Too often, a beloved neighborhood establishment—one oftentimes still shining after a decade of service—falls victim to the brutal real estate market, where money and upward movement are prided over sentiment and service. In 2014, cocktail bar Elsa was ousted from its home in the East Village, ostensibly because the landlord wanted to open their own bar (a cocktail bar named Corlear's opened in the space in 2015; it has since closed). But the owners vowed a return and so they have, settling into a former dive bar space on the western end of Atlantic Avenue in Cobble Hill this summer.
Natalka Burian, who owns the bar along with her husband Jay Schneider and his brother Scott, grabbed some of the features and design pieces from the original Elsa and transplanted them in Brooklyn, a trend Burian noticed in her customers, too. "So many of our new regulars are old regulars who moved out here," Burian told the Times. "We moved the bar with our customers." They also moved the antique sewing machine that dispenses beer instead of thread.
The selfie mirror in the bathroom appears to be a new phenomenon.
Cocktails are organized by type of spirit, with some seasonal changes like a Vinegar Shrub ($13) with a choice of gin, vodka or tequila. During happy hour, classics like Old Fashioneds and Sazeracs are reduced to $7, with beers and glasses of wine for $5. The verdant back garden is a great spot for an extended drinking session, broken up by nibbles of cheese from the bar's small menu of snacks.
136 Atlantic Avenue, (917) 882-7395; elsabarnyc.com