Bodega Wine Bar Owners to Open 'Heavy Woods' Restaurant in Bushwick

By Meredith Hoffman on July 26, 2012 6:52am 

BUSHWICK — If a bar's name reflects its owner's heart, then couple Gina Leone and Ben Warren really have fallen in love with Bushwick.

The co-owners of the Bodega Wine Bar — a local mainstay the pair opened on St. Nicholas Avenue after returning from Spain and falling for its "bar culture" — are about to unveil their next venture, an eatery and watering hole named after their Brooklyn neighborhood's original Dutch name.

"We're calling it 'Heavy Woods,' which is the name the Dutch called Bushwick when they settled it, 'Boswyck,'" said Warren, 42, of the soon-to-open spot on Wyckoff Avenue and Willoughby Street, which will also use a wooden motif with "thick pieces of wood on the storefront."

Heavy Woods, a 500-square-foot cafe that Warren said would open in mid-August "if all goes perfectly," is a chance for the couple to feature a full liquor selection and a kitchen (the Bodega only has wine, beer, and a small spot for cooking at the corner of the bar, he noted).

At the stainless steel bar — which was constructed by a local ironworker — patrons can sip on special varieties of tequila, whiskey and mezcal, and in the morning hours they can come in for coffee starting at 8 a.m., Warren said.

"This is going to be completely different," he said, comparing the future spot to the Bodega, which offers movie nights, karaoke and readings on its small stage.

"It's been great because we get to work together all the time," Warren, a former telemarketer from Michigan, said of co-owning the Bodega with Leone, who previously worked as a school teacher. "We can work for ourselves."

And though Heavy Woods may lack a stage and movie nights, Warren said he believed the central location would draw more unexpected visitors.

"We want to nurture the neighborhood," he said. "We see it growing every day."

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