Starting tomorrow, Saturday, the annual Hattie Carthan Community Farmers Markets are open at Cliton Place and Marcy Avenue. The markets come from an initiative in 2009 when community advocate Yonnette Fleming led gardeners to revitalize and reclaim an abandoned parcel used to dump toxic materials for over twenty years. The space is now beautiful, thanks to thousands of volunteer hours from the community.
The markets feature a variety of community programs, including fresh local food (of course), mixed veggie basket pickups, compost drop off, cooking demos, youth programming, food for sale, a smoothie bike, fresh eggs and food justice education.
For more information on the markets, how to volunteer, or to learn about programs like the food basket, go here.
The owner of Clinton Hill bar Hot Bird has opened a speakeasy-style cocktail bar called Pelican at 382 Marcus Garvey Boulevard, on the corner of Hancock. The owner, who lives in the neighborhood, designed much of the bar himself over a two-year period. There’s a small bar–only four seats–accompanied by cozy seating nooks and a big window looking out onto the street. It’s still in soft-opening mode (and accepting cash only), but more artwork and decor will go up in the coming weeks.
Click through for interior photos and more details!
A start-up Brooklyn spice purveyor, Breukelen Rub, is coming to the neighborhood this Saturday to host a free pop-up event. At 382 Tompkins Street, between 10:30am and 3pm, the company is hosting an “eat and greet” with three industry professionals. You’ll be able to buy Breukelen Rub’s locally-made spices, watch cooking demonstrations and eat free food, and participate in door prizes and a raffle. Besides spices, there will also be apparel, body care, jewelry and home goods for sale.
You can pre-register for the event over at Eventbrite.
Moe Gabr, his wife and two children moved to the neighborhood in 2010. And though his background is in interior design (his firm is Gabr Design) he started eyeing spots around the neighborhood to open a cafe. The perfect space to do it was at 571 Greene Avenue, a white box located right off Von King Park. Moe completely redesigned the space into a chic but comfortable coffee shop, which opened as Little Roy Coffee Co. in February of last year.
“We wanted to extend the experience of the park,” he said of the location–and all seats from the cafe look out toward the green space. Because the park is mostly surrounded with residential blocks, he felt it was the ideal spot to add a commercial element. And given Moe’s design background, much of the interior detail is custom, including the lighting and wainscoting. “It’s a contemporary feel that compliments the traditional architecture of the neighborhood,” he said.
The menu includes Third Wave Coffee, pastries from Saraghina, plus all the typical cafe fare. There’s food, too, and it’s influenced by Moe’s Egyptian roots. Menu items include hummus, tabbouleh, shakshuka and sandwiches. One of the drinks on the menu, the Helba Latte, was inspired by Egyptian flavors and includes fenugreek, ginger and turmeric.
Since opening about a year ago, “we’ve had a lot of support and now have a lot of regulars,” Moe said. But given the location off the park and away from the major commercial strips, he wants to get the word out to more locals. “We’re rooted in the community,” he said, “The challenge now is just to get more people to know us.” So go check the spot out! And for all you work-from-home types, Little Roy has a relaxed atmosphere and free wi-fi that makes it a nice spot to drink, eat and work away on your computer.
If you don’t know about Reconnect Cafe, it’s time to start supporting them. Located at 139 Tompkins Avenue, the cafe was founded in 2014 by locals who wanted to provide employment and entrepreneurship opportunities for young men here in Bed-Stuy. The cafe has since expanded to a bakery and graphic design company. You can hear the full story of Reconnect through the YouTube video below.
But the landlord of the cafe, Silvershore Properties, was recently named on the public advocate’s “Worst Landlord in NYC” list. According to Reconnect, they have refused to do building repairs which ultimately forced the establishment to shut down. “Silvershore is selling the property and so takes little interest in the invaluable mission of Reconnect,” the non-profit said in an email.
They are asking that supporters call Silvershore and lodge a complaint. The number for Silvershore Properties is 212-239-7164; building management is 718-854-5205. They’re also asking for social media postings under #savereconnect.
Finally, you could make a donation to Reconnect right here. Let’s support this invaluable local business!
There’s a new cafe and record store at 1129 Bedford Avenue, between Monroe and Madison, called The Mixtape Shop. The business began as an online store in February of 2016, specializing in independent and underground music. Now, the brick and mortar record shop also features a café serving espresso from Intelligentsia, Bien Cuit pastries and a selection of cold drinks. In the fall, there are plans to expand to a more extensive food menu.
“We wanted to create a space where people can spend time hanging out and listening to music with a welcoming vibe for people who don’t normally go into record shops,” co-owner Erica Roden said in a press release. The release also said this about the music selection: “The record shop offers a range of recent releases, rare original pressings and reissued albums and LP’s with new titles every week. The inventory favors a curated selection of house, soul, disco, techno, Brazilian and jazz music.”
This storefront has been vacant for years, and was designed into a functional, simple space that could easily be transformed for weekend or evening events. It’s equipped with Klipschorn speakers and multiple listening stations, too.
If you’d like to visit, The Mixtape Shop is open seven days a week. The cafe runs between 8am and 4pm, while the record shop is open between noon and 8pm.
Here are some new business openings I’ve noticed around the neighborhood. The first is Brown Butter Craft Bar + Kitchen, at 413 Tompkins Avenue (between Hancock and Halsey). Myriam Nicolas, owner of Brooklyn Baby Cakes on Nostrand Avenue, is behind the venture, and is offering up fancier takes on staples like the bacon, egg, and cheese, alongside grain bowls, salads, matcha teas, beetroot lattes and juices. The cafe is currently open from 7:30am to 5pm, though Nicolas is in the process of applying for a beer and wine liquor license to expand her hours. Read more details of this new spot over at DNAinfo. The photo of the cafe is via Facebook.
This summer, Capoeira Fit Brooklyn opened at 525 Nostrand Avenue, between Nostrand and Atlantic. Beside offering Capoeira classes–which is an African-Brazilian practice that combines dance, martial arts, music and acrobatics–there are also karate and yoga classes. Check out the full class schedule here. Photo above via Yelp.
South London pizzaria Bravi Ragazzi has opened shop at 570 Putnam Avenue, on the corner of Marcus Garvey Boulevard. This is the first American outpost for the company, which is known for its wood-fired, sourdough pizzas. This is more than a slice joint — there’s seating for up to 60 people inside and includes a bar. Has anybody tried it yet? Does it stand up to the classic Brooklyn slice?