Plenty of ink has been spilled over the gentrification of New York’s most populous borough, but Brooklyn’s DIY spirit has essentially remained the same. Instead of building from the ground up, newcomers are respecting local heritage by converting old industrial spaces into hangouts suitable for new crowds. Bia Bar & Grill, Lavender Lake, and siblings The Wick and The Well are on the vanguard of creative repurposing in the county of Kings.
Bia Bar & Grill puts fresh Vietnamese cuisine in a raw space in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge. The cavernous interior comes complete with balcony seating and recycled signs from the last tenant, Vince’s General Auto Repairs. Head up to the roof for classic cocktails and serious views.
Former Knitting Factory hands drop a “music fortress” with the forthcoming venue The Wick. There’s space aplenty inside Bushwick’s former Hittleman Brewery. Local and national touring acts will play through. At The Well, you’ll find more live music, as well as beer from every brewer in the Empire State. Things kick off Saturday, with Cam’ron performing the inaugural show.
A former stable provides the bones for Gowanus’ newest watering hole, Lavender Lake. Brick walls, industrial stools, and manly raw wood make for a Scandinavian rustic vibe. Early opening hours, weekend brunch, and buckets of beer mean there’s something for Brooklynites of all stripes. A giant garden gnome watching over a spacious backyard is always a plus, too.