Bushwick, Brooklyn was once dubbed the beer capital of the Northeast. In the mid 1800′s, a majority of the immigrants in Bushwick were German, so by 1890, Bushwick established a brewery industry, including 14 breweries operating in a 14-block area called “Brewer’s Row.”
The New York Daily News described Bushwick as a city filled with cafes, salons and bars by vacant warehouses tagged with street art, especially around the Jefferson Ave. L stop.
“It’s a really tight-knit community, and the businesses support each other,” says Betsy Maher, 30, a bar owner who’s lived in Bushwick for five years.
“Everyone is passionate about what they do; it’s not just about making money,” agrees her business partner Mike Ireland, 30, who left the lower East Side and Williamsburg because “everything just turned into Disneyland.”
Maher and Ireland opened Pearl’s Social and Billy Club (40 St. Nicholas Ave., at Starr St.) with two other investors in June 2011.
New York Times editor Constance Rosenblum wrote that Bushwick is “arguably the coolest place on the planet,” after her visit to Cedar House, a Victorian house inhabited by “nine artistically inclined 20-somethings” — Haight-Ashbury redux.
Another stop in Bushwick is a pizza joint called Roberta’s, located in a former garage, with wood-paneled walls, elongated wood tables, and mismatched captain’s chairs.
According to New York Magazine, Roberta’s has a rear patio with additional seating and a rusting Mercedes-Benz sedan studded with flowerpots. “The pizza, made in a wood-burning oven, is Neapolitan in inspiration and technique. The crusts are admirably airy and crispy, and the mozzarella homemade.”
When Gawker’s Max Read was at Roberta’s on a recent Friday night, no one seemed to take notice to the naked woman waiting tables.
“And anyway,” said Read, “we only caught the waitress, surrounded by customers taking photos, while walking out.”
He adds that when asked “we were told that Friday was her last day, and the nudity did seem to be a kind of farewell gesture; she, or someone, had written “PEACE OUT” on her back.”