There’s a new rooftop bar at Empire Stores, plus other DUMBO stuff you should see
Eye on Real Estate: We just moved to a new office — so here's a guide for my colleagues
Did you know the Brooklyn Eagle has a new office in DUMBO?
We do. Some of us have previously worked Down Under the Manhattan Bridge Overpass. Others have not.
Since Brooklyn’s built environment is my professional obsession — and food’s a fixation, too — it’s my self-appointed duty to make a list of Cool Places in DUMBO for my colleagues. Other neighborhood newcomers should find it helpful as well.
Did you know Time Out Market just opened a rooftop bar at landmarked Empire Stores, which overlooks Brooklyn Bridge Park?
The bar is at the top of a complex of seven post-Civil War warehouses where John and Charles Arbuckle stored unroasted coffee beans long ago. The Cayre family’s company, Midtown Equities, and its joint-venture partners have turned Empire Stores into an office, retail and cultural venue.
The complex opened a couple years ago. There was already public space at the top of 55 Water St., which is Empire Stores’ address. But the rooftop bar is a brand-new thing. A server there told me it’s going to be open seven days a week.
Colleagues. Please. It looks fun. And it’s just a few blocks from the new offices.
While we’re on the subject of convenient spots for team-building get-togethers, 68 Jay St. Bar is also a good option.
So is Pedro’s Mexican Bar & Restaurant at 73 Jay St., which serves tasty burritos.
Lunch options at Empire Stores and a Superstorm Sandy survivor
A new array of lunch options just opened in a food hall Time Out Market is operating on the first floor of Empire Stores. How can we muster the willpower to bring lunches from home when there are bowls of Japanese comfort food being dished up by Bessou, tempting sliders from Pat LaFrieda Meat Purveyors and lemon soup from Mr. Taka Ramen?
And did I mention there’s an ice cream vendor, Ice & Vice?
Almondine Bakery at neighboring 85 Water St. serves lunch, too. The shop, which belongs to French baker Herve Poussot, is known for its baguettes. The desserts are stellar.
Almondine deserves special appreciation from customers because it made a comeback after being wrecked by Superstorm Sandy. Poussot’s oven and other pieces of kitchen equipment were located in the basement, which was flooded. Almondine’s insurer refused to cover rebuilding costs.
A GoFundMe campaign and an upscale bake sale organized by French pastry chefs helped raise enough money to reopen the place.
Iconic scenery on Washington and Water streets
Night and day, DUMBO’s streets are filled with tourists. The intersection of Washington and Water streets is a prime visitor magnet. But colleagues, do not shun this spot because of the crowds.
The view is iconic. You’ve seen it in Instagram photos galore.
A corridor of century-old red-brick buildings frames the Manhattan Bridge’s blue-green metal supports. If the sky is clear, you can see the Empire State Building in the void between those supports.
Surfin’ USA and stellar shoes
If any of you decides to go surfing in the Rockaways this summer, DUMBO has a surf shop called Aegir Boardworks that’s appropriately located on Water Street. It sells big, beautiful surfboards.
If you want to be adventurous on dry land, Aegir also sells skateboards. By the way, in Norse mythology, Aegir is the Lord of the Ocean.
A high-fashion footwear designer who got his start in Vancouver in the 1970s has a shop at 37 Main St. It’s called John Fluevog Shoes.
Nifty novels, pizza, groovy graffiti and groceries
If you haven’t been to bookstore Powerhouse Arena in a while, it moved out of the location you remember. It used to be at 37 Main St. where John Fluevog Shoes is now located.
Powerhouse Arena can now be found at 28 Adams St.
A note to our boss: The pizza you ordered for us the other day was excellent. But next time, could we maybe try Love & Dough? The restaurant at 57 Pearl St. makes Neapolitan pizza.
As for errands — a good place to buy groceries is DUMBO Market, which just opened at 66 Front St.
Foragers at 56 Adams St. sells gourmet prepared foods and organic produce.
Keep an eye out for random street art. It’s in odd spots on various DUMBO buildings.
Who was Robert Gair?
At 45 Main St. an inscription over the doors says, “Gair Building No. 6.”
The neighborhood now known as DUMBO used to be called Gairville because so many buildings belonged to industrialist and real estate developer Robert Gair.
The Scottish-born Civil War veteran made his fortune by bringing revolutionary innovation to the packaged food industry.
In 1870 he developed a machine that made corrugated paper, and in 1879 he patented a machine that made folded boxes, the city Landmarks Preservation Commission’s designation report about the DUMBO Historic District says.
Architect William Higginson designed Industrial Neo-Classical-style 45 Main St., which Gair commissioned and Turner Construction Company built in 1919, the designation report notes. The building is made of reinforced concrete and is 10 stories tall.
Where to take a breather from the office
If you need a momentary breather from the office, it’s calming to watch Brooklyn Bridge Park’s merry-go-round spin and spin and spin.
Of course you’re all familiar with Jane’s Carousel. But did you know Pritzker-Prize-winning architect Jean Nouvel designed the jewel-box-like building that protects the nearly century-old painted ponies from harsh weather? The transparent building is made of acrylic panels and steel.
Brooklyn Bridge Park’s Pebble Beach is a fine place to sit and be tranquil for a few moments.
That said, I was surprised there the other day by the very untranquil sight of people swimming in its chilly waters.
When you need a brief break from the entire DUMBO neighborhood, the Brooklyn Bridge offers a quick escape. Its pedestrian entrance is on Cadman Plaza East near the corner of Prospect Street.
As long as you don’t walk in the bike lane — a stupid and dangerous thing that some tourists do — you’ll have a great time soaking up the scenery. You can see Brooklyn Heights, DUMBO, the World Trade Center and the Manhattan skyline.
Follow reporter Lore Croghan on Twitter.
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