It’s back to basics for a new suds, spirits and small bites bar on Graham Avenue.
Forget finicky eats, labor-intensive libations and over-conceptualized décor — basik hopes to set itself apart from its high-minded competitors by offering low-priced, no muss no fuss fare in a casual, neighborhood setting.
“Our aim is to be a bar with elevated food, but not a restaurant,” said co-owner Jay Zimmerman, former beverage director at The Breslin and The Standard New York.
“We try not to take ourselves to seriously,” he added. “Our boquerones ($4) are a great example of that — they’re kind this snooty, white anchovy from Spain, but you put a little olive oil and parsley on them, and they’re a just a great snack to have with a beer.”
It’s equally hard to feel uppity over the Wisconsin Dog with house mustard, white onion and cheddar ($5), the sausage and pepper stuffed Hippy Roll ($8) or the chicken salad sandwich with olive oil mayo on flatbread ($8), although the highly refined can choose to pair their wine with the arugula, apple and pine nut salad, with pesto baguette ($6).
The space also offers a little something for everyone — from a seat at the salvaged butcher block bar, to a tête-à-tête at a two-top overlooking the avenue, to a gathering at one of the large, communal tables, to a rollicking party (or until the weather warms, maybe just a smoke) in the oversized backyard.
“We wanted a place that you could bring anyone to; grandma or girlfriend,” said co-owner Derrek Vernon. “Our cocktails are amazing — (note: try the refreshing Poppa’s Pride, with bourbon, ginger, mint, lemon, soda and bitters, or the knock-your-socks-off Mea Culpa, with tequila, punt e mes, velvet falernum, and lime) — but we don’t want you to feel like you have to order one. You can get a three dollar Bud and four dollar hot dog, and we’ll be just as happy that you came.”
basik [323 Graham Ave. between Devoe and Ainslie streets in Williamsburg, (347) 899-7599].Reach Arts Editor Juliet Linderman at jlinderman