Bar Madonna blends Italian-American tradition with avant-garde artistry in Williamsburg

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The inside of Bar Madonna, a new Italian-American inspired cocktail bar in the heart of Williamsburg.
Photo courtesy of Bar Madonna

The latest addition to Brooklyn’s bustling nightlife scene, Bar Madonna, officially opened its doors in Williamsburg last week, masterfully blending Italian-American cuisine, modern art and drink-making.

Bar Madonna, an Italian-American inspired cocktail bar, is the collaborative effort of local creative Eric Madonna and veteran of the NYC Italian restaurant scene, Ray Rando. The pair hopes to fuse high bar culture with a menu featuring familiar and nostalgic flavors to create the ultimate destination.

Bar Madonna offers 14 unique cocktails curated by the venue’s general manager and beverage director Rob Crowe, featuring four draft options alongside amari, grappas, sambuca and an extensive wine and beer list. The bar also serves up a number on booze-free beverages.

One of Bar Madonna’s many artful touches.

Cocktails include the Madonna Bellini with peach, plum, gin and prosecco; the Bialetti with vodka, coffee liqueur, Oloroso sherry, hazelnut and coffee; the 68th and Harlow with citrus infused vodka, orange liqueur, cranberry, lime and soda, and more.

Owners say the food is reflective of delicious Italian-American classics with playful twists, courtesy of executive chef and partner chef Rob Zwirz. With dishes like the smashed meatball parm, oxtail croquettes and prawns and polenta, the meals are sure to be as unique and delicious as the cocktails.

The 1,000-square-foot space was designed by Catarina Guimarães’ Studio Guia with additional support from art director KidSuper, resulting in a sophisticated yet playful ambiance with a mammoth 8×6-foot painting created by KidSuper just for Bar Madonna.

KidSuper’s mural, created just for Bar Madonna, makes its way to the new establishment.Photo courtesy of Bar Madonna
Engaging, colorful art even lines the bathrooms at Bar Madonna.Photo courtesy of Bar Madonna

“The genesis of Bar Madonna is one of friendship, as the concept stemmed from a desire to create something exceptional — and fun — with Ray, whom I’ve worked with for many years,” said Madonna. “I was further inspired by the creative approach of Colm [Dillane, AKA KidSuper], another longtime friend with an unmatched, innovative mindset. By also bringing Chef Rob into the fold, we have brought to life a dynamic cocktail bar that nods to our lived Italian-American experience while offering guests a completely unique space to unwind.” 

The space seats 50 inside on bar seats and at interior tables and features plenty of standing room. The team also an outdoor seating area in the works, and hopes to extend hours and offer brunch service once they settle in.

Bar Madonna is currently open from 5 p.m. to 2 a.m. Tuesday through Sunday, and is located at 367 Metropolitan Ave., between North Fourth and North Fifth streets in Williamsburg. For more information or to make a reservation, visit barmadonna.com.