Subterranean bar planned for Crown Heights’ Nassau Brewery site

The redevelopment of the former Nassau Brewery site in Crown Heights will include a subterranean bar, planners recently unveiled.
Rendering by Formworks

The long-in-the-works redevelopment of the former Nassau Brewery building in Crown Heights is inching closer to completion.

Most of the scaffolding that had surrounded the 19th century brick building, located at 937-949 Bergen St., for years is now down except for some remaining on the ground floor and more near the roof. Graffiti still covers both sides of the building near the street level, although the side that faces Franklin Avenue appears to have been on the receiving end of a paint job at some point since 2019.

A few clues have recently emerged that possibly offer what’s in store for the building. Renderings posted on the website of architecture firm Formworks show not only a nighttime view of the exterior, but also a look at ideas for a drinking establishment underground.

Ron Eng, a partner at Formworks, is also the cofounder of the firm Formactiv, who is listed as the applicant of record on recent building permits.

listing for two of the five retail spaces posted by commercial real estate firm TerraCRG show that the renderings for the drinking establishment were most likely a view of the “sub-cellar space in the original beer caves,” according to the listing, which adds that it will be occupied by Embassy Bar. But a quick search for the establishment found that they tweeted in October 2020 that because of COVID, the bar “will not happen in its planned location.”

The commercial listing also notes that a gastropub will take the retail space that occupies the corner of the building at Franklin and Bergen, and a Japanese restaurant called DOMO will be taking retail space on Bergen. DOMO is most likely House BK, owned and operated by chef Yuji Tani. They have a website that corresponds to the address, which says the restaurant will open in the autumn, although that appears to be in relation to 2020. Attempts to reach House BK via email went unanswered.

Rendering by Formworks

The brewery is owned by Crow Hill Development head Fabian Friedland, who has been restoring it and said he plans to transform it into a mixed-use complex with shops and apartments. In 2014, Yoel Goldman of All Year Management bought the Dean Street side of the property from Friedland for $17.5 million, which is now a mixed-use development designed by ODA.

Fabian Friedland did not respond to a request for comment via email.

The development is on the same block as 1000 Dean St., a former Studebaker service station that was adapted into offices by Brownstoner founder Jonathan Butler and architect Annabelle Selldorf. Until the pandemic, it housed food and beer hall Berg’n.

This story first appeared on Brownstoner.com.