Heaven’s sake: Classic Japanese cocktail spot opens outpost in Industry City

Shaking things up: Oldies focuses on Japanese cocktails made with fresh fruit.
Photo by Natalie Sarpi

It’s an Oldie but a goodie!

A new Japanese cocktail bar from the operators of famous Manhattan speakeasy Angel’s Share opened in Industry City last week. Oldies, a 12-seat bar just off the complex’s Japan Village food hall, is trying to conjure classic liquor spots of Japan’s past, said its owner.

“Many of the great cocktail bars in Japan have an old-school vibe, so we wanted to do that here, albeit with updated interiors,” said Erina Yoshida. “We hope people can reminisce on something nostalgic of the past when they come into our bar.”

The bar is less formal than its Manhattan predecessor, which forbids standing, loud talking, or groups larger than four. In contrast, the light and airy Oldies interior has a dedicated standing area, and it plays pop hits from the 1970s.

Before the cocktail renaissance of the early 2000s, Angel’s Share was one of the few spots in New York to get a properly made Manhattan, and Oldies retains a bit of that flavor, with a short list of classic cocktails, including the Martini, Negroni, and Sidecar. But its focus is on simple fruit cocktails — made with seasonal fruits, honey, and whiskey, and highballs made with Japanese whiskey. These seemingly simple concoctions are difficult to pull off well, said Yoshida.

“What we are doing is unique — our cocktails are very simple with many only having a few ingredients while highlighting the produce itself,” she said. “When a cocktail is that simple, it adds more pressure to make sure each cocktail is well-balanced.”

The bar also serves sake, beer, and a selection of Japanese bar snacks. Most of the options are Japanese, but a few beer options come from Kings County, she noted.

“We decided to not carry exclusively carry Japanese ingredients to honor our Brooklyn location,” said Yoshida. “The options that are not sourced from Japan are more often than not produced here in Brooklyn, including King’s County Distillery, Threes Brewery, and even Brooklyn Kura Sake, which is made right on the Industry City campus.”

Oldies [269 36th St. between Second and Third Avenue in Sunset Park, www.instagram.com/oldiesny). Opens Wed–Fri at 5 pm; Sat–Sun at 2 pm; closed Mon–Tue.

Old-fashioned: New bar Oldies will serve Japanese whiskey highballs and classic cocktails.Photo by Natalie Sarpi