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Former Beauty Bar in Bushwick Grows to Restaurant

By Meredith Hoffman | September 25, 2012 9:45am

BUSHWICK — Move over, remnants of 1950's glamour — Bushwick's Broadway is getting locally grown salad greens instead.

After the neighborhood's former Beauty Bar — a music-pumping franchise featuring manicure-martini specials and helmet-shaped hair dryers — switched owners and names overnight to become Broomie's this winter, the spot has now reopened as Skytown, an understated cafe with fresh food, coffee and liquor.

"We now have a kitchen with a great selection of food featuring locally grown produce as well as a carefully curated bar," Skytown's owner Jeff Pan said in an email.

"I actually had the interior and exterior more or less the same for a few months while I was waiting for the renovations and liquor authority approvals to go through, but after what seems like an eternity, we're finally done!" he said of the spot which opened earlier this month.

Local resident Lindsey Langenburg, who frequented the dive Broomie's before its renovations, said the new Skytown had already drawn crowds to enjoy the fresh food and cafe atmosphere, which she said was uncommon in that part of Bushwick.

"It'll be nice to have a quiet spot to hang out and read," she said, although she admitted disappointment the dive bar Broomie's had closed. "I haven't checked [Skytown] out yet but any place that ends up having both coffee and booze ends up being one of my favorite places."

Skytown's menu now includes an array of creative combinations: salad with yellow wax beans, feta, avocado and dried cranberries ($8); sauteed summer squash, arugula and caramelized onions on a baguette ($7); and baked eggs with kale and marinated onions ($8). 

But while Pan was always confident in running businesses on Bushwick's Broadway, Beauty Bar's owner did not have such success.

"The area was not developing as fast as we had hoped," Beauty Bar owner Paul Devitt said in a past interview. "A lot of kids in Bushwick are strapped financially. They drink at home, at parties."

The eight-city franchise, which began on the East Village's 14th Street back in 1995, opened this spring at 249 Fifth Ave. in the more family-friendly environs of Park Slope.

"They'll be aging hipsters," Devitt said previously about the new clientele in Park Slope. "They left Bushwick, they married their girlfriend or had a baby, but they still want to go out and be stimulated. They just have to get a babysitter."