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Pioneer Works to Open 'Eclectic' Van Brunt Street Bookstore

By Nikhita Venugopal | May 8, 2015 12:31pm | Updated on May 11, 2015 8:56am
 Pioneer Books located at the corner of Van Brunt and Pioneer streets.
Pioneer Books located at the corner of Van Brunt and Pioneer streets.
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DNAinfo/Nikhita Venugopal

RED HOOK — Pioneer Works is expanding its massive footprint in Red Hook with a new bookstore that will highlight the work of its artists, creators and teachers.

Located just steps from the creative center’s converted factory space used for events and exhibits, Pioneer Books will officially open at the end of the month with a grand opening party, said Catherine Despont, director of its publishing program.

The shop will hold 50 to 75 titles and will double as a reading room with about six seats.

“Essentially the books are going to reflect the programming and ideas that are going on at Pioneer Works,” she said.

The collection includes books from artists in residence, lecturers, teachers, scientists and others who pass through the facility.  

The literature covers a wide range of subjects — similar to those currently being discussed at Pioneer Works events — from science, art and music to occult traditions, Jewish mysticism and even a selection of children’s books.

They hope to rotate the collection frequently, perhaps as often as once a month, Despont said.

“It’s not really going to be the kind of bookstore where you come to find the latest book from your favorite author,” she said. “It’s more eclectic.”

Pioneer Books will also eventually host its own roster of events like readings, art exhibits and collaborations with other local bookstores.

The shop’s current storefront display features a book from Pioneer Works founder Dustin Yellin, “The Dialectic of Freedom” by Maxine Greene and copies of “Intercourse,” a magazine published by the center.

Despont also said the store will carry works by Janna Levin, who recently hosted a lecture on scientific controversies at Pioneer Works.

Other openings & closings in the neighborhood include:

► The Black Flamingo, a new coffee shop, opened its doors at 281 Van Brunt St. earlier this month. The cafe will serve hot and cold beverages as well as pastries from Balthazar and has free WiFi. Fabricio Franco, who also owns Henry’s Local in Carroll Gardens, co-owns the café along with Red Hook residents Michael Eltcin and Dima Rumiantcev.

► A new wine bar is slated to open this summer at 253 Van Brunt St. with small plates, meat and cheese platters and salads, according to Thomas McCallen, the attorney for the owner.

McCallen described the new eatery, called "Verona Wine Bar," as a casual space and neighborhood bar that they hoped would appeal to locals.

“Everybody has the same dream. You want to create the new ‘Cheers’,” McCallen said.