GOWANUS — A combination brewery, bar and restaurant opening in Gowanus promises to satisfy the changing tastes of the neighborhood while also embracing its manufacturing past.
The partners behind the still-unnamed establishment hope to open in the spring of 2014 at 333 Douglass St. off Fourth Avenue, an out-of-the-way block with artists' studios, industrial businesses and several for rent and for sale signs.
"We'd like to be an anchor to revive the block," said Josh Stylman, one of the project's backers. "[But] we don't want to be this big gentrification flag...We think it's important to find a balance between preserving the manufacturing roots and bringing new blood to an old neighborhood."
Stylman and his partners chose the Gowanus location because it's in a manufacturing zone where they'll be free to run a full-scale beer production operation with a 10-barrel brewing system. They'll produce beers for their own business, and they also plan to sell their homemade suds at a few bars in Brooklyn and Manhattan.
In addition to a brewery, the 4,700-square-foot space will have room for a bar and a dining area with seating for about 120 customers. Behind the building is an outdoor area that's now a concrete slab. It will be transformed into a garden with trees and more seating. There will also be a vegetable patch to supply the restaurant's kitchen and plentiful bike racks, Stylman said.
Stylman and his partners won support for their liquor license from the Community Board 6 permits committee this week, and the full board will review the application in the coming months.
While he's not ready to reveal all of the specifics yet, Stylman says he and his partners have hired a chef from a New York restaurant and a brewer from a "well-regarded" brewery. The space will be designed by Ole Sondresen, the architect who created Etsy's Brooklyn offices. One of the partners is Justin Israelson, who manages the Sycamore Flower Shop & Bar in Ditmas Park and helped open its sister restaurant, The Farm on Adderley.
Stylman is an entrepreneur who has started several tech companies and now lives in Park Slope. He's the father of three kids, and his wife is a co-owner of Hiho Batik on Fifth Avenue. After two decades in the high-tech world, Stylman says he's looking forward to "dealing with a physical product and bringing it to life."
He and his partners said they're also hoping to build something the whole neighborhood will enjoy. They plan to host community events featuring local artists, and hope to feature locally made products on the menu.
"Our whole vibe is populist, and it's absolutely critical people understand we're part of this community and we're building this for us and our neighborhood," Stylman said.