Outlook sunny for Red Hook bar’s return

The Brooklyn Paper
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Sunny’s days are forecast for Red Hook.

A Kickstarter campaign to help restore the Hurricane Sandy-damaged watering hole Sunny’s Bar back has already surpassed its $20,000 goal after just over a week online.

The money will go toward a repair job estimated at between $60,000 and $80000, according to owner Tone Balzano, who narrowly escaped the pub when floodwaters filled the basement and rose about five feet high in the ground-floor taproom.

Before Sunny’s can reopen, Balzano must install new concrete in the basement, new electrical panels and wiring, a new boiler, a new floor in the bar, new compressors, and an ice machine. After all that’s done, the bar needs to replace thousands of dollars worth of destroyed liquor.

“I never imagined this would be such a long process,” said Balzano, whose bar picked $20,000 as a target because Kickstarter returns all donations if a project comes up short.

“We thought $20,000 was a good number to start with,” Balzano said.

As of press time, 291 backers, at least partially compelled by a number of cool rewards, have contributed more than $24,000. Rewards include an original membership card to the Red Hook Yacht and Kayak Club — as Sunny’s was known when it was a private club — signed paintings of the bar by Anthony Fatato, and half-scale replicas of the Sunny’s sign, as designed by the lighting artisans at Lite Brite Neon.

Matt Dilling, one of the owners of Lite Brite, said he was proud to be a part of Sunny’s recovery.

“Sunny’s is a national treasure,” said Dilling.

Sunny Balzano — the pub’s namesake and a Red Hook legend — turned a bar that had belonged to his family since the 1890s into the neighborhood’s heart and soul when he returned to the community where he grew up in the 1980s.

The bar was featured by Anthony Bourdain on an episode of “No Reservations” just last month.

Updated 5:37 pm, July 9, 2018
Today’s news:
Share on TwitterTweet
Share on Facebook

Don’t miss our updates:

Reasonable discourse

Comments closed.

First name
Last name
Your neighborhood
Email address
Daytime phone

Your letter must be signed and include all of the information requested above. (Only your name and neighborhood are published with the letter.) Letters should be as brief as possible; while they may discuss any topic of interest to our readers, priority will be given to letters that relate to stories covered by The Brooklyn Paper.

Letters will be edited at the sole discretion of the editor, may be published in whole or part in any media, and upon publication become the property of The Brooklyn Paper. The earlier in the week you send your letter, the better.

Keep it local!

Stay in touch with your community. Subscribe to our free newsletter: