There’s a certain check list when it comes to DUMBO, that tiny, bridge-bound neighborhood on the waterfront. There’s Grimaldi’s for pizza; Jacques Torres for chocolate; Dewey’s Candy Store for candies, the Powerhouse for great readings, art books and events; Rice for a quick, fresh Asian meal; BoConcepts for modern furniture; and Bubby’s for a family-friendly meal and great pie after. But there are plenty of other great attractions — for food, booze or just shopping. So, as you’re hopping around the neighborhood at next weekend’s inaugural Brooklyn art fair, Verge Art Brooklyn, here’s our guide to where to eat, drink and shop beyond the usual suspects.
Neighborhoodies: This is the only store in Brooklyn where you can buy custom hand-stitched items made in minutes. From heavy hoodies to T-shirts, you can have your thoughts and ideas displayed at a great price with items ranging from $32.99 to $79.99.
“DUMBO is great for small businesses,” said owner Lori Fields. “We have so much support and style here.”
Neighborhoodies [26 Jay St. between John and Plymouth streets, (718) 243-2265]. No stitching on Saturday, closed Sundays. For info, visit neighborhoodies.com.
Modern: Anthology: It may have a strong masculine vibe, but owners Becka Citron and John Marsala stock their newish store with rustic goods that anyone would find appealing. From great bedding and leather bags to razors and art books, this store is one unique emporium. There’s even a happy hour the first Thursday of the month!
Modern: Anthology [68 Jay St. between Front and Water streets, (718) 522-3020]. Appointments only on Monday. For info, visit www.modern
Egg by Susan Lazar: There’s just something about spring and babies. Chances are, you know someone who’s expecting, and for stylish baby clothes, including organic items, look no further than this sleek shop. And for those who are expecting, there’s also a great selection of equally fashionable maternity clothes.
Egg by Susan Lazar [72 Jay St. at Front Street, (718) 422-7811]. For info, visit www.egg-baby.com.
Shops @ Green Desk: This isn’t your ordinary shopping mall. At the Shops @ Green Desk you can find small, artisanal shops like the Antique Boutique and Miritika, which sell vintage jewelry and period-based clothing, a custom footwear store and jewelry shop. And if you’re looking for cute clothes for your tiny tots, Little Poco and Madison Parker bring the cool factor to clothing and accessories for babies and toddlers with Latin and Brooklyn styles, while Huggy Bunny takes baby clothing back to classics.
“We do all animal and nature-based clothing,” said owner and designer Andrea Chrem. “We focus on happy colors and scenery.”
If you’re in the mood for a delicious treat after you’ve done your shopping, you can stop by Nuts+Nuts for gourmet roasted cashews or O’Crepes which sells organic, low-calorie crepes.
Shops @ Green Desk [145 Front St. between Jay and Pearl streets in DUMBO, (718) 210-3650]. Store hours vary.
Spring: This art and design store not only looks cool, but sells some of the most unique items you’ll ever find. From a “dandelight” (a light made from real dandelion seeds) to rings made from Legos, you’ll feel the creative energy flowing the moment you step in.
“Even though DUMBO is ever-changing, it has always had an interesting creative community,” said owner Anna Cosentino.
Spring [126 Front St. between Adams and Jay streets, (718) 222-1054]. Closed Sundays and Mondays. For info, visit www.spring3d.net.
Stewart/Stand: This design shop might just lure you in from off the street thanks to its lovely scents. Stewart/Stand sells a variety of candles and soaps, as well as housewares and some really unique stationary. Plus it’s packed with fun toys for all ages.
Stewart/Stand [141 Front St. at Pearl Street, (718) 875-1204]. For info, visit www.stewar
PS Bookshop: This second-hand shop got too big for its britches, relocating a couple blocks away from its original Front Street location last spring. The focus is still on art, photo and design books, but there’s plenty of options if you’re looking for a classic or recent fiction. It also has a kids corner where children are encouraged to sit and read while parents browse.
PS Bookshop [76 Front St. at Washington Street, (718) 222-3340].
Rebar: It doesn’t matter what time of day you’re in DUMBO — the gastropub Rebar does not disappoint. For lunch, it offers an $8 meal (including tax and unlimited soft drinks) that includes a haute Philly Cheesesteak, a burger, a pulled pork sandwich and salads. For dinner, the menu expands to include osso bucco, steaks and fish. And all night long, there’s a great bar with a vast beer selection and specialty cocktails, including one named after our editor (it’s a girly drink, so go figure). There’s also a single-screen movie theater in house, where you can watch indie films and drink indie brews.
Rebar [147 Front St. between Pearl and Jay streets, (718) 766-9110]. For info, visit rebarnyc.com.
Water Street: Owner and DUMBO legend Jeffrey Rodman changes his menu regularly, so you never know exactly what you’re in for — except a good time. Now, he’s going for Southern hospitality, with a new Dixie-themed menu that includes delicious, fall-off-the-bone babybacks. The bar is hopping during football season, and the after-hours Underwater Lounge downstairs is the neighborhood’s secret nightclub. And Rodman has Anchor Steam on tap. What more could you want?
Water Street [66 Water St. between Main and Dock streets, (718) 625-9352].
68 Jay Street Bar: Once an unassuming bar, this spare space bills itself as an “American industrial drinking establishment,” which is a long way of saying that it has become the neighborhood art hangout (artists must love a happy hour with $3 Brooklyn Lagers like the rest of us). It’s also a great place to pick up local gossip from co-owner Karen Johnson, a former head of the neighborhood association.
68 Jay Street Bar [68 Jay St. at Water Street, (718) 260-8207]. For info, visit 68jaystreetbar.net.
Superfine : Along with Rice and Jacques Torres, the spacious Superfine is one of the neighborhood’s dining pioneers, opening nearly 10 years ago. On weekends, the restaurant keeps it lively with art work on the walls and live bluegrass during Sunday brunch. If you’re looking for a late-night drink and a round of pool, the place also obliges.
Superfine [126 Front St. at Pearl Street, (718) 243-9005].
#7 Old Fulton Street: Dema Baldemic opened his Italian restaurant over the summer, and there are at least two reasons to go: 1. The amazing 30-ounce, bone-in ribeye for $28, which may be the value of the century; 2. Baldemic himself. A former cook at Elaine’s in the glory days, Baldemic is a storyteller every bit as good as the yarn-spinners who propped up that fabled bar.
#7 Old Fulton Street [7 Old Fulton St. between Front and Water streets, (718) 797-0007].
Galapagos Art Space: This former Williamsburg venue found a new home in DUMBO three years ago, earning raves for its breathtaking space, where pools of water surround each table and candles climb up the red walls. It’s also gained fans for its quirky programming — classical quartets, acrobatics and nerd nites comprise a typical week. Don’t miss the weekly flagship party, Floating Kabarette — part cabaret, part burlesque, part variety shop — on March 5.
Galapagos Art Space [16 Main St. at Water Street in DUMBO, (718) 222-8500]. For info, visit www. galapagosa