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Gage & Tollner now open for pickup & delivery!


Gage & Tollner Window

Gage & Tollner was one of the sadder Downtown Brooklyn stories, with the grand re-opening scheduled for just days after the city shut down due to the Coronavirus in March 2020. Seriously: March 12th was my (and many other’s) last day working in an office, and their opening was scheduled for March 15th. Oof.

Prior to that, there had been a lot of well-deserved hype around the re-opening. Gage & Tollner is one of Brooklyn’s original fancy restaurants, and had operated for more than a hundred years before shutting down in the mid-90’s.

The space was purchased by some well-known restauranteurs, who wanted to restore it to it’s former glory, as the building is now landmarked and much of the interior was left intact despite several transient tenants in the mean time.

The main restaurant was to be an oyster and chop house, joined with a tropical-themed cocktail bar. Which is pretty badass.

With so many restaurants disappearing, I was worried that Gage & Tollner wouldn’t make it. Which is why I was so excited to get an email from them announcing the launch of pickup and takeout! This new hype isn’t just coming from me, the New York Times is also getting the word out.

Gage & Tollner pickup and delivery sign

From the founders St. John, Ben, and Sohui:

As you know, off-site dining was not part of our original concept. We wanted every Gage & Tollner meal to take place in our landmarked dining room. But the world has changed, and demands that we change with it. We truly believe that our new delivery concepts carry the original spirit of Gage & Tollner into the pandemic age, and we hope you agree.

Ordering is available online from both the chop house and the Sunken Harbor Club. Food prices from the Tiki bar are about what you’d expect if you’ve been running up that Doordash bill this past year. Most dishes are between $10 and $20, and cocktails are $15.

But what’s really speaking to me are the “At-Home Dining Experiences” from Gage & Tollner proper — meal kits designed to feed entire families. For $180 you can feed four to six people a Braised Heritage Pork Dinner.

Gage & Tollner's Braised Heritage Pork Dinner
Photo from Gage & Tollner

Currently, my household is just two (my wife and me) so I don’t think we’ll be ordering one of these experiences. But I may have to splurge on a cocktail or two for my upcoming birthday at the end of March. Hooray for a second pandemic birthday!

Gage & Tollner Storefront Gage & Tollner sign

Gage & Tollner, 372 Fulton St, Brooklyn, NY 11201

Local Businesses Take the Bait in Underage Alcohol Sting


Wall of alcohol

The New York State Liquor Authority recently sent underage decoys to retail establishments holding liquor licenses to ferret out those that illegally sell to underage persons. The underage decoys went to 756 businesses where they attempted to buy alcoholic beverages.

Of the 756 businesses State-wide, 200 sold alcoholic beverages to the underage decoys, including a few in Downtown Brooklyn. The Downtown Brooklyn offenders included a 7 Eleven at 395 Flatbush Avenue Extension, the Brooklyn Deli at 115 Willoughby Street, and Khim’s Millennium Market at 111 Lawrence Street.

Ali Mohammed, the Manager of Brooklyn Deli, stated that the business would need to be more careful. The 7 Eleven and Khim’s Millennium Market did not provide a representative for comment.

The remaining 556 businesses refused to sell to the underage decoys. Locally that included G & Wine & Spirits Inc. at 48 Willoughby Street.

CB 2 Votes to Reject the Contentious 80 Flatbush Skyscraper

80 Flatbush, rendering by Alloy Development

With a vote of 32-1 on Wednesday night, the Community Board 2 rejected the 80 Flatbush project. This vote by the full board follows the vote by the CB2’s Land-Use Committee which also voted against the project.
These votes are part of the ULURP rezoning process for the development for 80 Flatbush which includes residential, office and retail space in a 74-story building and a 38-story tower. It doesn’t bode well for the multi-use project that boasts bringing an additional 700 market-rate apartments and 200 affordable apartments.
What’s next? Brooklyn Borough President Eric Adams needs to issue his recommendation on the project. (Adams held a public hearing late last month. Then the NYC Planning Commission will review the project and and the process ends with a vote by the New York City Council.

Fancy Soap Shop Rain to Open in City Point for Your Self-Care Needs


Soon you’ll be able to get all the artisanal soaps your heart desires at City Point. Rain, an au naturale soap, skincare, and fragrance company is opening up their first Brooklyn storefront in July.

The bougie self-care brand is known for incorporating sustainably harvested African botanicals into their luxury bath bombs and body scrubs. Makes sense since Rain originally began in South Africa and is recognized for their Fair Trade practices in Africa and Europe. They currently have one other NYC location in Rockefeller Center.

Borough President’s Hearing for 80 Flatbush Towers



Despite the rain yesterday evening, a couple hundred folks lined up in Brooklyn Borough Hall to voice their opinions on the controversial 80 Flatbush Towers. It’s been a heated subject among residents of Boerum Hill, Fort Greene, Brooklyn Heights, Carroll Gardens and Cobble Hill.

Hello, Gothamist. Welcome back.


Gothamist Website screenshot

Have you heard the news? Gothamist is back!

Last year, after a vote to unionize, they were shut down. Apparently, that made WNYC sad, so WNYC brought them back. They launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money and rally the troops. And today, they’re officially back.

I couldn’t be happier. I missed them. I know this isn’t directly related to Downtown Brooklyn, but Gothamist is a fantastic resource for all New Yorkers. So I had to celebrate here.

Brooklyn Alamo Drafthouse to get fancy new HDR projectors


Alamo Drafthouse Brooklyn

The Alamo Drafthouse in Brooklyn is one of ten locations of the chain to be getting HDR (high dynamic range) Projectors, according to The Hollywood Reporter. This fancy new projection technology makes for whiter whites and blacker blacks, which I’m sure all the film-o-philes will love. They’re partnering with CinemaNext to get these new projectors in theaters.

The exciting part isn’t necessarily the HDR projection, which isn’t totally new (AMC and Dolby teamed up for Dolby Vision a few years back). The exciting part is HDR projection coming to such a badass theater. I mean, have you been to Alamo Drafthouse yet? I don’t really want to go to other theaters anymore.

Personally, HDR isn’t really that exciting to me. But I don’t really get exciting for IMAX or 3D movies either. I’m sure a lot of people will be thrilled.

No idea when it’s rolling out, but it’s coming. Are you excited?

Attempted robbery at Vivi Bubble Tea, armed with a glue gun


Vivi Bubble TeaImage via Google Maps

After a tip to police, a believed serial robber was arrested in Vivi Bubble Tea at 113 Court St on Monday.

From Pix11:

The employee began to put money in the bag when two officers entered the store and confronted Price, police said.

The officers allegedly spotted a black object in Price’s hand and demanded that he drop it. Police said he did not comply, and fled to the back of the store.

Price was later apprehended without further incident, and a glue gun wrapped in black tape, a black mask and backpack were found in the store’s bathroom, police said.

If you see something, say something.

Scaffolding on Starbucks collapses, injuring three


Police Tape CautionPhoto by Eugene Zemlyanskiy

Scaffolding at a Starbucks on Court Street and Joralemon collapsed on Saturday, April 14th. Three people were sent to the hospital with minor injuries — fortunately nothing more. The NY Post has the full story.

I recently downloaded the Citizen mobile app, which sent me an alert shortly after it happened. A user had submitted a picture of the scene, but unfortunately I didn’t have the foresight to capture it for this website. I’m finding Citizen pretty useful though. It reminds me of Gothamist’s (now-defunct) Maps, but with much better UI.

Were you nearby the incident? What was your experience?

A couple of award-winning buildings in our hood


Dekalb Market Hall in City Point

The Urban Land Institute New York (ULI NY) award ceremony was on April 10th, and a few of our very own buildings were among the winners (emphasis theirs):

Some of this year’s winners from Brooklyn included Dumbo-based Two Trees Development, which nabbed the Excellence in Market-Rate Housing Development award for their breathtaking 300 Ashland building, which is already being regarded as iconic as part of the BAM Cultural District.

Acadia Realty Trust and Washington Square Partners, which took the Excellence in Retail Development Award for their City Point project, 10 City Point just off the Fulton Mall and Flatbush. The development features among other retailers, a Target, a Century 21, a Trader Joe’s and the most happening food court in Brooklyn.

While I can’t personally speak to the “market-rate housing” award (sure they had 76 affordable housing units, but otherwise is >$2,000/month for a studio “market rate”?), the building is beautiful. Especially compared to the monstrosity that’s coming to 9 Dekalb Ave.

And the Excellence in Retail Development Award for City Point is well-earned. After opening last year, City Point quickly became the place in Brooklyn. Dekalb Market has all the food one could ever want, and the Target/Trader Joe’s/Alamo Drafthouse combo is killer.

But the development in Downtown Brooklyn has only just begun. And it remains to be seen how the neighborhood will turn out. Will all these developers be able to find renters for these high-priced luxury apartments? Or will we see prices drop, or units empty for years?

What do you think?