A group of Red Hook residents are launching a new beer garden and family-friendly hangout on Conover Street on weekends starting Friday, Sept. 4, turning a now-vacant lot into a space for cooped-up Brooklynites to mingle outdoors, said its organizer.
“We’re crazy enough to do this,” said David Wiesner, an eight-year resident of the neighborhood. “It was one of these empty lots and we’re just doing a rock and roll beer garden.”
Local architect Alex Washburn, who owns the lot on the corner of Wolcott Street, asked Wiesner to run the outdoor brew haven every weekend while he works on getting permits to eventually develop it into residential buildings.
The new space will feature a selection of beer from nearby Sixpoint Brewery, as well as food trucks, flea markets, astroturf for socially-distanced bocce, and a sandbox for young Brooklynites to play, said Wiesner.
The venue was originally supposed to launch this week, on Aug. 28, but Wiesner postponed the opening to await final permits from the owner.
The entrepreneur also partnered with local nonprofits Cora Dance and Red Hook Art Project on the initiative, and the organizations plan to offer programming for neighborhood youngsters in the beer garden, such as dance performances and a kids arts corner.
His companies previously catered to two temporary health facilities the government set up during the height of the pandemic, including the Billie Jean King National Tennis Center in Queens and the Brooklyn Cruise Terminal, although the latter never took in patients.
Originally from Munich, Germany, the Brooklynite aims to open the space every weekend until early October, when he hopes to cap off the run with an Oktoberfest-themed event.
“We will set it up as a full Oktoberfest beer garden if all goes well,” he said.
Residents of the waterfront nabe have become creative with unused space to the people amid the pandemic, such as maritime advocacy group PortSide New York, which opened a “Pandemic Pop-up Park” at a parking lot near the Atlantic Basin in July.
Red Hook Beer Garden [184 Conover St., at Wolcott Street in Red Hook, www.instagram.com/rh_beergarden]. Fridays-Sundays starting Sept. 4 through Oct. 4. Fridays 2 pm-10 pm, Saturdays noon-11 pm, Sundays noon-10 pm. No cover charge.
Update (Thursday, Aug. 27, 9:45 am): This story originally stated that the beer garden was scheduled to open on Friday, Aug. 28. David Wiesner notified Brooklyn Paper Thursday morning that he would push back the opening by a week, and the article has been updated to reflect this change.