Brooklyn has been undergoing a renaissance during the past few decades, with new shops, bars, nightclubs, boutiques, and even museums opening around the borough. While you should definitely visit some of the more established local favorites on your upcoming jaunt to Brooklyn-- for instance you must order a pie at Roberta's in Bushwick and check out the street art in the area--also consider adding some of these new spots to your itinerary. From trendy cocktail bars to a children's museum, there is something for every traveler.
Once you've devoured this list of places to visit, you can look forward to many more new Brooklyn openings in 2017. From the Williamsburg Hotel which is taking reservations for December 2016 to the DeKalb Market Hall there are many openings in the works. Personally, I'm excited about to the new outpost of one of Brooklyn's best independent bookstore's Greenlight Bookstore which will open a second location in Prospect Park Lefferts Garden. In fact, you can read about the construction and track the shop's opening on their blog. In a world where large retail booksellers are closing their doors, it's refreshing to see new indie bookstores opening in Brooklyn. Another Brooklyn favorite, Nitehawk Cinema is opening another dine-in movie theater in Park Slope, which is one of many great openings that will be happening in Brooklyn.
However, you don't have to wait for these ten spots to open, you can enjoy them now!
If you want more than popcorn at the movies, head to the Alamo Drafthouse. This Austin based dine-in movie theater opened a location in Brooklyn in October 2016. With a menu of good eats including a list of healthy salads (Kale & Manchengo salad, anyone?), Pancetta Mac and Cheese and slew of sandwiches and flatbread, it's the ideal spot for a film loving foodie. Ordering is easy, all you do is write down your order and place it on the rail, and enjoy your food as you watch the flick. You can toss the stale pretzel and soft drink aside at this hip location, which screens both current and retro films on their seven screens. Families will enjoy their kid-friendly film series, and film buffs will love their well curated list of classic films.
Afterward, if you want to discuss the film, stop by The House of Wax bar at the Alamo Drafthouse. The bar is worth a visit on its own, as it doubles as a wax museum. In fact, "most of the objects displayed in "House Of Wax" are the remnants of a largely forgotten popular exhibition known as Castan's Panopticum. Founded in Berlin in 1869 and lasting until 1922, Castan's was a museum its German contemporaries described as an "Allesschau," a "show of everything." Warning, there are incredibly graphic images, but you don't have to look, just sit at the bar and enjoy a creepy cocktail like the Napolean Death Mask (Cognac, Cardamaro, Cynar, Rhubarb bitters, Bacon, Salt) or a Butcher of Hanover (Fernet Branca, Carpano Antica Formula, Lemon, IPA, Angostura). You'll definitely feel as if you're on a set for a film at this funky new addition to downtown Brooklyn.
This bicycle themed bar and restaurant which opened in Williamsburg in the shadow of the Williamsburg Bridge, gives a new meaning to the term "biker bar." Bar Velo offers "a nod to 1930s-era cycling culture," and the owner John McCormick, who opened the restaurant with his wife, used to be a cyclist and bike messenger. However, it's not all about the drinks at Bar Velo, they have extensive vegetarian menu, and the cozy space is outfitted with the McCormick's collection of bike gear. Located in the former Cafe Moto, a local favorite, this new restaurant will also have live music. Enjoy cocktails and possibly converse with other bike lovers in this new addition to Williamsburg.
Sip a Faust Coppi (Mezcal, Green Chartreuse, Maraschino and Fresh Lime) or a Belleville (Whiskey, Lemon, Roma Tomato, Fresh Basil) and dine on veggie cuisine including Lentil Walnut Pate (with Grilled Baguette and Cornichons) and Slow Roasted Tomato Fettuccini, along with many other tasty treats.
Leuca, a new Italian restaurant located at the recently opened The William Vale, a luxury boutique hotel in the heart of Williamsburg, is creating quite a buzz with its classic Sophia Lauren sundae. The restaurant from Andrew Carmellini's NoHo Hospitality Group has a menu of rustic dishes with a distinctly Italian flair. Start with Southern Italian dips served with Pane Siciliano such as Sheep’s Milk Ricotta with hot honey and garlic or Italian Butter Bean with wild mushroom. Follow it up with a house-made pastas, wood-fired pizzas or specialty dishes follows, including Lemon Chicken for Two with Blistered Peppers.
After you've finished your decadent Italian dinner, you should check out the views from Westlight, as you sip a cocktail from the rooftop bar on the twenty second floor of The William Vale, which has some of the most impressive views in the city. The menu for Westlight is also from Andrew Carmellini's NoHo Hospitality Group
Be sure to make reservations for both Leuca and Westlight because both are incredibly popular.
Spark, an annex of the famous Brooklyn Children's Museum, opened in Dumbo at Brooklyn Bridge Park. The opening exhibit is a second location of Brooklyn Block Lab, the Brooklyn Children's Museum's signature – and extremely popular – early childhood building-block play space that uses block play to support critical social and cognitive skills – from team-building and creative thinking to STEM concepts, including problem solving, math, spatial reasoning and pre-engineering concepts.
Brooklyn Block Lab will consist of 1,500 square feet of indoor and outdoor space and features two areas of building blocks by Imagination Playground, Magna-Tiles, and Kapla Planks. In good weather, Brooklyn Block Lab will be held outside in the adjacent John Street section of Brooklyn Bridge Park. Spark will features an art studio for the Museum’s art-making, design, and architecture program. Additionally, there is a soft crawl space for young children and a hands-on area called the Discovery Den, which features a changing selection of the Museum’s permanent collection of handle-able natural science specimens and cultural artifacts.
The museum is open Tuesdays through Sundays and is an ideal spot to visit if you have kids in tow. If you want to craft a kid-friendly trip to Brooklyn, be sure to bookmark this kid-friendly guide.
The bearded brothers and chefs, Max and Eli Susssman, known for their pop up restaurants at Berg'n and Threes Brewing, now have a restaurant, Samesa, in Williamsburg, inspired by their "love of hole-in-the-wall falafel joints, halal trucks and Middle Eastern restaurants from Detroit to New York..." Highlights from the Middle Eastern menu include chicken shawarma, vegan zucchini fritters, and an assortment of dips including roasted beet with sumac and lentil pistachio with pickled turnips, which are served with pumpernickel pita. The quirky and inventive touches on the Middle Eastern cuisine make Samesa stand out. Stop in for lunch while you're out exploring Williamsburg.
In September 2016, the Brooklyn Bazaar reopened after an almost eighteen month hiatus. The new Brooklyn Bazaar is housed in the former location of Poloainse Terrace, a Polish Banquet Hall in the heart of Greenpoint. The space is now home to concerts and is the perfect spot to play ping pong, challenge a friend to a round of mini golf, enjoy video games at their arcade, drink at one of their four bars, and watch flicks at this wonderland on Greenpoint Avenue, where you can engage in a plethora of actives.
While you're in Greenpoint, you should check out these fourteen other hop spots around the hood. From art to artisanal food, these are fifteen must-visit locations.