Thursday, March 6, 2008

New (Possibly Very Good) Wine Bar to Open in Brooklyn

I have complained in this space in the past about the lack of a good wine bar in the Cobble Hill-Carroll Gardens area. Well, that situation may be rectified as early as tomorrow.

Patrick Watson and Michele Pravda, the nice couple behind the nabe's best wine store, Smith & Vine, and best cheese store, Stinky, are set to open a new bar on Smith Street, just a jog from their other businesses. Patrick has talked about doing this for a couple years now, but made it seem a long way off. Guess the closing of nearby (and awful) saloon Quench was the sign he was looking for.

Joining them as partners, according to the NY Sun, will be Smith & Vine manager Ari Form, who spent four years with Danny Meyer's Union Square Hospitality Group, and Matt DeVriendt, another Smith & Vine manager. Form will be in charge of the spirits program—quite a challenge with Brooklyn Social down the block and Clover Club set to open soon nearby.

Matt said the bar will pour many of the wines which are for sale at Smith & Vine. That will be handy; one can sample a vino at Jake Walk and then stroll down the block to buy it.

As for the curious name, it's just the latest clever, historically minded tavern title in town, right in the tradition of Milk & Honey, Little Branch, Pegu Club, and Death & Co. It refers to, according to Gowanus Lounge, "people who were poisoned by bootleg alcohol and left with physical disabilities. Jake was a Jamaican ginger extract with high alcohol content that was used to skirt laws banning alcohol. In 1930, manufacturers decided to add an industrial chemical to dilute Jake that turned out to be highly toxic. Victims were partly paralyzed and the resulting walk was known as "the Jake Walk.""

Yikes! Noting like a bit of gallows humor.

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