A Summer Hangout in Industrial Ridgewood
Ridgewood and Bushwick residents now have a new outdoor spot to meet up and grab dinner and drinks with the soft opening of Nowadays taking place this past weekend. The outdoor Cooper Avenue spot is an oasis in an otherwise industrial area.
“We just want it to be a neighborhood meeting place,” Mark Connell said from behind a makeshift bar on Sunday afternoon, where about two dozen people were enjoying the large open space and lounging on two large grass mounds.
Along with Connell, Justin Carter and Eamon Harkin – who you may know as the creative minds and DJs behind Mister Saturday Night and Mister Sunday dance parties – own the new massive outdoor spot. There’s no brick-and-mortar structure here; just a field enclosed by fences in an industrial area of Ridgewood bordered by Bushwick to the south. It’s an inclusive space, drawing both Ridgewood locals and the community of artists nearby. “Ridgewood has been an up-and-coming neighborhood,” Connell said. “I like the old-school part of Ridgewood as well.”
Connell and his partners and trying to open the space organically with minimal flare. There have been no big events and the space is barely identified. But on a street with broken glass on the sidewalks and a scare amount of movement on the streets on a weekend, there’s an oasis with honey locust and birch trees behind a tall metal fence perfect for laying out a blanket. One of the things that struck Connell was the number of people who brought their children. That was exactly the feel the partners envisioned.
Nowadays features reasonably priced beers between $4 to $7 depending on preference. The menu, which isn’t yet finalized, is reminiscent of a summer barbecue in New York City.
The owners are also operating with an eye towards charity. Nowadays plans to set aside 10 percent of their net profits in 2015 for the New York City-based poverty-fighting organization Robin Hood. They plan to name a new recipient every year.
Starting June 18, Nowadays will be fully open to the public and throughout the summer from Thursday to Sunday. It’s located at 56-06 Cooper Avenue.
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