Berry Park, 4 Berry St, Brooklyn
Rating: L L L L L
The owners of Berry Park know how they want it to end up. They want a big open space where you can bring all your friends, knowing they'll fit and have a cheap but stylish good time. For now, it looks like someone put a biergarten in an 80s loft. Smooth, gorgeous wooden tables and carved banquettes fill a cavernous space sparingly dotted with potted ferns and Ikea lamps. It'll get cozier, with the promised addition of more seating nooks, wall murals, and German-inspired bar food. If you're going to Berry Park now, you're going for the roof.
Up a flight of stairs from the bar is the enormous roof deck, with a second bar, more garten-style seating, and a fantastic skyline view. Roof access and a menu of weird, tasty draughts like the Hofbrau Dunkel ($7) is making this work-in-progress bar the go-to for the plaid shirt/tight jeans/day job in graphic design crowd. When we visited, the roof was closed because of wind, but bartender David promised it'll be open year round, with space heaters in the colder months.
There's a full bar, and I'm sure the laid-back bar staff would gladly mix you a G&T, but the only thing on the menu (literally) at Berry Park is beer. All draughts range from $6-$8, with one or two options each of pilsners, lagers, IPAs, darks, lights, ambers, and lambics. The Belhaven Twisted Thistle IPA ($7) is tasty but somewhat innocuous, with a lingering hint of hoppy IPA backbite. The Lindemann's framboise lambic ($8) tastes almost exactly like Libby's Juicy Juice— great if you're feeling nostalgic; less great if you're expecting beer. There's a seasonal section, this month filled with Oktoberfest brews like the Hofbrau and Spaten Oktoberfest offerings for $7 each. Every beer gets a wine-style description and its own custom glass. The Hacker-Schorr Oktoberfest arrives foaming over a stein, with an odd flavor like slightly overdone popcorn. They're not all winners, but the bar's done a good job selecting a few beers that make you think rather than a cavalcade of easy-to-down suds.
It's not finished, but Berry Park is slowly morphing into a fine addition to the late-recession biergarten craze. The proprietors are letting us witness their coming of age with a frosty Weihenstephaner in hand— keep this in mind when hungrily assessing the decor. Berry Park is going to be a great spot, and our advice is to get in there before shit gets douchey.