My first job out of college was running the cosmetics department for Macy’s in Kings Plaza Brooklyn. I’d drive out there every day instead of taking public transportation which was a subway and a bus. The hours were long and late so a car was definitely the way to go. We were lucky that we had one which at one point became so dilapidated that we had to pay a tow truck to take it away and he was concerned that there might be a lean against the car. But that is a whole other story.
I’d drive through Brooklyn many days instead of taking the main routes back to NYC. Fred and I would also venture into the different neighborhoods to check them out and at one point lived in Cobble Hill and Brooklyn Heights. So many of those neighborhoods were not places you would want to venture into at night or even day. A lot has changed.
I see the Brooklynization of cities across the globe. The next generation has taken control of areas that needed some serious TLC. Jonathan Butler Demby started Brownstoner sometime around 2006 when Curbed began. Brownstoner wrote about the ins and outs of Brooklyn real estate among other things. Jonathan and Eric saw what was happening in Brooklyn and began the Brooklyn Flea in 2012 where they took the concept of a flea market and applied that with food (which was starting to dominate the Brooklyn start-up scene) and created a place for people would go to shop and mingle. Out of that came Smorgasburg completely dedicated to food. It is truly was brilliant and in many ways I think of both Jonathan and Eric as the self-appointed mayors of Brooklyn.
Fast forward, they both bought a building in Crown Heights and built a beer hall along with co-working spaces and singular places to rent for companies to put down their roots. The beer hall is called Berg’n with food from Asia Dog, Mighty Quinns, Pizza Moto Slice Shop and Ramen Burger. When I first saw the idea I knew it would be a success. Located in Crown Heights surrounded by big open streets and beautiful brownstones. The timing was right.
The other spots that have transformed areas of Brooklyn is the Royal Palms Shuffleboard in Gowanus. An awesome large space with shuffle board in the middle of surrounding cabanas, a food truck of the night and dozens of games that can be used to play that evening. It is a local community spot.
Another spot is coming to Gowanus is called Threes Brewing. Besides brewing a variety of their own beers which are fantastic there will be food, coffee and music from breakfast to late night. Opening 12/1 and certainly local beers at your favorite bars soon. It is a great space with a big outside area in the back with a bar and a grill. The building spreads back and forth from one street to another.
We are investors in all three. It feels so great to know that each of these spots are creating local watering holes for the neighborhoods of Brooklyn. The neighborhoods are filled with young people, young families and a DIY vibe that stems from the young tech communities and the food purveyors. It is great to feel apart of
that beat of the street in areas that not long ago felt vacant.