Building up: New bar Robert is built on Bond Street

Light my fire: Robert’s retro-sleek Firestarter jukebox will offer a rotating selection of 45s.
Phil Morgan

Building on Bond’s older brother is moving in.

Tonight, the owners of Boerum Hill dining staple Building on Bond will throw open the door of a spirits-focused bar right next door. The bar’s name, “Robert,” is intended to convey a slightly more refined vibe than its casual neighbor, says the spots’ co-owner.

“Some people call Building on Bond ‘Bob’ for short, so we decided to name the place ‘Robert,’ ” said Phil Morgan. “It’s a little more mature, grown up.”

The bar features 1970s-style furnishings, including wall tiles the owners found wrapped in newspaper from 1979, said Morgan, and a ceiling coated entirely with black domino tiles. The bar also features a 1971 “Firestarter” jukebox, with an array of 45 rpm records that will change each month, according to the selections of local disk jockeys. The curated selection and analog technology gives the music more of a human touch, says the general manager.

Just a taste: Patrons sit at Robert’s bar during a pre-opening sneak peek last week.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

“The thing that drove me crazy both working at, and going to bars was the places that had jukeboxes always had the same stuff on them all the time, so you’d hear the same music over and over,” said Joshua White, who also railed against bars that use smartphones and ipods for bar music. “We want a brain and human emotion behind it, I don’t want a computer to determine my mood.”

The bar focuses on cocktails created with New York-distilled liquors, including whiskeys from King’s County Distillery and Williamburg’s New York Distilling Company, and Owney’s Rum from Bushwick. The watering hole’s seasonal cocktail menu, debuting Oct. 7, will rely entirely on local booze, says White. But that does not mean that service will come from snotty buttoned-up mixologists, he says.

“I’m not going to name any names, but this isn’t a place where someone in a crisp white shirt and arm garters is going to call you ‘sir.’ If you just want a beer and shot, the boilermaker is there on the menu for you,” White said. “A great cocktail is a great thing, but it doesn’t need to be pretentious. It’s still just a drink, and you’re here to drink it.”

Robert (112 Bond St. between Pacific and Atlantic Avenues in Boerum Hill). Opens Oct. 7 at 5 pm. Regular hours Mon–Fri, 5 pm–1 am; Sat, Sun, 5 pm–2 am.

Drink up: Robert’s co-owner Phil Morgan hoists a beer to his latest drinking establishment, opening on Oct. 7.
Photo by Stefano Giovannini

Reach reporter Harry MacCormack at hmaccormack@cnglocal.com or by calling (718) 260–2511. Follow him on Twitter @HMacBKPaper.

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