DUMBO’s Second Wave: Five Reasons to Love Brooklyn’s New Empire Stores

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Cecconi’s patio 

Wooden beams, rows of glittering chandeliers and expansive views of Manhattan aren’t all that await you at the new Brooklyn outpost of LA celeb-magnet Cecconi’s. As the restaurant was opened by Soho House’s Nick Jones, there is little doubt of what a scene it will be all summer – especially on its breezy patio.

It’s part of the Empire Stores “compound” in Brookyn’s DUMBO, which is fast becoming the “destination du jour” for the NYC stylista set. It will also be connected to Soho House spinoff DUMBO House, which, when it opens in early 2018, will definitively shift the fashionable winds to this once quiet corner of of BKNY.

But for now, Cecconi’s’ marble tables line the open walk and bike path, ready and waiting for you to enjoy a frosty Campari and soda, paired with ricotta & truffle honey crostini or a summery risotto verde. And unlike Soho House, no membership is required. (Though “it” factor will still be everywhere you look.)

 

 

Another wave of buzz will come soon by way of Sugarcane Raw Bar Grill’s first New York location, opening in August. Not to mess with the success of the Miami and Vegas originals, but the Empire Stores outpost will see Exec Chef Timon Balloo put an NYC spin on his internationally inspired small plates. Expect buzzy brunches, and make sure to try the Maine lobster and vanilla bean beignet.

Come for he shopping, too. Hot-hot-hot Detroit has already exported its pizza style to NYC – and now we’ve got a branch of super trendy accessories purveyors Shinola. Browse artisan leather goods including bags and watches – even bicycles get the glam treatment here. Their mission to “build a modern and quintessentially American consumer products brand” uses local resources and employs community talent. The luxe products and high craftsmanship keep them coming back.

 

 

The FEED Shop and Café offers totes, jewelry and a social conscience (how very BKNY). Indeed, for every purchase, a meal is donated to feed a child in need – and god knows, there are far too many of those. While items like the groovy pink leather backpack don’t come cheap, spokesperson Lauren Bush has seen to the mission being noticeably displayed on each item: “Every one of our products has a number stamped on it that signifies the amount of meals or micronutrient packets provided with its purchase.” What’s not to love?

For those seeking just a caffeine fix, their to-go window has excellent coffee and pastries fresh daily.

 

 

And about that Dumbo House…it will open on the two floors above Cecconi’s. But unlike the Manhattan Soho House, it won’t be sporting a pool; rather, members will be treated to an outdoor terrace with life-altering views of the East River and Statue of Liberty. The details are still pretty hush-hush, but the aesthetic will surely be inspired by the bones of the 19th Century converted warehouse – and it will, undoubtedly, be a total scene.