Bar owner defies tarot reading and opens anyway

Bar owner defies tarot reading and opens anyway
Jesse Levitt is about to open a Coney Island-themed bar, The Minor Arcana, on Washington Avenue.
The Brooklyn Paper / Tom Callan

The tarot reading made it clear: “It’s not in the cards!” But bar owner Jesse Levitt ignored the cautious divinations and took inspiration from a different occult omen: He’s steered his destiny to bustling Washington Avenue, where on Nov. 20 he’ll open a new Americana-laden drinkspot filled with Coney Island-style ambience called the Minor Arcana.

Levitt (pictured) says he turned a dismal New Year’s Day reading at a Brighton Beach tarot den — a larkish test of the cosmos which foretold of “bad times” for his new venture — into canny manna: The will to carry on with launching a bar amid the worst recession ever.

But instead of listening to the reading, Levitt, who also owns Kings County in Bushwick, merley renamed his bar from the Flying Monkey to the Minor Arcana, a tarot term that refers to the set of prescribed destinies that one can actually change.

To play up the occult angle, the arty saloon will feature a cabinet of curiosities; a custom-built tempered glass bar that will feature three-dimensional work from local artists; and 1930s-style adverts with modern takes on freak show icons like the strongman and the bearded lady on the walls.

And the vibe? Chill, not shrill.

“It’s a neighborhood spot that’s a fun place to raise a glass; a drinker’s bar,” Levitt said. The artworks are “conversation starters.”

The Minor Arcana (706 Washington Ave. between Prospect and St. Marks places in Prospect Heights, no phone yet). Opens on Nov. 20.

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