Nowadays, finding one’s niche in the Williamsburg bar scene is no easy task, especially amidst the ever-evolving barroom hooks, from styrofoam cups to nostalgic video games to 1893 beer-champions. Leave it to Joe Carroll, proprietor of hop-snobbed Spuytin Duyvil, to ride the “year of the pig” coattails with an old garage, a few smoked meats, and a selection of booze equal to that of your creepiest, long-lost Confederate uncle. Yes everyone, it’s Fette Sau (“fat pig” in German). And yes, it’s finally open.
After walking past the pink neon sign (anyone else smell Southern trailer-park here?), I wandered down the picnic-table-lined driveway into the former Tony & Sons auto-repair shop. The raw space is more than welcoming with its open kitchen, inviting bar and motley crew of carnivorous locals mowing down on everything from pork belly to flank steak (all sold by the pound), served from old-school deli-style warmers. There’s even a wall littered with cartoon drawings of every meat cut imaginable (including a standing rump!).
Once I had my baking tray of meat, I slid up to the bar to deal with the heartpoundingly good selection of fine alcohols. After nabbing one of the vintage tractor-seat bar stools, the first thing I noticed were the taps, modeled after the tools of the butchery trade (think knives, mallets and hammers). The ten taps stay completely local with suds from Heavyweight, Greenpoint, Brooklyn, Sixpoint, and Kelso (Heavyweight and Greenpoint have made exclusive draughts just for Fette Sau), and all come available in half-pint, pint, quart, half-gallon, and the only-heard-of-in-fairy-tales gallon. If beer’s not your prime mover, Fette steps up with a knee-buckling assortment of American bourbons that will take you across the Mason Dixon and back, with everything from the staple Knob Creek to the not-so-staple 21-year Black Maple Hill Rye. Basically, if you can think of it, they’ve got it — as long as it’s American, of course.
With plenty of outdoor seating, a slew of lovely smokey protein and a drink selection worthy of the gods, Fette Sau has us all pretty excited for a pork-filled drunken summer of fun. Oh, and whatever else Carroll has up his sleeve for the next Chinese New Year (hint: think KFC and Taco Bell). Mmmm.