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Brothers Bring Rust Belt to Bed-Stuy with New Bar Dynaco

BEDFORD-STUYVESANT — Two doors away from the increasingly popular and decidedly modern Bedford-Stuyvesant restaurant Do Or Dine sits a nondescript brown storefront with two small, stained-glass windows.

Inside is a watering hole that feels less like a cool Brooklyn bar as it does a Rust Belt dive, offering a rustic and cozy environment adorned with items from the past.

Dynaco, a new Bedford Avenue bar from brothers Adam Forgash, 48, and Ben Forgash, 45, gives  patrons a place to belly up to the bar and have a conversation while listening to music on a vintage soundsystem.

Essentially, the two brothers said, it's the bar they've always wanted.

"The city can be challenging and hard to live in," Ben said. "We could create a place where people can come off the street, and all of a sudden they could be taken somewhere else. Relaxed."

Fitted with vintage and reclaimed materials, the aim of Dynaco, at 1112 Bedford Ave., is to provide "comfort and warmth," the brothers said. After gutting the inside of the space last summer — leaving nothing but "dust and beams," Adam said — the duo scoured the area looking for the right pieces to add to the space, which they designed themselves.

They built tables out of wood and hand-hammered Indian brass trays. Adam's wife found stained glass light fixtures in an antique store.

The bar and back-room benches were found after repurposing a fallen tree from the Adirondacks. The man who owned the yard where the tree fell posted it on Craigslist, and the two brothers had it shipped to New York and sanded down.

"We really want people to feel like this place has been here forever," Adam said.

Even the bar's name, Dynaco, was taken from an old speaker from the 1960s and '70s that their father owned when they were kids.

"We both coveted it, and Ben walked off with it after we left the nest," Adam said. "It was just an amazing tube amplifier we were introduced to music on."

Inspired by that amplifier, the bar's vintage soundsystem will be pumped through an old receiver and Dynaco speakers Adam said he found while digging for old materials. That search also turned up dozens of other speakers that the brothers fitted like a jigsaw puzzle into a wall separating the front and back rooms.

The back room itself is raised with brick and wood floors and lit up with Christmas lights. There's a metal fireplace they put together when they ripped down closets in the back of the space and discovered a flue.

Both brothers made use of their own limited experience building spaces. Ben helped build the interior of Clinton Hill bar Hot Bird before it opened, and Adam, who recently remodeled his own Bedford-Stuyvesant home, helped come up with the design. But neither brother had any extensive experience in the service industry.

"It was amazing, because we agreed on every aesthetic choice," Adam added. "It was really fun. It was one of the best things I ever did."

Originally from Westfield, N.J., the brothers spent their early years playing in rock bands and frequenting bars for gigs. They eventually started to think of these places as a second home and it became a dream of theirs to open a bar together.

In 1998, Ben moved to Fort Greene, then to Clinton Hill in 2001, and finally to Bed-Stuy in 2006. Adam followed suit three years ago, moving around the corner from Ben with his family.

In his push east, Ben said he's seen the neighborhoods change, and the two wanted to contribute something of their own to Bed-Stuy's inevitable commercial development. The two men started work on the bar last summer, when it was an old storefront that was being used as a storage space for a corner hardware store.

"We wanted to do something in the neighborhood, to be part of it," Ben said. "The neighborhood's changing crazy fast, and I think it's needed."

Dynaco will have 12 beers on tap, the brothers said. A small kitchen will eventually serve some food, though they said a menu was still in the works.

But the Bed-Stuy brothers mainly hope that they can add something new to Brooklyn's ever-growing bar scene.

"I really like that whole Edison bulb thing, I feel really comfortable in those kind of turn-of-the- century-[style] bars that there's so many of in Brooklyn," Adam said. "But I wanted to do something different than that. We both did, because I feel like that's been done to death. So we just tried to come up with something you really couldn't place in time.

"We used to build forts when we were kids," he added. "This is kind of like our fort."