CHB Visits Chance II

chance2 Cleaning out our drafted post queue, I realized I never published this short review of Chance II on Fulton near Clinton.  Back in December, we stopped in at PACC's holiday party, held at the then brand-new Chance II on Fulton!  While it was a private event and not a regular night at the bar -- and so I can't attest to a regular night -- the staff was strikingly friendly and the light up bar is pretty cool (see above).  The space will be great for parties, and has a small upstairs area as well.

Have you been?  What did you think?

CHB Interviews: Jess Liese, Host of Rope's Trivia Night

I'm a huge fan of LOST.  So when I heard that Rope's next monthly trivia night was going to be LOST-themed, I just had to know more.  I chatted with trivia host Jess Liese about her event, and what to expect on February 3.

1. How often does Rope hold trivia night?

Trivia happens once a month, usually on the first Tuesday. For February, though, we're postponing it until Wednesday so that it won't conflict with the Lost premiere. A good number of trivia regulars are avid fans, and I figured if President Obama can rearrange his schedule to accommodate Lost fans, so can I!

(...and okay, fine, I didn't want to miss it either.)

2. What are the rules?  How many people per team, and what's the prize?

Teams are typically 3-5 people, though we've had as few as 1 and as many as 8 playing on one team. Basically, there are four rounds of competition - two where I read the question and your team writes down the answer, a music round, and an "identify the pictures" round. After the second and fourth rounds, I tally up the correct answers and review the standings, share snarky wrong answers, and hand out a couple of prizes.

Prizes are many and varied. Everybody pays $2 each to play, and the winning team gets everybody's money, with shots or rounds of drinks going to the runners-up. I offer bonus questions occasionally, which earn teams the chance to spin our Bonus Prize Wheel. Most of the wheel prizes are either free booze or free candy, but there are a number of really oddball things (mostly junk I find at the dollar store near my office) up for grabs as well.

At the last trivia night, I found so much cool stuff at the dollar store that I wound up giving a prize to every team.  There were some very awesome plastic robots and I should have just bought the whole lot. But part of the fun is coming up with stuff to give out, so I'm sure I'll find something just as cool this time around. (I'm looking to stock up on Lost-themed stuff for February, so expect some polar bears, backgammon, and Virgin Mary statues.)

3. How did you end up running Trivia Night?  How long have you been at the helm?  What's your "day job?"

I've been hosting trivia at Rope for about five months now. Years ago, a bunch of coworkers and I regularly attended a weekly trivia night in the west village, and after awhile I started hosting that on occasion. Eventually the bar closed, I changed jobs, and I never did find new trivia as awesome as that had been. Fast forward a few years and one of my ex-coworkers, now tending bar at Rope, heard they wanted to re-establish a trivia night there. She immediately thought of me. I was excited to get back into it, especially as they've let me design my own game and bring in theme nights.

By day, I work for an educational publisher, developing content and features for online reference databases. My trivia credentials are many and varied, though. In addition to previous hosting experience and basically getting to absorb useless facts for a living, I competed on Jeopardy about four years ago. (Unfortunately, I didn't win, but I only missed one question!) I keep trying out for Who Wants to Be a Millionaire and passing the test, but their contestant pool is a lot smaller. I guess I'll stick to this side of the trivia podium for the time being.

4. How do you pick your questions?  Is it difficult to bring fresh material to quiz night on a regular basis?

Initially, I thought it would be. But actually, coming up with questions is the most fun part of the whole experience. Usually I have a theme night, and if not a theme night then theme categories. In November, I hosted a night devoted to my favorite trivia category, U.S. presidents, which brought a huge crowd of history teachers and assorted pedantic trivia nerds. It was so much fun, and came so naturally to me, that I've been coming up with themes ever since. It is far easier to come up with, say, ten questions about medically-themed TV shows than it is to come up with ten questions about anything at all in the world.

5. Where do you live, and how did you come across Rope?

Technically, I don't live in the neighborhood. I'm a short G train ride away in Park Slope.  I've been hanging out at Rope on and off for about five years, though, and I love the area. I was coming to the neighborhood even way back when I had to take two trains and a bus to get there!

6.  Tell us a little more about Rope - the clientele, the vibe, etc.  What makes it a cool place to grab a drink?

Rope is exactly the kind of bar I have been wanting to hang out in since I was old enough to want to hang out in bars. Come to think of it, it's probably good that I don't live in the neighborhood, because I'd probably be an alcoholic if I did. It's cool but not elitist, the drinks are thoughtfully prepared but won't kill your budget, the music is listenable but not overwhelming. The crowd is basically a cross-section of local residents - not just hipsters and Pratties, but people who've lived in the area for decades, young professionals, regulars. It's really the kind of place you can visit once or visit daily and you won't feel out of place either way.

Also, they have DUB pies and there is nothing not awesome about that.

7. Give us the 411 on the LOST-themed trivia night in conjunction with the season premiere.  Can non-Losties participate?  And while we're at it, who is your favorite Other?

The great thing about LOST, and one reason I've been so addicted to it throughout its often-infuriating five seasons of "let's explain this one tiny thing you don't care about while introducing six other new questions" and "let's spend half a season focusing on characters that don't further the plot only to kill them off when we realize you're on to us" is that it pulls in so many elements of history, science, literature, philosophy, and pop culture in a way that adds to the suspense and mystery.  So if you're into any of those things, regardless of whether or not you're a Lostie, you'll probably get a few questions right, as I do plan on exploring that in at least one round. (Although it may benefit you to have a rabid fan on your team!)

And I don't know how anybody's favorite Other is NOT Ben Linus. That dude owns the entire show.

8. Favorite restaurant in the neighborhood?

Big fan of Graziella's and the General Greene (which I realize is about two blocks out of the neighborhood...hopefully it still counts!).

9. If you could change one thing about the nabe, what would it be?

It is perfect in all ways but one - it should be closer to a major train line. I'd move there in a heartbeat if I could be close to a number train or the Q.

10. If you were a flavor of ice cream, what would you be and why?

Raspberry basil with a vanilla-mascarpone swirl.

A note to CHB readers from Lesterhead- Bring your A game to this event.  I have been watching LOST since it began and my knowledge is no joke.  See you there!

Vandalism at Loft 45

Apparently, the Chocolate Bar on Waverly near Park is now called Loft 45.  This notice popped into my inbox this past weekend: You should check out the vandalism that took place at  Loft 45 (formerly the Chocolate Bar @ 45 Waverly Avenue) on Saturday evening.

I walked by yesterday, and it looked like most of the windows had been smashed.  Anyone know what happened?

New Year's in the Nabe

Here's a (incomplete) Fulton-focused roundup of some of the parties and special offerings happening locally next weekend to ring in 2010: To Prep: Greene Grape: Free sparkling wine tastings [Dec 29 and 30, 5-7 pm)

Dec. 31: Stonehome Wine Bar: Prix Fix 4 courses for $55

Olivino Wine Bar (Fulton bt Vanderbilt and Clinton): Free glass of bubbly at midnight

“The Castle @ Fulton Street” Platinum New Year’s Eve Gala: 8:00pm December 31, 2009 93 Irving Place (corner of 1057 Fulton Street) Host: Wellington Sharpe Cost:  Single $45, Couples $80 Complimentary Champagne as the ball drops, Noise Makers, Party Hats

Music by D Exclusive…. Let’s Welcome 2010 with Gratefulness & Togetherness For tickets call 917-709-3462 or 917-743-1684 or 718-230-0011

Family Friendly: Pratt Steam Whistles (which I have still never seen!)

Know of more?  Add 'em in the comments.

First Friday at RePop: 12/4

This just in from RePop: repopxmas

We can't believe it, but the holidays are already here again.  Why break tradition?  Put your merriest foot forward this Friday and take a look at some real buried treasures!

The New Jewels of Miss Ellie will be on view from Dec 3 - 7, for a special trunk show event.

This season, you will find the best impulse gifts to delight your mom, your girlfriends, your babysitter or yourself: the Curious Cocktail Ring: Rare Birds, hands-holding-bouquets, angels and insects: one-size-fits every finger, $29-40 each. Old World Lockets are also the perfect personalized gift.

John Mathias will be showing  "Crushing Silence" a collection of photographs and paintings that evoke a quiet and mysterious beauty in landscape and still-life. Images of a post-human world in reverent abstraction from the beaches to the concrete canyons of the city.

This limited collection is vibrant and haunting, offering an ideal gift or decorative option for any interior in need of a conversational splash.

Meet the artists at our First Friday Christmas Party, Dec 4, from 5pm - 9pm.  Join us for some good wine, scrumptious appetizers and delightful conversation in one of the most eclectic and festive atmospheres in town!

RePop 68 Washington Ave.

Halloween at Habana

Free Habana Halloween Kid's Party!
October 31st from 12- 6pm
Bring your little monsters and ghouls down for our free Habana Halloween party. Candy, games, crafts, prizes and more!
Monster Bash Dance Contest with DJ Juice E: 4- 6pm
Costume Contest @ 5pm

THE OFFICIAL Halloween and Last Call Party
Free – No Cover
Sat. October 31st from 9pm- 4am

Help us celebrate the end of another great summer at Habana Outpost on Halloween night with DJ Juice E in the Lowpost lounge (below Habana Outpost) There will be free giveaways throughout the night and a costume contest at Midnight!
Where : Habana Outpost
757 Fulton Street (Corner of South Portland ) Brooklyn NY
718 858 9500

First Friday at RePop: October 2

From RePop, hosting another fabulous First Friday: The seasons seem to have changed at the speed of light and autumn has arrived!  Thus a new First Friday is upon us where RePOP is proud to clear its walls and open its doors for another fantastic show.

This October we feature a viewing not to be missed by Scott Graeber.

120Since the age of eighteen every job that Mr. Graeber has had centered around death and the disassembling of the human body.  Over twenty years of such work has pushed him into a permanent melancholy.  His art, however, has flourished under these circumstances, even as the rest of his life (and body) gradually dissolves.

Several years of figurative study have brought him to a point where he is satisfied these experiences can be translated to clay or canvas.

Why frescos?

"In a world where electronics are replacing our ears, eyes and skin, natural material has becoming critical.  As our souls fade people have started to cling to everything home made.  From farmers markets to hand knit socks we are searching for whatever seems fundamentally real.  The nuclear age has kicked our asses and left us feeling hollow.  Wood, copper, lime, sand and minerals, these things are all sound and real.  They are fresco.  When a fresco is started you only have a few hours to work before it's all over.  When the lime is fixed the mineral pigments are bound for as long as the wall stands.  No time to correct errors, no second thoughts, what's done is done - beautiful.  This is why I do fresco." ~ Scott Graeber

This particular collection offers a an entrance into the season with an adornment of renderings and unique musings.

The shop will be open for business on this special evening offering a first hand glimpse at Graeber's collection.

Join us at the shop on October 2nd and enjoy a wonderful evening of art and wine.

95% Recycled
68 Washington Avenue
Brooklyn, NY 11205

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.


First Friday Art Parties Return to RePop

September is upon us, and RePop's hosting a First Friday art event on Friday, September 4. It's always a good crowd. ffsept09

Event: The 11th Hour "Fine Art & Illustrations by Amy M. Asher & Arian Gimbutas" What: Exhibit Host: RePop NY Start Time: Friday, September 4 at 7:30pm End Time: Friday, September 4 at 11:00pm Where: RePOP 95% Recycled

First Fridays have returned and by popular demand, RePOP is proud to feature once again the work of Amy M. Asher and Arian Gimbutas.

Amy's work derives from nature; she uses what she sees and transforms the obvious. The landscapes she creates are part illusory, what you might see as if you were squinting at a landscape, or driving fast and watching the blurred hills and fields and trees rush past. Some of her work is shaped on what, at first, seems a simple background, but the canvases are really layers upon layers of material put on, scraped off, put on, written on or covered up. These are landscapes, landscape of the mind, memory, and imagery. Growing up in Kansas she creates work that tends to lean toward this feeling of vastness and isolation, the kind of feeling a lone barn sitting in an open field might inspire, for example. These are the kinds of images she sees in her minds-eye, the shapes she draw from and manipulates, playing with the harmony of composition, color and form.

Working in black ink and bleach, Arian allows images work themselves out through a sort of Rorschach test ink blob.  Further refining them by pulling tones out with bleach, he presents them as a sort of icon for both the real and unreal, the natural and the synthetic.

This particular collection, all created within the last two years, offers a beautiful entrance into the fall season with an adornment of abstract landscapes, illustrative renderings and unique musings.

(There's even more reason to head up to Wallabout these days - have a tasty pizza at Il Porto, or try the newly revamped Mojito; buy some groceries at Fresh Fanatic; take a dip in the cold plunge pools at Body by Brooklyn; etc.)


Recently, some friends and I decided to scope out the neighb’s newest bar, the whiskey-intense Cornelius, located at 565 Vanderbilt Ave (Haha. Get it?). It was a weeknight and the place was relatively empty, but entirely pleasant in décor and libations, if not exactly the arbiter of the best service ever (we had to call our waiter over several times). That said, the menu was pretty amazing, offering an extensive list varied whiskeys, flavored vodkas and original cocktails.

We ordered a lot of cocktails and found them all to be quite delicious. My favorite was the Smoked Pineapple Margarita, which was just sweet enough. Another friend was quite impressed with the Sparkling Pear. The only place where I’d mark them down is that while they could make me a plethora of fanciful designer cocktails, they couldn’t fulfill my order for a plain old Rusty Nail. Why not? No Drambuie. Poor form, guys.

On the food front, since we stopped by on a Monday, we were treated to $1 Oysters. Beyond that, the prices at Cornelius are unfortunately on the steeper end.

All and all, this place is definitely worth stopping by for a classy cocktail and some atmosphere. It seemed like the few issues encountered are just opening/growing pains for a spot that will most likely prove to be a welcome addition to the neighborhood.




Here’s more info , including a sneak peak of the menu.

First Friday Returns to RePop TONIGHT

RePop First Friday: Laborious Minor 40 New Works by Sarah Bieda


Opening May 1, 2009

Reception from 7:30 - 11pm On view through May 31

First Friday returns to RePOP this May Day Eve.  You are invited to view 40 works of explosive new art, wine and tasty delights.

In the words of the artist: "Painting is my vice. It is an uncontrollable urge, I cannot afford to ignore. As an artist, painting allows me the opportunity to create with my own hands what I see in my mind. One does not need eyes to truly see. I distort the world around me to control my own vision of reality.  I express color as a reaction to who I am in a particular environment.  The challenge (and pleasure) lies in capturing raw mood in fleeting moments."

Ms. Bieda encourages elegant (or erotic costumes) for an evening of true bohemian extravagance.


RePop 68 Washington Avenue Brooklyn, NY 11205

Sweet Revenge: an Overview

On Franklin in between Greene and Lexington resides a watering hole with charm called Sweet Revenge. Here are co-owners Courtney and Christine:


These lovely entrepreneurs and I did not get to spend a tremendous amount of time speaking about Sweet Revenge itself when I visited this past Friday; however, we did get to do two things that I think sum up how cool this bar is: drink and arm wrestle.  The contests of physical strength to accompany our beverages were due to an all-ladies' arm wrestling tournament.  Thankfully, I was able to participate because of the the occasional co-ed exhibition match.  I barely eked out a win over Christine, but now I can barely raise my arm over my head.  Anyway, back to the bar.


Sweet Revenge has an early sixties decor with exposed brick walls and the occasional touch of bamboo.  The bartenders are friendly and the clientele are a wonderful mix of locals.  The space also offers an outdoor patio in the back that has an increase in value every day the weather gets nicer.   This place has a much different vibe than something you'd find over on Dekalb, but that does not mean that SR doesn't know how to party.  I have seen this place packed to the brim with patrons shaking booty to whatever DJ Sweet Revenge has chosen to host on a particular night.


I'm sure the dancing is inspried mostly by whoever is behind the 1s and 2s; however, some of its exuberance must be attributed to the libations that SR has to offer.  Sweet Revenge's drinks are extremely reasonable and the breadth of what they have to offer runs deep (from the tap to their whiskey and tequila selections).  Their Happy Hour is extremely long -- it runs from 5-9pm -- and offers specials such as a bottle of Bud and a shot of Powers for $7, or $4 well drinks.  Also, the crew at Sweet Revenge are quite the bunch of creative mixolgists,offering their own personal creations like "the white beagle" (bison grass vodka and apple juice) or "the soft opening" (citrus vodka and pink lemonade with freshly squeezed lemons), both for $6.  A main staple of my diet at SR are pints of Amerberbock for $3.

Basically, Sweet Revenge is a place where all can relax and rejoice in true Dionysian fashion.  The address is listed below and I hope to see you there.

348 Franklin Ave Brooklyn, NY 11238 (718) 398-2472‎ Opens every day at 5pm.

Chess "Knight" at Sputnik

A new weekly event at the ever-creative Sputnik... SPUTNIK CHESS KNIGHTS


EVERY TUESDAY.  SIGN UP BEGINS AT 8pm.  Free. Could Clinton Hill Brooklyn be epicenter of nightlife AND chess!? We think so!  We've noticed there are many "closet chess players" in Brooklyn and seen a growing demand for a place to play.  So we're offering it in a bar!  Come down for the competition, drinks and food!  Sign begins at 8pm.

For more information:

SPUTINK:  262 taaffe pl., Brooklyn NY 11231.  G train to Classon Ave. (1 bl. to dekalb, turn right, 1 bl. to taaffe pl,.)

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:

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