A Creperie for the former Brown Betty

I'm not sure exactly when Brown Betty closed shop, but I'm bummed.  Their dinners were amazing (and with only a few small tables inside, you were lucky to partake) and they made a mean thai iced coffee (see one of our posts from 2006 here).  At least Cynthia's bringing her tasty food over to Black Swan (mentioned yesterday).  And, I hear that the space will soon be home to a creperie! I'm psyched, as it'll be something totally new and different.

Clinton Hill Psychic Coming to Myrtle

Thanks to the awesome reader who sent in this scoop!

A psychic will be opening shop in the former home of Sushi Okdol on Myrtle Ave!

Our tipster spoke to a contractor working there, who said that there would be a store on site "selling all sorts of books / posters / cards associated with the psychic lifestyle." Awesome.

I've always wondered how clairvoyants can afford to pay rent in NYC.  Do they have a regular customer base?  Also, there is a typo on this sign (unless "Taror" cards are different from Tarot cards).

I will gamely try this place out when it opens and assess for accuracy.

(Anyone sad about the departure of Sushi Odkol? I had always heard either really awesome or really bad reviews.)

A Gym on Myrtle?

464_E The retail space on the ground floor of the Absolute on Myrtle is mighty large.  A source told me that a gym might be interested in the space.

Thoughts?  Do you want a chain gym, or a local gym?

Personally, I'm cool with the Bed-Stuy Y, although it's become about 100xs more crowded this year.  And I'm not surprised, given the affordable pricing and the nice facilities (although I do wish they would separate the cardio machines from the weight machines, which are cramped in so tightly that it's hard to move around when people are using the machines!).

I hope it's not a NYSC, which I found to be way overpriced (at least last time I was a member).  It would be nice to have an option closer than the Y or the Crunch (which I hear is also super crowded).

Barking Brown to Add a Second Location

Back in 2006, readers were less than pleased when a Quiznos opened on Myrtle Avenue. (And yes, CHB has been publishing since 2006!) We had all hoped for a non-chain. They've since closed.


A source tells me that Barking Brown will be opening a second location there in order to split up their products (clothing and accessories).


Their current store is located at 468 Myrtle between Washington and Hall.

Greenhouse Skeleton Moves Ahead as Church

greenhouse?A few years ago, I noticed a mysterious structure that looked like a greenhouse skeleton on Clinton Avenue north of Myrtle.  Readers informed me that it belonged to the church on Waverly north of Myrtle.  They also noted that the church congregation was very noisy (and not just to newbies, either).  When I used to park on that block I often found the road blocked off by members' cars (my own personal annoyance).

Brownstoner reports that the church is finally ready to finish this place up.  The discussion over there centered mostly around the anticipated aesthetics of the structure, and the idea of smaller churches renting space in beautiful old churches in the borough, thus helping those buildings stay open (and preserved).

So?  Have these folks still been noisy?  What do you think about their new digs?

A New Bar for Fulton?

Recently, a reader tipped me off to a potential bar opening on Fulton next to Brooklyn Cares Vet: Hi! I think there might be a new bar going in around 946 or 948 Fulton St at Cambridge Place (next to the Brooklyn Cares vet clinic). It's under construction, but the door was open the other day and I saw what looked like a big long plywood counter going in. Do you know anything about it?

I walked past last week and only saw what looked like construction - but no one was around to ask.  Have the scoop?  This could be pretty cool, and a good way to link western Fulton (home to Olivino wine shop and bar and the new Just Taste It) with the eastern end (Outpost).  Maybe they'll even be open when the post office is.  I know I usually feel like a stiff drink after leaving that place.


Miranda, Steve and Brady Return to Clinton Hill

As many readers know, the brownstone used as Miranda and Steve's home on Sex and the City (both the TV show and the first movie) is located on DeKalb Avenue between Washington and Waverly. The movie sequel is currently filming in Manhattan, but the crews are scheduled to return to DeKalb next week.  Prop load-in is taking place this week, and filming is slated to take place over the following two weeks.

Maybe the ladies would like to meet CHB for a local cosmo?

New Pequena Location to Open on Vanderbilt Ave

pequena2 Pequena, the tiny (duh) but delicious Mexican eatery in Fort Greene will open a second location on Vanderbilt Avenue, just south of Atlantic!

The restaurant will open in place of the Barrette bar, which just closed recently on Vanderbilt (at Bergen) in Prospect Heights. The owners are behind the local empire responsible for the original Pequena, Maggie Brown, Olea and Moe's.

Not sure when it will be opening (I actually called them to ask and the woman who answered said, "I have no idea!"), but they have already painted the outside yellow.  Here's hoping they'll be open before summer is over.

Technically Prospect Heights, but still walkable for the southern part of the neighborhood.

(Thanks, Russell, for this tip!)


A Coffee Shop for Grand Avenue

mysterious storefront On an ambitious jog last night, I huffed past the intriguing space on Grand and Clifton.  And... the door was open!

The inside featured exposed brick, and a giant vintagy-looking sofa covered in plastic.

So I knocked and asked the guys inside.  They were just the electricians, but they said they thought the space was slated to be a coffee shop.  As for the opening date, they didn't know.

The inside space looked large, so perhaps it will be a nice complement to Choice (which offers virtually no inside seating, BUT has done a bang up job of adding more benches outside).  At the rate the reno is going (1.5 years so far), it might be open in time for winter, when sitting outside at Choice might not be as appealing.  I doubt they will be able to top the deliciousness that is a Choice chocolate croissant.

January 2008: early stages of rehab

DeKalb Accident?

Friends headed to off-leash hours early  Saturday morning came across a grisly scene on DeKalb near Tillie's.  Police tape blocked off much of the area, and a smashed up car sat near the scene.  Also visible on the street were a pair of shoes and some kitty litter (which the tipster says is used to cover up blood on the street).  Was someone hit by a car?  Anyone know what happened?

German Beer Garden – Der Schwarze Koelner -- Opening in Fort Greene Early this Summer!

When my husband and I first moved to Fort Greene from the East Village a few years ago, we quickly developed a wish list of places that we missed from our old neighborhood, that we couldn’t find replacements for in Fort Greene. Among these places were: a butcher, an Ethiopian restaurant (we used to love going to Ghenet on Mulberry), and a beer garden a la Zum Schneider, on Avenue C. I’m happy to say that many of our wishes have already been granted (Provisions, Bati), and now, we’re going to have the beer garden we’d hoped for 7-minutes walk from our apartment! Der Schwarze Koelner will soon occupy 710 Fulton (as rumored on Brownstoner and originally on the Real Fort Greene in January. Dale, a Mancunian who lived in Cologne, Germany for 15 years and his girlfriend Randi, a native German from Stuttgart, will be opening the beer garden come late June or early July. I had a chance to talk to them about their plans:

Can you describe the beer garden? We’ll have communal tables, sidewalk seating, and a small garden out back, and we’ll offer snacks and full meals. The food will be inexpensive -- we plan to price 80% of our meals under $10. We really want to focus on inexpensive food – we live here and it’s hard to go out to eat for 2 for under $40.

Why Fort Greene? Why not? Best neighborhood in Brooklyn. Plus, we live here.

What does the name -- Der Schwarze Kölner – mean? It can be read a few ways – it refers to a big cathedral in Cologne, and the literal translation is “The dark Cologner” or “The dark-skinned Cologner”, which kind of describes me.

What beers do you plan to have on tap? A lot! Here is a preview: Weinstephaner, Schneider-Weisse, Hofbräu, Gaffel Kölsch, and Reissdorf Kölsch, etc. We’ll have 2 Cologne beers on draft and 1 in a bottle—right now that’s all that’s available in the U.S. We’re working with a distributor to get more from that area.

All of our beers are going to be served in a glass exclusive to that particular type of beer –for example, it’s important that a wheat beer be served in a glass big enough, so that the yeast that settles at the bottom gets mixed throughout.

And the beer won’t be expensive, either -- $4 for a small beer, $6 for medium and up to $12 for a gigantic mass, as the huge jugs of beer are called in Germany.

We’ll offer a list of good, inexpensive wines as well.

What type of food? Typical Rheinland food; in Germany you have a number of states – Bavaria, Hamburg, Nordrhein-Westfalen… We’re going to be focusing on Nordrhein-Westfalen, where Cologne is located. We’ll do lots of sausages, “Halber Hanh” which is a half chicken on a rotisserie for under $10, and currywurst, to name a few dishes. We also plan to celebrate lots of German holidays, like Fasching (German word for carnival), Oktoberfest and Advent.

What's your mission? Our mission is to provide people with a place to eat inexpensive food, drink excellent inexpensive beer and wine, and share a communal table with their neighbors. They can sit with a stranger and leave with an acquaintance. There will be NO TVs. We want the focus on conversation and community. We’re offering kids’ meals as well. Families are very welcome here.

What will make you a unique addition to the neighborhood? We really want to get involved in the community, by sponsoring events for local associations and street fairs to bring awareness to all that Fort Greene has to offer, and attract visitors to the neighborhood. We really want to advertise Brooklyn to a wider community. And though this is a Fort Greene establishment, we want to emphasize that all are welcome here – from Prospect Heights to Bed Stuy to Manhattan and beyond. We hope to be a positive addition to the neighborhood and to Brooklyn in general.

When do you hope to open? The plan is about 3 months from now, sometime in late June or early July.

Is this biergarten your only business? No; my girlfriend and I import design pieces from Germany – take a look at our site: http://www.ex49.com/products/

Dale, Randi – Good luck to you. We are very eagerly awaiting our first sip! Prost!

Haunted Mansion For Sale!!

forsale Everyone's favorite Haunted Mansion in Clinton Hill has been put up for sale!!!  Rumor has it that the owner has lived here for years without electricity and heat.  The yard is always overgrown, but there's always a nice selection of planters on the balcony.

Brownstoner has more history and info.  Apparently the place is going to need a complete gut renovation on the inside.  And at $3.995M, that seems a little steep.  Who has the cash for something like this?

Can't wait for an open house.

Neighborhood News from B'Stoner

CH resident Brownstoner is able to blog full-time (lucky duck). Rather than repeat his scoops after the fact, here are some quick summaries and links from his site:

Book Store Coming???

Been hearing rumors that the mysterious former bodega on Grand and Clifton will be a bookstore! Commenters are already hoping they serve decent coffee, too, so they can avoid the line at Choice. what will it be???

CHC posted some good snaps and hypotheses a few weeks ago.

Most intriguing, for me, is this children's drawing of a chameleon in the window: drawing

Any significance?