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City's Former 'Ugliest' Building Home to New Craft Beer Bar and Restaurant

By Nikhita Venugopal | July 16, 2014 11:05am | Updated on July 16, 2014 12:53pm
 Ugly Duckling is a new restaurant and beer bar at 166 Smith St.
Ugly Duckling
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BOERUM HILL — Even the ugliest duckling can turn into a beautiful swan.

A building at 166 Smith St. that was deemed one of the city’s ugliest is now home to a new eatery and craft beer bar with a moniker that pays homage to its unattractive past.

The “Ugly Duckling,” a name inspired by the timeless Hans Christian Andersen tale, opened its doors last week with more than 30 kinds of beer, live music performances and American fare.

In 2008, amNY described the building as “a windowless two-story bunker from the ’20s that was encased in concrete a few years ago and now looks like it could withstand a nuclear blast.”

The structure at Smith and Wyckoff Streets has since been redeveloped with residential units and ground-floor storefronts, one of which is occupied by Lululemon.

“[The building] was an eyesore to the neighborhood,” said co-owner Chris Menziuso, who said the former digs were the “fugliest" in Brooklyn. “And that’s how the Ugly Duckling was born.”

The eatery is one of the newest additions to Smith Street’s thriving food scene, which has turned into a Brooklyn hub for bars and restaurants.

“It’s almost like the new SoHo in Brooklyn,” Menziuso.