The Crown Inn, the latest effort from Matt and Toly (of Franklin Park fame), opened with a fantastic party last night (reviews are trickling in, perhaps as people get up, on Brooklynian). The place, which they've been working on for over a year, is gorgeous, with a warm interior (lots of brick, wood, and dark subway tiles) and a surprisingly spacious back garden. Some of my hazy photos are above, and you can see better shots in a slideshow from New York Magazine's Grub Street blog, which gave the place a nice advance write-up. While the place is certainly well-appointed, it's not only a high-end cocktail-and-oyster bar. They've got twelve beers and four wines on draft for $4-7, and a wide range of liquor, including 40 bourbons, behind the bar for $6-9. Food service from a pint-sized kitchen space at the back will start soon, with grilled cheese, chips, cheese plates, charcuterie, and yes, eventually, oysters. Still, the place retains a cozy, neighborhood-y feel that will make it, for my money, a huge hit.
One thing that warmed my heart last night was the show of support for The Crown Inn on the part of all the other local merchants. There are a lot of neighborhoods popping up new shops around Brooklyn and NYC, but the amount of camaraderie and reciprocity the Franklin Avenue Merchants show one another is seriously special.
Also, if you didn't get your beer fix last night, Bob & Betty's is having another beer tasting, with Staropramen, tonight at 5pm (Six Point will be stopping by next week, too).