513 Henry Street, Carroll Gardens
Now this is the kind of bar you can totally take your babies to! Granted, they aren’t slinging booze at this quaint, old-timey, and very kid-friendly soda fountain, but you can swivel into a stool at the counter and get sugar-buzzed on egg creams ($2.50), sparkling hibiscus soda ($3.25), creamy milkshakes ($4.75), and strawberry-rhubarb pie ($4.50). If you’re not sure what to order, ask the 7-year-old sitting next to you what’s good.
The Brooklyn Farmacy is located in the old Vermont Pharmacy, a shop that had been closed for more than ten years. Neighbors had considered the space a real estate mystery, its uncovered windows revealing a veritable hoader’s den#&8212:papers and cardboard boxes piles high, shelves of canned food, various pieces of clothing strewn amid other junk#&8212:on a prime Carroll Gardens corner. With financial support from the Discovery Channel’s reality show, Construction Intervention, Farmacy proprietors Peter Freeman and Gia Giasullo completely renovated the space. From its tiled floors to its tall shelves of antique apothecary bottles, it’s a beauty.
Bowls of water for visiting canines greet you at the door, and inside, antique wooden shelves are lined with local products#&8212:fresh fruit, snacks from Hot Bread Kitchen, McClure’s pickles, handmade organic soaps#&8212:alongside jars of old-school candy like Lemonheads and Beeman’s gum. Signs in bold all-caps font say things like, “CRAZY FRESH MUSTARD, PICKLES RELISHES,” and “IF YOU’VE NEVER HAD AN EGG CREAM BEFORE, YOU’RE IN FOR A TREAT!”
The staff wears white paper caps and matching aprons, and both workers and customers seem equally giddy to be there. The font on the signs seems to echo owner Freeman’s all-caps voice. Over the din of kids’ conversations, he bellows, “YOU WANT WHIPPED CREAM WITH THAT?” Though the tiny patron’s answer isn’t audible, it must be affirmative because Freeman responds with a squirt and proclaims, “LIFE IS BETTER WITH WHIPPED CREAM!”