Caracas Arepa Bar is charting nuevo NYC-nightlife territory, with its Williamsburg “Roneria”. Boasting thirty-plus Caribbean/Latin American sipping rums, a ron-based cocktail menu, and beach shack-chic décor, Caracas brings a little bit of paradise, and a lot of warm energy, to Brooklyn.
The Roneria’s cocktails, created by mixologist Orson Salicetti, were inspired by the (fairly recent) proliferation of date-aged rums. This refinement has elevated rum to the pantheon of “gentleman’s spirits”, and opened the door for mixologists’ artisanal experimentation. Traditionalists will enjoy the Roneria’s Rum Manhattan, while patrons who prefer the sweeter things in life may favor the fragrant Flores Daiquiri. For an enjoyable, educational experience, connoisseurs and novices alike should try one of the rum flights.
Beyond the bar, Caracas’ Brooklyn outpost retains the essence of the East Village original. Executive Chef Iilse Parra a “Roots Reggae Authority”, embeds the rock steady origins of her favorite genre into the traditional Venezuelan dishes. This food isn’t meant to be fast, but rather steadily savored.
There’s a Venezuelan proverb that states: “he who doesn't look ahead gets left behind.” Caracas is in no danger of suffering that fate, as it surges past the trends.
Bowling and drinking go together like Wii and weed, so when Paul Kermizian and Jon Miller, the duo behind Barcade, announced that they were bringing a retro-dive-bowling alley to Greenpoint it wasn’t hard to guess that success would follow. What’s truly impressive is the lengths they’ve gone to evoke another era. There are monochrome score trackers, injection molded seating, vintage bowling bags, and old fashioned beer lamps hanging over the bar. There’s even a 60’s era candy machine replete with Rollos and Mike & Ike’s. It’s just really comfortable. Nothing gleams, or shines, or flashes at you. No design elements are so chic they scream for attention. And there’s real comfort in knowing that if you drop a slice of pizza on your chair it’ll wipe clean. It just makes it easy to relax.
There’s a certain togetherness to The Gutter. It’s a fully realized idea with a balance between both the era it seeks to evoke, and the neighborhood it makes home. The music seems invariably to be that ideal blend of indie classics (Fugazi, Pixies, Sonic Youth) and bowling alley jams (Rush, Springsteen, Van Halen). The beer menu is wide ranging and craft heavy, but it comes in big bowling style pitchers. And while everything else in the entire place is vintage, the bowling shoes are brand spanking new. By carefully selecting the good from both the old and the new you get something more than just nostalgia — you get a classic.