the neighborhood:

Instead of merging an underground bar/club with a couple of barber chairs out front (as they have on the L.E.S.), the Brooklyn shop puts its emphasis on the cuts, fades, shaves, and pomades that gave the company its name. The new space is still dual-purpose, divided between a French-bistro-style coffee-and-sandwich-shop in the front and a spruced-up, well-equipped, though still-macho barbershop in the back. And while the shop’s design and the quality of its offerings are fantastic as always, the scene is defined almost entirely by its employees—a klatch of talented Midwestern-nice hunks who—instead of kicking your ass or mocking your jeans—are exceptionally kind and helpful, providing top-shelf cuts and understated advice to a bizarrely diverse cast of customers.

From their press release:

“When we built the first two Blind Barber locations, we wanted guests to come for a cut and then be able to disappear from their 9-5 in the back for the rest of the night. With Brooklyn, we created a space that customers will also want to visit from the time their day begins,” said Robert Stansell, owner of Emporium Design. [Read more...]

“Professional party guy” opening Bushwick restaurant with permanent Spin the Bottle table

amancays diner

Because drunk, slobbering, college-aged PDA and scrambled eggs go hand-in-hand. And just like that Bushwick became a little bit dumber:

East Williamsburg and Bushwick locals will soon have a place to play Spin the Bottle — all day and all night.

Amancay’s Diner, a 24-hour restaurant and music venue, is set to open at 2 Knickerbocker Ave. next month with what they’re touting as “the world’s first dedicated Spin the Bottle” table, said owner Chang Han, 48.

The table, surrounded on three sides by a red leather booth, will have a bottle secured to the top, like a Lazy Susan, said Han.

“Everybody’s played Spin the Bottle at one time or another,” said Han, who recalled playing the kissing game with four college students every Monday at his closed East Village restaurant Gama.

Playing games at his businesses isn’t new for Han, who said he used to “get drunk with a lot of girls” and bowl with melons inside the grocery and deli he owned for 10 years, St. Mark’s Market.

At Gama, he wrestled with 21-year-olds in a kiddie pool full of jello. (“I was getting my ass kicked,” he said.)…

The neighborhood needed a sit-down place to eat after the bars closed — and a place for its owner to party for a while, he said…

“I’m a professional party guy,” he said with a grin.

The Chocolate House – Mast Brothers opens space “dedicated to the craft of chocolate beverages”

chocolate-house

Um, yum! From their Facebook wall:

We’re thrilled to announce the debut of our first Chocolate House, an establishment dedicated to the craft of chocolate beverages.

Now open at 105A N. 3rd Street in Brooklyn.

And more from Eater:

A tipster sends a photo of the full menu, which includes brewed chocolate, cold brew chocolate and chocolate soda, as well as the more standard chocolate milk. According to a staff member, the first is basically a pour-over made with cacao nibs instead of coffee, while the second similarly involves steeping cocoa nibs to create an unsweetened, tea-like brew.

Now open: Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co.

Early in its history, Greenpoint was the home of dozens of shipyards scattered along the East River. Until recently, the neighborhood’s rich maritime history had all but been forgotten until a handful of seafood restaurants — Lobster Joint, The Bounty, Achilles Heel — began paying homage to Greenpoint’s roots.

Now, with the opening of Greenpoint Fish & Lobster Co. the neighborhood has an excellent seafood market and New England -style fish counter too. The understated space is warm and inviting, with black and white tiled floors, a raw bar, and a marble bar. Up front, Vinny Milburn is in charge of the market featuring fresh locally-sourced seafood and in the back Adam Geringer-Dunn runs the kitchen. The bar features a handful of craft beers and a small, but lovingly-curated selection of wines that pair well with oysters and the other light fare on the menu. [Read more...]

Kings County Saloon – now open in Bushwick

Kings County Saloon,

Kings County Saloon, 1 Knickerbocker Avenue, 347-987-3751, credit: Bushwick Daily

If you miss Bushwick’s short-lived 1 Knickerbocker or the former staple Kings County Bar, they’re BOTH back. Well, sort of:

Kings County Bar was a beloved watering hole for Bushwick locals since its inception in 2004. A rent-hike forced owner Jesse Levitt and general Manager Aimee Arciuolo to re-locate and it was then that idea for Kings County Saloon was born. The duo sought to keep the former bar’s one-of-a-kind vibe while also utilizing the new surroundings and larger setting to foster an element of novelty. All the while, they will aim to harness the same local attitude and lack of pretense that had helped make Kings County Bar a part of the neighborhood fabric for the last decade. “We like to think of it as the ultimate beer and shot bar,” Levitt said. “No frills, just fun.” Home to the celebrated “Smallest Penis in Brooklyn Pageant,” the rebirth of this local favorite will offer patrons snack-able bar bites along side familiar refreshing cocktails with the promise of an unforgettable good time.

high quality comfort food that pairs perfectly with booze including, melted ham and cheese bites served with house-made mustard; Buffalo-style wings; a ground brisket and beef short rib burger stuffed with sharp New York cheddar cheese on a sesame bun served with hand cut fries and house-made pickles; two flavors of hummus–olive and sun-dried tomato and tahini-based lemon and zucchini; a kale salad for the more health-conscious made with an almond-curry dressing, apples, rye berries, dried sour cherries and carrots and lastly, homemade ice cream sandwiches with alcohol flavored ice cream. [Read more...]

Cherry Izakaya now open in Williamsburg

It’s designed by hOme (the team behind Paulie Gees and Donna) and we hear good things about the food. We can’t wait to try it:

Restaurateurs Jonathan Morr (BONDST, Republic) and Eugene Morimoto, along with Chef Jun Hiroshima (Morimoto Napa, BONDST), translate Cherry’s playful riffs on contemporary Japanese fare to an Izakaya-style menu as they bring Cherry Izakaya to the vibrant Williamsburg neighborhood.

Offering small and large plates intended for sharing, the menu includes dishes like Stuffed Calamari with chorizo and black rice, Short Rib with Suntory-whiskey glaze, Escargot Donburi with miso béchamel, and Pork Ramen with brown butter miso and charred corn to satiate all cravings. A selection of gyoza includes Duck Kumquat and Shiitake Confit, while skewers span varieties like Pork Belly with ginger-soy, Chicken Meatballs with tomato shiso and parmesan to a delicate Eggplant Miso with fried capers. Cherry signatures like the Tuna Tart with creamy ponzu and white truffle oil and Short Rib Foie Gras Gyoza with a cherry glaze will also be served.

Inspired by 1970s Tokyo, the restaurant was designed by local designer studio hOme, whose projects include a number of Brooklyn restaurants. Upon entering Cherry Izakaya, guests are greeted by a vintage 1970s Pachinko machine, nestled into the foyer’s wall. A large bar, the heart of the izakaya, is decorated in handmade tiles and sits at the front of the restaurant beneath majestic reclaimed-wood arched ceilings, beckoning passersby from the street. In the warmer months, the front bar area overflows with sunlight from ceiling-height windows that open the restaurant to the street, allowing for an indoor-yet-outdoor feel.

Here’s the menu: [Read more...]

Menu: The Gorbals is open in Williamsburg

gorbals

Reservations are now available, which seems dumb, since this joint is on top of an effin Urban Outfitters. From Eater:

The New York outpost of Ilan Hall’s LA restaurant The Gorbals opens for dinner tonight in Williamsburg’s new Urban Outfitters “concept store” Space Ninety 8. The menu features several dishes cooked over the restaurant’s large wood-fire grill, including lamb ribs, porgy with bonito butter, and bone marrow with hen of the woods mushrooms and creamed walnuts. Other items include banh mi poutine, whole roasted pig head, and the well-known cheeky bacon-wrapped matzo balls. The promised large-format schnitzel “with the hoof still on” turns out to be a “chicken schnitzel with talon.”

Here’s the menu: [Read more...]