Thursday, December 23, 2010

Invisible Dog Showing

photo: simon courchel

Artist and lighting designer, Thierry Dreyfus, will be showing at Invisible Dog Art Center beginning December 25th and going on through February 20th. This is the French artist's first solo exhibit in America. It's called “(Naked) Absence — (Blinding) Presence … (dis)appearances” and will consist of eight giant mirrors surrounding a light installation. There will also be photography in the basement.

Invisible Dog is located at 51 Bergen Street in Cobble Hill. They have no phone but you can visit their website at

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

Redecorated again.

At 145 Atlantic Ave there has been a lot of revamping but the core has stayed the same. First it was La Pizzeta then it closed to redecorate and reopened as Casa Tua pizzeria. Both served Italian food and brick oven pizza. It recently closed again, redecorated again, and opened as Sosta, which is also an Italian restaurant and brick oven pizzeria. It's been modernized and now has a large bar (beer and wine only) and open kitchen. Let's hope this new look gets the results the owners were hoping for.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

Pop-up tree vendors

Still need to get a Christmas tree? It seems in Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill you can find them sold on every block. At the church on Clinton and Kane they're selling trees of all sizes as well as wreaths. They're also being sold outside of Trader Joes and at Mazzone hardware store just to name a few places. There aren't as many in Red Hook but we did happen upon a pop up Christmas tree shop on Wolcott and Richards (shown above). So, if you don't have a tree and are planning on getting one you still have plenty of options on where to find one.

Monday, December 20, 2010

Now Wine and Snacks too!

The catering company, Crave, has a storefront on Henry street. Now the storefront has been there for a while, that's nothing new. It looked as though they had an area staged for tastings for clients or prospective clients. What is new is that it's now open to the public as a wine bar. They have put seating in the front, small tables, and have a sign outside saying they serve a selection of wine and snacks. The prices aren't too bad either. It's really a cute little space.

Crave is located at 570 Henry Street. It's open Tues-Thurs, and Sunday from 6-10:30pm and Fridays/Saturdays 6-11pm. Closed Mondays.

Friday, December 17, 2010

Man's Blessed Friend

Here's an event that may interest some of you...and make others go "hmmmm". Visitation church, on Verona and Richards Street, are holding a "blessing of the pets" on Christmas day. The landmark church has been in Red Hook since 1854 and the parish, along with their new Pastor, F. Claudio, and Assistant Pastor, F. Johannes, is planning on renovating. Donations aren't required to get your pets blessed but they are appreciated to help them out with the refurbishing.

Cats, dogs, snakes, birds, iguanas, or whatever. All are encouraged to come by on December 25th between 3:30 and 4:30pm.

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Red Hook Star Revue Theater?

Walking by 101 Union Street you'll notice a sign that says "Star Theater". Not really sure what goes on there daily. We just know that The Red Hook Star-Revue, who also has a new storefront (see below), holds a jam session there on Thursday nights and is having a free concert there on Saturday, December 18th featuring local bands. They'll also be free beer and snacks. So since it's called the Star Theater and the Red Hook "Star" Revue is holding events there, can we assume they own the space? Anyone?

Bands playing this Saturday are Union, The Other Side, Karen P Duffy, and The Voles. The night begins at 7pm.

Wednesday, December 15, 2010

A Holiday Market

Here's an event right in our neighborhood for this Saturday, December 18th from 2pm-6pm

Everyday Athlete Studio
136 Union Street
Brooklyn, NY 11231

The last weekend before Christmas shop locally in the Columbia Street Waterfront District! Check out Children's books and games, tote bags, aprons, yoga bags, whimsical hats, cosmetics and free facial demos, jewelry, and even granola at Everyday Athlete's Holiday Market.

While parents shop, children can sing and dance with Karen and the Jitterbugs, featuring her new CD, Pancakes for Dinner.
Performances at 4 and 5 pm.

Also enjoy cupcake decorating at the Coffee Den (on Union at the corner of Hicks st)by Yum Cupz all afternoon.

Featured vendors:

Barefoot Books
- Nurturing a love of reading in a way that encourages children to explore their creativity and discover the diversity of the world's many cultures and traditions.

Mellyi Hat - The jazzy hat that delights your eyes, warms your ears and flaunts your style. Designed for everyone.

Cooking Smarter - New ideas to eat healthier: granola and designer cookies.

ageLOC Galvanic Spa
- Come enjoy a free facial demo that can unlock the secret to a younger looking appearance.

Matthew's Aprons - Wonderful aprons, yoga and foam roller bags in eco-friendly textiles.

- Roll-up totes designed with exclusive prints hand made in Brooklyn. Reduce plastic waste without sacrificing style.

Elbeto Jewelry - Organic and sterling silver designer jewelry hand made by artisans and artists in Colombia.

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Van Horn Sandwich Shop

The space that used to be Cafe Mei Mei, and Cafe Ribant before that, now has brown paper covering it's windows with a sign saying "Van Horn Sandwich Shop-Coming Soon". They have a website,, but it's not up and running yet so we don't have too much more to report on. We did find this comment about the new restaurant made on "Van Horn is the owner's last name. Think fried chicken." Hmmmm. Just a little taste of what's to come.

Van Horn is located at 231 Court Street and the phone number is 718-596-9707

Monday, December 13, 2010

Film Shoot

You may run into James Franco or Catherine Keener in the neighborhood today. The film , Maladies, a drama starring the two aforementioned and wonderful actors as well as Carter (also directing) and Vince Jolivette, is shooting in Carroll Gardens between 6AM and 4PM. Sackett Street is blocked off for the film shoot.

Here's the tag line: "A talented and successful actor retires at a young age due to a perceived mental illness. Now living in a small town with his deranged sister and his best friend, we watch as their Maladies intertwine."

Friday, December 10, 2010

Paper Source on Smith

Just opening on Smith Street in Cobble Hill, Paper Source is a nation-wide chain. They sell decorative paper, gift wrap, office paper, and they also do custom printing. The space, at 102 Smith street on the corner of Pacific, used to be the restaurants Bueno and Trout. Both restaurants weren't around for very long but we believe Pacifico, the Mexican restaurant connected to these but at a different address (269 Pacific), is still thriving. You just missed a grand opening event, which was on December 4th, for Paper Source. There were different crafting workshops all day. But don't worry, you haven't missed out completely. They'll have more workshops starting in January. For more info on that you can go to

Thursday, December 9, 2010

Sleep Tight

Goodnight, sleep tight, ...and, well, you know the rest. I know this subject makes everyone's skin crawl but bed bug awareness is very important here in New York City and we're taking it very seriously. Just this past August a new law has been effective, stating that bed bug infestations anywhere within the seller's building should be fully disclosed. Here's a link to learn more about this law.

Most of us already know about, which allows you to view and report bedbug sightings. Now there is an iphone app that does the same. This app not only reports on apartment buildings but includes public areas, such as movie theaters and restaurants as well. Here's more on this.

And to learn more about bed bugs in general, here's an informative link from the New York City Housing Authority. To prevent infestations you have to be informed.

Wednesday, December 8, 2010

Deli on Smith Street

A sign is up at 202 Smith Street,on the corner of Baltic, that says "Coming Soon! Mocha Bagels and Deli". This previously had a sign up saying it was a "gourmet deli". This place used to be a bodega called A&H Tobacco & Candy Wholesalers. It's right in between two other bagel shops, Court Street Bagels (on Court near Bergen) and Bagels by the Park (on Smith and President). They both get a lot of traffic so this place should do okay. We're sure their are enough bagel lovers to go around.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

Storytelling Series

Do you have a good story you'd like to share? If you do, and you think you'd be good at storytelling, then we have your outlet. People's Republic of Brooklyn in Cobble Hill is launching a storytelling series. They are asking for people to tell their tales live without a script of any sort. They stress that these stories should be around 10 minutes and non fiction (mostly), which we assume means they expect (maybe encourage?) some flourishing or exaggeration.

Anyone interested should contact them at 347-865-7389 or

Monday, December 6, 2010

Waterfront Kitchens

Walking by 396 Van Brunt Street a few months ago you wouldn't know what kind of business was taking that space next. It was completely gutted and the shell of a storefront left little hints. Then reported that it was set to be Waterfront Kitchens. Since then the work is complete and it looks beautiful. Although lights were on in the back, the doors were locked and no one was inside the other day. You could see the contemporary model kitchens through the large front glass window, though, and they look gorgeous. I can't find a phone number and the website,, is under construction so I'm not sure if it's actually open yet. Anyone have any info about this place?

Friday, December 3, 2010

Saint Nicholas Fair

Tomorrow, December 4th, is Linden Tree Preschool's St. Nicholas Fair. There will be tons of activities for kids, including face painting, children's movies and best of all Santa Claus will be there! Yayy! There will also be crafts and baked goods for sale. Some cute sounding crafts they offer are cards made by students at the preschool. Add some homemade chili, English meat pies and mulled cider and you have a really festive holiday fair.

Linden Tree Preschool is located at Christ Church, 180 Kane Street (on the corner of Clinton). Get there between 10AM and 5pm.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Bound Sweet and Simply Sewn

Realty Collective's Elizabeth Castaldo will be selling her beautiful handmade books, featured in the NY Magazine online holiday gift guide, , at a few craft fairs around New York. All events are free and one of the markets is located right around the corner in Brooklyn Heights. You can see dates and places below.

Elizabeth's handmade sketchbooks, which have cover patterns that she designed and screen printed, can also be seen and purchased on etsy.
So, come out and show your support for Liz and other local artists participating!

Handmade Holiday @ 3rd Ward
Sat, December 4th 12-6pm
195 Morgan Ave in Brooklyn

NY Creates @ The Brooklyn Historical Society
Fair runs December 8th - 12th, Liz will only be there for the 10th and 11th
Weekdays 11 am - 7 pm, Weekend 10 am - 5 pm
128 Pierrepont Street in Brooklyn

Bust Craftacular @ the Metropolitan Pavilion
Sunday December 12th 10am to 8pm
125 west 18th st in Manhattan

Wednesday, December 1, 2010

Tapas on Court

Picture brick walls and tin ceilings in a dim space lit by cast iron chandeliers and candles. This is the romantic and warm atmosphere you will find at a new restaurant in Carroll Gardens called Palo Cortado. The bar top is made of antique tiles from a church in Uruguay and the room is full of rich dark woods . The space really is beautiful and the setting compliments the menu perfectly. Tapas and wine. They have hot tapas, cold tapas, mini sandwiches or bocadillos, and charcuteria y quesos.

Palo Cortado, at 520 Court Street, is open on weekdays from 5pm-midnight and until 1am on Fridays and Saturdays.

Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Shen Beauty

This new cosmetics store in Cobble Hill has an array of both affordable and high end beauty products. Owned by Jessica Richards and Jules Stringer, the boutique has been open since October 2nd. It has a very stylish and feminine atmosphere, yet not overtly. Okay maybe a little overtly. It is very pink. It smells wonderful when you walk through the threshold but not overwhelmingly so. Co-owner, Jessica, mentioned in a recent interview that she lives here in Brooklyn and didn't feel there were any good beauty stores in the neighborhood so she set out to open one. After meeting her partner, Jules, months later her idea became a reality. Shen Beauty is located at 315 Court Street.

Monday, November 29, 2010

Eat Pie and Shop!

On December 5th from 11-5 there will be a pie social and holiday gift fair at PS 29 on Henry and Baltic. All proceeds help support the school. Not only can you eat pie, of several varieties, but you can either watch or maybe even join in on eating pie competitively. Yup, a pie eating contest! The panel consists of several celebrity judges, including Brooklyn Borough Prez Marty Markowitz. The contest starts at 1pm.

So, although you may have had your fill of pie and shopping after Thanksgiving and Black Friday (who's kidding who, you can never have enough pie), it's time to break out the wallets and your appetite one more time..for charity of course.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Court Street Grocers

Sweet baked goods (brownies, rugelach, danishes), breads (Orwashers wine bread, brioche, croissants), and freshly made to order sandwiches (grilled cheese and apple, Catskill roast pork, corned short rib reubens). Did I reawaken your appetite after having been put to rest after your bingefest yesterday?

Court Street Grocers, at 485 Court Street right next to the Avon store, recently opened it's doors. It's a cute little market, kind of pricey, but their menu looks pretty enticing, even after being in what you think may be a permanent food coma. An especially unique menu item is the Media Noche sandwich. Kind of like a Cuban sandwich but on sweeter bread. Haven't seen this one on too many menus.

Open Daily from 8AM-9PM except Tuesdays (for now). Made to order sandwiches from 11AM-8PM.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Be Thankful!

Happy Thanksgiving everyone! This is the day to be grateful and thankful for what we have. You can go one further and decide to help those who may not have quite as much this season. Below is a list of places to donate to the Toys for Tots Foundation, who collects and delivers new toys to children in the community over the holidays. So, if you're out shopping for friends and family tomorrow, why not pick up something to donate as well.

Dime Savings Bank
188 Montague St

76 Court St

ToysRUs Express
345 Jay Street

Brooklyn Boulders
575 Degraw St

Fitness Together
382 5th Ave, Brooklyn

Dental Spa of New York
398 5th Ave, Brooklyn

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Go nuts for Doughnuts!

Peter Pan Bakery was already famous amongst Greenpoint residents but was made even more so after Tina Fey's Esquire magazine interview when she claimed they not only made the best doughnut but they are so good that if she were a guy she would do more than just eat these holey treats. Well now you don't have to get on the G train to see what all the fuss and crude yet funny comments are all about. Peter Pan doughnuts are served right here in the neighborhood every Saturday morning starting at 10 AM at Brooklyn Farmacy, which is located at Union and Henry. But forget just a plain old doughnut, Peter Pan has a pretty amazing dessert that goes one step further into deliciousness...the doughnut ice cream sandwich! Not sure if Farmacy will make these but they have the doughnuts and the ice cream so you can always combine the two yourself. If Tina Fey ever discovered this combo she'd..well she'd be very excited.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Burger Joint Now Open!

Just arriving on 548 Court and 9th street is a new casual restaurant named Dubuque. It seems the name of this place has a double meaning. On their menu under the restaurant name it says "Down Under the Brooklyn Queens Expressway" yet the owner also says that it's named after Dubuque, Iowa because it's an American, or rather a middle American grill. Either way it's open and ready to serve up some food, more specifically burgers. They have beef, lamb, pork, and even a cod scallop burger. They offer more than burgers though. Some items on their menu include an oyster poboy, deviled eggs, and a grilled tuna sandwich with black olive pesto.

Hours of operation: 5pm-10pm Tuesday-Sunday, Open late on Saturdays (until 11pm), closed on Mondays.

Visit them on facebook

Monday, November 22, 2010

The shack is coming!

It's really happening! Downtown Brooklyn is getting a Shake Shack. It was published in the Observer recently that it will be opening at Fulton Mall but not until 2011 so let's not get too excited. The very popular restaurant will open on the corner of Fulton and Adams streets taking over a space that used to be Tony's Famous Pizza.

Some neighborhood residents are anticipating the opening with great excitement while others are afraid the arrival may hurt small businesses in the area. Marty Markowitz is thrilled about it. According to the New York Daily News he responded by stating ""It's about time!...I've been pitching [owner] Danny Meyer to come to Brooklyn for years and have always felt that Fulton Mall would be a great location." For better or worse it's coming. Yummy burgers, amazing shakes, and really long lines to prove it.

Friday, November 19, 2010

Tio Pio on the way.

On the corner of Court Street and State Street there is a big commercial space, which used to be a deli called F. Martinella then Danny's on Court (both short-lived), that has been unoccupied for quite some time. We've been wondering what might open up on that corner. Well, the wait is over because there is a new sign up and it's pretty hard to miss. A bright red sign with a picture of a chicken wearing sneakers has gone up and we now know the space is now going to be a Latin-American rotisserie chicken chain restaurant called Tio Pio. Considering there's a pretty big lunch crowd around this area and not too many quick places to eat aside from fast food chains like McDonalds, there is a Chipotle around the corner which does very well, this place might outlast it's predecessors.

Thursday, November 18, 2010

Corner Shop at Henry and Baltic

The corner space at Henry and Baltic has been totally gutted. Work being done a couple of days ago included detail work on the outside. Peeking inside one will notice that there is still a long way to go before this place opens and you wouldn't really be able to tell what it might be. So we asked. The man doing the detail work told us it was going to be a sandwich shop. This could mean a corner grocery with a deli or a little cafe. I guess we'll wait and see.

Wednesday, November 17, 2010

From Laundromat to Restaurant

Previously the V&F Laundromat at 410 Court Street in Carroll Gardens, this space is undergoing a major renovation and being turned into a restaurant. Not really sure what type of restaurant. We were told "fast food" by one of the guys working on the place but that seems a little vague. We heard that it's owned by the same owners as the Dunkin Donuts/Baskin Robbins around the corner, so fast food makes sense. Whatever it is, it's going to be big. The space looks nearly the size of the CVS across the street. It looks like there is a lot of work to still be done so I guess we'll have to be patient to find out. Unless anyone out there who's in the know would like to share this info with us?

Tuesday, November 16, 2010


A store just for tweens? What a great idea! This relatively new store opened at 354 Degraw between Court and Smith. It's a small boutique selling clothing and accessories aimed at 7-16 years old girls (so not just tweens but actual teens as well). On their website they call it a "lifestyle boutique". I guess tweens do have their own genre of lifestyle. The store is very nicely put together. They have a bright purple and yellow sign outside and a colorful array of clothing, accessories such as sun glasses, pajamas and more neatly displayed inside. Very inviting, especially if you happen to have a Justin Bieber poster on your wall.

Monday, November 15, 2010

Turkey Day is Fast Approaching.

Here are a few spots to get some delicious Thanksgiving Turkeys for your feast!

DiPaolo Turkey Farms sells certified organic free-range turkeys and you can find them at the Bourough Hall or Carroll Gardens Greenmarkets. They also donate Turkeys to needy families on Thanksgiving so they sound like a good local business to support. Priced at $3.39 per pound you can get pretty plump Turkeys (up to 29 pounds!).

Of course Fairway market in Red Hook also comes to mind. They have everything! As far as Turkey goes they offer Murray's all natural free-range,Grateful Harvest organic, as well as their own Fairway brand either fully seasoned and ready to stick in the oven or plain old do-it-yourself Turkey.

And here's one to remember for next year:

Stinky, at 261 Smith Street, had a sign outside that asks passersby to stop in and pre-order Turkey. They get their Turkey from a farm in Vermont. It's free-range and described by one Stinky employee as a "good bird". Unfortunately they went quickly.

Friday, November 12, 2010

Weekend Pop-Up Shop

Artscetera, an art studio/classroom mainly for children, used their space to display and sell locally made arts,crafts, and other homemade products this past Sunday. This was the grand opening for a new weekend market they call the Pop-Up Shop. The vendors featured this last Sunday included Overall Baby (children's overalls), Kataplin (baby, kids and adult clothing), Lio and Linn (jewelry), Nordea Soaperia (handmade soap..duh), Barefoot Books (children books), and PurtyBird (little knickknacks including bird figurines). Many of these vendors come from the Etsy community.

The studio/shop is located at 212 Smiths Street in Cobble Hill and the Pop-Up Shop is open on Sundays from 11AM-6PM. Vendors change weekly so if you'd like to check out who will be there in advance or for more information you can visit their website

Thursday, November 11, 2010

New and Improved Corner Grocery

Express Grocery at 156 Union Street got a complete makeover. We noticed carpenters sawing and sanding outside a while back. Renovations were going on weeks ago and we were wondering if it had changed ownership but was just getting spruced up. They've got big bright green letters spelling out "Organic Products" on the sign, capitalizing on the whole organic trend. It looks nice inside. It's a small space but now a clean and organized corner convenience store. That's pretty refreshing!

Wednesday, November 10, 2010

Grand Opening of Athena Restaurant

It's hard to miss all the colorful "grand opening" flags and signs when you walk by the Athena Mediterranean restaurant in Cobble Hill. While walking by something may catch your eye...besides all those gaudy flags. The sign outside says "Belly Dancing Every Thursday Night". We were just thinking that this neighborhood desperately needed some belly dancing and it has arrived..haha. It does sound pretty cool. Definitely unique. We didn't see the inside but it seems to be both a restaurant and bar/lounge. There is a back room lounge complete with white leather seating where it would be easy to imagine people hanging out in drinking Cosmopolitans under neon or black lights.

So, if you want a gyro, a drink, or to ogle some bare bellies head over to 213 Smith Street.

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

New Barbershop on Smith

Persons of Interest, a new yet old barbershop that opened at 299 Smith Street a couple of weeks ago, has a great retro feel is retro. The space had been a barbershop for decades before the new owner took over and kept the original chairs and mural on the back wall but fancied it up otherwise. There is a great vibe when you walk in. Maybe it's the tropical mural on the back wall or the smell of aftershave in the air, but it's very relaxing. Probably more expensive than the previous barbershop but I'll bet there's a bit more pampering as well. A list of their services is below.

Haircuts: $40
Clean ups: $20
Beard Trims: $15
Shaves: $30
Buzz Cuts: $25

Monday, November 8, 2010

Library Chess Club

A few weeks ago the Brooklyn Public Library Carroll Gardens Branch, located on the corner of Clinton and Union Street, started a chess club. Every Wednesday night you can go get your chess on with National Chess Master, Manuel Ugarte. This sounds like a very interesting and unique thing to do on a weekday evening and, because all ages are welcome, a fun thing to do with children or teens. This event is for all levels as well so if you're pretty decent at chess Manuel can improve your game and if you don't even know how to play you can learn.

If anyone is interested it's from 6-7pm every Wednesday at the Carroll Garden library, which is located at 396 Clinton Street.

Thursday, September 30, 2010

Red Hook co-ops Welcome to the Neighborhood Party!!! October 3rd 5-7

After you buy and sell stuff all day sunday at the Red hook buy/ Sell event come to the Red hook Co-ops Open House / Welcome party!
Meet the resident who have already moved in and will be or could be your new neighbors!
Beverages and food will be provided as well as a welcome to the neighborhood package!
We are really excited to give a warm welcome to our new neighbors!

Buy/ Sell Red Hook event this weekend!

RHED Event

Red Hook Economic Development (RHED)
Fall Event!

What is it? Neighborhood Sidewalk Sale and Flea Market

When? Sunday, October 3, 10am-4pm

In order to create a cohesive event, we recommend concentrating activity both along Van Brunt Street (sidewalk sales) and in the PS 15 schoolyard (flea market). You choose where. $10 will secure you an ~10x10 space in the schoolyard - note that school restrooms will be accessible during the day. To reserve your space contact Spaces are limited.

Who can SELL?
Local residents, businesses, and community groups are welcome.

You know the old adage, "one man's trash is another man's treasure."

How to BUY/SELL?
Begin your mission by sorting through your closets, book shelves, drawers, trunks, toy boxes, and basement. Next, SELL off all those neglected, unwanted, outgrown, ill-begotten items. Then you'll have room to BUY your neighbor's goods. (Hmm, perhaps we should just call this a swap meet?!)

Would you prefer to just donate items?
Falconworks Artists Group is accepting items to re-SELL at the flea market. Proceeds will benefit this local nonprofit's community work. To make arrangements contact Chris Hammett at 347-731-1379 or To learn more about Falconworks visit

What to do next?
Please send RHED a brief email response if you are participating. info@redhooked.orgWe'd appreciate knowing how, where, and anything else you'd care to share. This will help RHED's efforts in describing/promoting the day's event. e.g., it's great to promote the number of individual participants, as well as describe any special food/merchandise that businesses are selling from their sidewalks, etc

Get creative, have fun, make a few bucks, and don't forget to invite all your non-local friends to BUY in Red Hook on October 3.

* Many thanks to PS 15 Principal Peggy Wyns-Madison for making the school yard available.

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

Lenell's is in Mexico! Can't wait to visit!

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Daily afternoon tea service with loose leaf teas.  Coffee prepared from a restored antique espresso machine.
 We recycled the store logo.  We've even kept the old store number so you can reach us without international rates.
Find food and drink recipes on our website.  We are loading up educational articles as fast as we can.  We've even got all the old LeNell's store postcards designed by Powell Burns on line just for nostalgia's sake...and some giggles.  
If you still have a gift certificate from LeNell's that you never cashed in, you can still use it towards your visit at Casa Coctel.  Even if you lost or threw away the certificate, we still have record of it.
We have a few bottles of Red Hook Rye at Casa Coctel.  Someone with bottle #2 of each bottling is offering his complete set of 4 and donating the money to Casa Coctel to inspire the next whiskey project. Do you want to be the lucky one with the only in tact set remaining of this collectible rare 23 and 24 year old rye?
A HUGE stash of Amaro Cora liqueur?  Seriously.  It's ridiculous.
We know there are two new wine shops in Red Hook.  Some have asked why LeNell's didn't rent those spaces.  Neither was viable for our long term goal of ownership.  We do wish the new shops all our best. 
No more landlord hassles.

No more real estate woes.

Fun in the sun! 

LeNell & Demian behind the bar
LeNell's in Mexico!  
I never dreamed my real estate search for a new location for our liquor store would land me in Mexico.  Instead of opening my store/bar concept that I had hoped would further LeNell's Ltd's presence in NYC, my fiance Demián and I purchased a tiny little property in La Paz down in Baja California Sur, Mexico.  I miss serving you as customers of LeNell's and apologize for the delay in communication while we have been busy with this major move.  We are happy to announce that we can now serve you in a completely different way.   Our business here is Casa Cóctel.

We are not a bed and breakfast.  We are a bar with options for overnight stays.    We've combined the best of our dreams to create what we call a "libation haven."  With over a 1000 bottles of wine and spirits and over a 1000 drinking vessels, we are ready to elevate your Baja visit with amazing drinks and home-cooked meals.

True to our ornery nature, we refuse to publish room rates.  We plan to offer each guest a custom package depending on the adventures in food, drink, and local life you'd like to enjoy.  La Paz is full of all kinds of adventure from fishing for the big catch to riding a tandem bike with your lover during sunset. 
The store was small and tried to appreciate folks no matter if the budget was a $6 wine or a $350 whiskey.  Casa Cóctel is tiny and plans to appreciate all budgets, too.  We offer memorable drink experiences for those pinching their pesos to those whose wallets billow with bills.
We can help you plan a most romantic getaway that will razzle dazzle lovers.  And on the less naughty side, we can assist families to have fun, too, even allowing parents time to play while we entertain the kids.  You can also bring along your pet pooch, puss, or parakeets.
This mailing list will only hear news and special offers from us quarterly.  If you'd like to be on our more specialized mailing lists, we will once again be sending out the monthly cocktail  emails.  We will also be adding a whiskey newsletter for those interested in keeping up with the latest about our beloved spirit.  You can subscribe by clicking "Update your profile" below.

Our web site is still a work in progress, and this is a new email system.  Please let me know if you had any problems or find errors.

Tuesday, September 28, 2010

Neighborhood Trivia Nights

If your idea of a good night is having a drink or two or a few while answering trivia questions, we have you covered, for 3 out of 7 nights anyways. Here are just a few bars/restaurants in the neighborhood that have trivia nights. Some are fairly new and some have been around for a while. All are fun and give you chance to bone up on your general knowledge and maybe win some prizes while you're at it!

Building on Bond (pictured above) in Boerum Hill at 112 Bond St. has a Thursday night trivia at 8:30pm. Quiz mistress, Maeve Adams, is an English teacher so although the questions are mostly general knowledge they do lean towards the academic and literary.

Ceol in Cobble Hill at 191 Smith Street has a Tuesday night pub quiz at 8:30. There's no cover charge and, although they say "win prizes" on their website, they don't specify what those might be.

Bar Great Harry in Carroll Gardens at 280 Smith Street not only has a great beer list but also has a very popular quiz night on Monday nights at 8pm. Check their website ( because sometimes they have special nights. Sept 6th they had a Brooklyn Brew Trivia where the winner left with a home brew kit.

Rocky Sullivan's in Red Hook at 34 Van Dyke Street also has Thursday night trivia at 8pm. The grand prize is a round of drinks for you and your teammates and the question rounds are mainly general knowledge with the exception of a photo and music round.

So study up and go win some booty!

Monday, September 27, 2010

A Taste of Red Hook

The fourth annual A Taste of Red Hook is right around the corner, both literally and figuratively if you live in the neighborhood. On Wednesday, October 6th, you can help raise money for the Red Hook Initiative, which is a local organization that works with lower income Red Hook residents. Here's a quote from part their mission statement: "The Red Hook Initiative works to confront and affect the consequences of intergenerational poverty through an approach that offers support in education, employment, health and community development." You can read more on their website. (

The event will have live music, food and beverages from the best of the best in Red Hook, including Red Hook Lobster Pound, Sixpoint Craft Ales, Steve's Key Lime Pie, and The Good Fork. They will also have a silent auction for gift certificates for Brooklyn area spa treatments, designer accessories, and more.

Tickets are $100 and are available at The event starts at 6pm and will go until 9pm at the Kidd Yellin Gallery, 133 Imlay Street.

Friday, September 24, 2010

215 Cucina update

We promised you an update on the restaurant, now known to be called Caselnova, that took over 215 Cucina Napoletana on Columbia St and we've got it. First rumored to be a pizzeria, then a wine bar, we finally found out from the new owner himself. When we spoke with the chef/owner, Dean, who trained in Italy, he let us know a little more about what we can expect from Caselnova. It's all about traditional fare, casual and authentic with moderate prices. Sounds good to us!

Progress is looking good, as one can tell from the photos. They seemed very busy with construction and are probably moving on to decor now. The outside (above) has been revamped as well as the inside (shown below). The new sign is up and the inside is looking very close to being done. Dean gave us a projected opening in October but that wasn't entirely concrete. He said he hopes it will be ready by then, and so do we!

Thursday, September 23, 2010

The scoop on Karloff, new coffee bar and eatery

254 Court St, which used to be the Tea Lounge, is soon to be a coffee/juice bar and eatery called Karloff. We spoke with the owner, Artur, and got a rough idea of what to expect. The focus seems to be on affordable foods and beverages of excellent quality, utilizing local products. They'll have ice cream from Jane's Homemade ice cream of Kingston, NY and Dallis Bros. Coffee (, who's roastery is located in Queens and has been serving fair trade coffee to New Yorkers for nearly one hundred years. The food will have an Eastern European influence and in the future, after they have settled in, they hope to offer delivery service as well as family style portions.

Although we have no shots of the inside, the owner preferred we wait until the place was more presentable, it's looking very close to being ready and the decor is homey with an eclectic mixed of furniture. The wooden chairs were acquired from different homes in upstate are very reminiscent of "grandma's house". There is a beautiful long wooden table that was built by the owner himself.

An expected opening date isn't yet set. Artur said hopefully next week or the week after but wants everything to be perfect before inviting the public in. We all know that first impressions are important.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

Corn as Art in Cobble Hill

On the corner of Smith street and Bergen there is a raised garden growing corn that has sprung up very recently and passers-by may ask themselves, "what's up this that?" Well aside from it being a pretty garden near a couple of eyesores, Domino's pizza on the same corner and Dunkin' Donuts across the street, it actually has a story. Brooklyn visual artist and filmmaker, Christina Kelly, created this garden, called Maize Field, and two others in the Brooklyn area. The gardens are built in areas that were prime Native American cultivating grounds in the 17th century. Christina states on the project's website,, that "the corn gardens of Maize Field are meant to be a meditation on the change and displacements that have been part of New York’s history. At the same time, they symbolize gestures of restoration and resiliency that are also a part of city life." As well as an art project, this is also a real working garden. Christina brought the first of her harvested corn and sunflowers to Farm City Fair on September 12th. You can also check out her bounty at The Invisible Dog Art Center at 51 Bergen St.

Tuesday, September 21, 2010

Bacon and Beer at Ted & Honey

Ted & Honey, located at 264 Clinton Street in Cobble Hill, isn't usually open for dinner but they'll be open on October 2nd from 6pm-10pm for a very special event. If you like bacon and you like beer then this is your night. For this event Ted & Honey will be serving an array of bacon-centric dishes, such as bacon-wrapped shrimp stuffed with Gorgonzola or crispy bacon dipped in bittersweet chocolate and caramelized honey (Mmmm.), as well as a sampling of Brooklyn beers. What a great combo! They get all their meats and dairy from Dines Farm, of Oak Hill, NY, and the bacon is nitrate free.

The event is $25 per person and there will be live music by Emily Einhorn, ( If you're interested you need to RSVP by September 26th. Here's the number you can call, 718-852-2212, or email You can stop by the cafe and RSVP in person as well.

Monday, September 20, 2010

Brooklyn Bridge Park: Alternatives to Housing Meeting

This Wednesday, the Cobble Hill Association urges its residents to attend a public meeting of the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation Committee on Alternatives to Housing.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010 at approximately 11:00 a.m.
City Hall, Blue RoomNew York, New York 10007

As the CHA has argued before, we are staunch advocates of non-privatizing ways to fund park maintenance. When 1250 units of luxury condos in 6 buildings were proposed, all recreation came out of the plan, replaced by costly landscaping to help sell condos. And while the landscaping is still a costly burden of the park's current design, we have secured the commitment to look at alternate means to fund this park without more housing inside its borders. Senator Squadron and Assemblywoman Millman will also have veto power over future housing, if it again rears its head in 2011 or in 2013 (milestone dates for funding decisions).

This meeting is yet another opportunity for the public to come out and speak out on their desire for a park, a true park... one that does not include private housing within it. The CHA prefers year round recreational facilities such as a pool, ice rink and indoor field house which could offset costs the City cannot burden.

State Senator Squadron has been extremely helpful bringing our desires to the Governor and to the Mayor and brought in another strong supporter in Assemblywoman Millman. Councilmen Lander and Levin have also played a positive role and now we hope you, the Cobble Hill residents and neighbors of the Brooklyn Bridge park, now is another opportunity for you to speak out against housing in a public park.

If you cannot attend, we encourage you to call or email comments to the Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation:
Brooklyn Bridge Park Corporation
tel: (718) 222-9939

Brucie Italian Market/Restaurant

We've all been waiting and wondering what would become of the space at 234 Court St, the old Cube 63 sushi restaurant. Well, the waiting is over. Brucie opened last weekend with dinner hours and a limited menu and will be opening fully for lunch and more food offerings next week. Brucie, named after a couple of the chef/owner, Zahra Tangorra's, canine friends (Zahra's dog is named Burrito and Burrito's dog buddy is Lucy), is an Italian market/restaurant. The menu, which you can view on their website, will change often depending on what's fresh and in season. Their meats are hand-picked from Nectar Hills Farm and poultry is obtained from Hoosic River Poultry. The focus is on quality products and ingredients.

There are pictures of the interior below. The first picture is of their back room, which will be used for private parties and also 5 course tastings, priced at $50 per person. As you can see the decor is lovely. The copper-top bar, made with reclaimed barn materials, was crafted by a friend of the owners, Brian McGowan ( They are planning on obtaining a permit for backyard use so at some point they'll have outdoor seating. More future plans include cooking classes and lasagna service, which would entail you bringing a pan to the restaurant in the morning and picking it up before dinner with a ready-to-cook lasagna. Cool idea! While we visited they gave us a taste of their fried cheese ravioli and it was soooo delicious. Can't wait to try more!