Not the tree, but a new flower shop/bar that opened last week around the corner from me. During the day, it will operate as a flower shop, evenings, as a bar. This new venture from the owners of The Farm on Adderley, Gary Jonas and Allison McDowell, replaces Cortelyou Vintage at 1118 Cortelyou Road in my neighborhood of Flatbush.
When the street front was renovated, they discovered the original stained and leaded glass lights of the store windows. They had been painted over, but were in otherwise good condition; they were restored with lots of cleaning, plus some replacements and repairs. The flower shop occupies just the front of the space, visible from the street.
Storefront, Sycamore, 1118 Cortelyou Road
The bar occupies the rest of the space.
The garden theme continues to the shelves behind the bar.
A backyard deck extends the space to the outdoors, likely to the dismay of the neighbors.
A wall of Boston Ivy, Parthenocissus tricuspidata
Every new business on Cortelyou Road is examined under the collective microscope of the community, sometimes on blogs, but mostly on email discussion groups and in casual conversation. This block of Cortelyou, in particular, has seen a lot of change in the 3-1/2 years I've lived in the neighborhood. As in other neighborhoods of Brooklyn, change highlights tensions between "old" and "new" Flatbush, especially around the issues of economic sustainability and neighborhood and cultural stability. With specialty roses at $2 a stem, not to mention beers at up to $8 and $10, Sycamore will amplify those concerns.
That said, this is, at least, a neighborhood enterprise. Gary and Allison live just two blocks away in Flatbush. The architect, Ole Sondresen, who also designed The Farm on Adderley, is also a neighbor of mine. They are investing their energy and creativity into the neighborhood where they live. That, I think, is a good thing.
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