Since opening in 2006, Fort Greene’s Stuart & Wright (85 Lafayette Avenue, 718-797-0011) has become a magnet for stylish residents of the borough (Maggie Gyllenhaal and Michelle Williams are frequent shoppers), thanks in no small part to the store’s excellent men’s and women’s designer roster. But owners Alec Stuart and Celeste Wright aren’t happy to just rest on their laurels; as Stuart explains, “There’s something building—we don’t know what it is, exactly, but it’s good to feel like we’re moving forward.” That something he’s referencing includes an expansion to start carrying home goods and books, a renovation in August, and an under-wraps plan to collaborate with some of the biggest Brooklyn creative-types over the course of the next few months (we can’t divulge the names just yet, but trust us when we say that the line-up is major). “You always hear people talking about lifestyle stores, and we’re really, authentically becoming a lifestyle store in a way that hasn’t been intentional,” notes Stuart. While we wait for the shop’s grand re-opening—Stuart & Wright will be closed for two weeks in August to make changes—we had Stuart, a longtime Fort Greene resident, share a few of his Brooklyn favorites in the first of a regular Brooklyn Magazine column.
Best Coffee: Bittersweet (180 Dekalb Avenue, Fort Greene, 718-852-2556), because it’s my morning staple.
Best Pizza: Not Ray’s (690 Fulton Street, Fort Greene, 718-855-8206). I usually get the straight-up plain slice.
Best Place to Spend a Rainy Afternoon: The Brooklyn Museum (200 Eastern Parkway, Prospect Heights, 718-638-5000). It always gets a rap for being the underdog [museum] in New York, but it’s amazing. They do great shows. And a rainy day in Brooklyn is a bummer, there isn’t that much to do.
Best Place to Break-Up: I’m such a foodie and my life revolves around food, so I’m going to go with Roman’s (243 Dekalb Avenue, Fort Greene, 718-622-5300)—because you’ll never leave unsatisfied no matter what the context of your meal is....Is that cheesy?
Favorite Store (That Isn’t Stuart & Wright): Erie Basin (388 Van Brunt Street, Red Hook, 718-554-6147) is always an amazing trip. Red Hook in general—there’s the new chocolate store, Cacao Prieto (218 Conover Street, Red Hook, 347-225-0130), and their factory is in the front. It’s unbelievable; you feel like you’ve been transported back 100 years. You can spend an afternoon sampling chocolate there!
Best Place to Buy a Last-Minute Gift: Saipua (147 Van Dyke Street, Red Hook, 718-624-2929) —their home products are great, or you can get a beautiful arrangement.
Best Place to Get a New Wardrobe: If it’s not at Stuart & Wright, all I want is vintage, and I love [10 Ft. Single by] Stella Dallas (285 North 6th Street, Williamsburg, 718-486-9482). The back room is filled with every vintage treasure I didn’t even know I’m looking for.
Best Place to Outfit Your Apartment: Brooklyn Flea (176 Lafayette Avenue, Fort Greene). I found a guy there that has amazing vintage Japanese indigo textiles—I have no idea what I’m going to use them for, but he brings me back every week. There’s [also] the garages on Grand Avenue and Greene Avenue; it’s four garage doors that this guy opens and it’s all amazing architectural salvage ripped out of brownstones. It’s amazing stuff, but it’s hit-or-miss if he’s going to have his doors open. I haven’t [bought anything yet] just because I don’t need a marble mantel in my life right now, but some day I hope!
The Shopkeeper’s Guide To Brooklyn: Stuart & Wright