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New ‘Narrows’ bar is long on style and wide on substance

The Brooklyn Paper
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Flushing Avenue has a new oasis from its busy truck route and heavy manufacturing neighbors — a bar that serves craft beers and organic cocktails.

It’s not as startling a juxtaposition as it sounds.

Matt Webber and Keith Cochran, owners of The Narrows, which opened this week, spent a year spent renovating the slivery former home of art gallery Pocket Utopia with Art Deco finishings, wrought iron chairs and wood from nearby lumber wholesalers.

The result is a sleek-but-cozy cocktail bar with a warm backyard perfect for lazy summer nights. You’d never know you’re still in Bushwick.

Webber, who owns a bar on Bedford Avenue in Williamsburg and has worked in several bars in a city west of Brooklyn, is excited about opening his newest venture in Bushwick because it allows him to experiment both with the menu and the design of the space.

“There really is no other neighborhood that would allow you to do that to the degree in Bushwick,” said Webber. “Out here, it’s more of an artist community, so you can have a vision and see that vision through — without catering to a particular demographic.”

But Webber and Cochran are catering to Brooklyn drinkers with discerning tastes. On tap are craft beers that range from the malty Troegs Hopback and the silky Six Point Otis to the light Ommegang wheat beer and sharp and citrusy Nectar IPA, both perfect for summer.

Seasonal cocktails, developed by bartender Andy Simmons, are another strength, incorporating homemade syrups and sours.

“Customers in Brooklyn care more about what they’re getting,” said Cochran. “They are interested in having something new when it comes to cocktails. How often do you have something new in your life?”

Cochran’s favorite drink is the Que Bonita, which includes two types of tequila and a cool crunch of cucumber, and the rye- and maple-based Caulfield’s Dream has spearmint plucked from the bar’s backyard garden.

Barely in their first week of operation, Cochran and Webber are clearly happy to be in Bushwick and to welcome the neighborhood to their bar. So far, restaurant workers from Roberta’s, Northeast Kingdom, and Life Café are regulars for the bar’s evening crowds — it is open until 4 am — but expect it to be a lot more crowded.

“We hope people go to Roberta’s or Northeast Kingdom and have a nice meal, then come here afterwards and have a few drinks,” said Cochran. “People want to enjoy great food and great drinks.”

We’ll drink to that.

The Narrows (1037 Flushing Ave. between Morgan Avenue and Vandervoort Place. No phone).

Updated 5:18 pm, July 9, 2018
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Reasonable discourse

Rob from Greenpoint says:
Organic cocktails...how unbelievably precious !
June 29, 2010, 8:42 am

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