Bar Spotlights Grub/Spirits β€” 21 February 2011
A First Look: 61 Local

61 Local
61 Bergen Street (between Boerum Pl & Smith St), Brooklyn, NY 11201
Getting There: F,G To Bergen Street


The expansion of a neighborhood is always a good thing. Not only does it stimulate the economy, but it helps provide its residents with a sense of purpose. This is where you live, so it is of the utmost importance that businesses move in to help enrich the area. This can be said for Bergen Street upstart, 61 Local.

61 Local, which officially opened last week sits just below the ever bustling Smith Street and the Carrol Gardens hood. They are a true Beer bar, making them an immediate friend to a borough filled with Craft Beer lovers. It is beneficial to this joint that it is off this main drag of Smith Street.”61″ is able to set themselves apart in a whole new strip. They are not alone in doing this as restaurant Broken English, and The Invisible Dog Art Gallery have been making this new territory their own for sometime now.

When you enter the space, you will be taken aback like I was about how large it is. The ceiling for one, is quite high providing an airy space where you could not possibly feel claustrophobic. Large wooden tables fill the floor providing a wide amount of seating. So this is great for groups of any size looking for a night out. The walls have local artist pieces adorning them, which will change frequently.

An amazing factoid that everyone should know is that much of the materials used to build 61 Local have come from reclaimed and or recycled textile and lumber. From the floor your standing on to the Lamps. All of these items have been given a second life here. The Lamps in particular are interesting. They were made from reclaimed, Carboys which are used for home brewing. They look great and really help to illuminate the large space. It’s great to see a new business have a low carbon footprint right from the start.

It must also be noted that 61 Local will only serve Beer in glasses to patrons, as Chris Munsey (Food and Beverage Manager) informed me. They do not want to serve brews bottles, thus furthering their cause for a greener establishment. The Beer being served will all derive from local breweries from regions including; Long Island, New York State, New Jersey, and Pennsylvania. “61″ is all about supporting local economies, and I find that very refreshing. Pun intended. They are quite serious so much that their beer menu, which hangs directly behind the bar is a map of the regions they serve from. An ever changing food menu is also available using local purveyors such as McClure’s Pickles and Saxelby Cheese mongers.

61 Local is a great place to start or end any night out in Brooklyn and the city as a whole. With a great bar menu, plenty of space, and helpful informative service it’s really a no brainier that they are doing something right. Head on down to Bergen Street, and find out why 61 Local will be your new home for better brews.

- Alan Smithee

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