A taste of Staten Island arrives in DUMBO tonight when VH1 reality star Big Ang opens an offshoot of her Westerleigh bar Drunken Monkey in a space above Grimaldi's Pizzeria at One Front Street. Taking over the third floor space of the building, the bar boasts high ceilings with views of the back end of the Brooklyn Bridge and the BQE. Because there's not a street entrance to the building, bargoers will have to walk through the pizzeria and ascend a staircase in the back of the restaurant. A Staten Island speakeasy; just what the neighborhood was missing!
The Brooklyn Drunken Monkey won't be like anything else in the neighborhood, which skews more towards low-key wine bars than fist pumping clubs. The establishment scored a coveted cabaret license—a gift from a previous tenant—meaning the vibe could similar to the sister venue on SI of DJs, dancing and a whole lotta shots. In visiting the bar once a few years ago, Big Ang herself poured me a shot of "Jamo" while bros posted up and chugged Bud Light bottles.
But this isn't Big Ang putting out a Call To Bros: "I'm looking for the hipster crowd," the Mob Wives star told the Daily News. "It's a completely different crowd than Staten Island. It's going to be the yuppies and the hipsters, the DUMBO crowd. I love them all." In courting the new crowd, the bar at least knows it's got to speak their language: craft beer. To that end, they'll have Brooklyn Brewery and other local beers snaked up to the third floor via a special tap system. "The Europeans don't want to drink Heineken," explains bar manager and Mr. Big Ang Neil Murphy. "They like to order the Brooklyn s---." Preach.