Greenpoint Heights, Onyx
The first time I entered the newly-managed Onyx on Morgan & Nassau in Greenpoint, I heard one of the barkeeps refer to the neighborhood as Greenpoint Heights. I thought this rather fine, since the term North Brooklyn includes northern portions of Williamsburg, and we up here surrounded by Newtown Creek on two sides, the BQE to the south and the treacherous McGuinness Avenue to the west, we are in our own special paradise so many dozens of blocks from the trains. Out here where “Greenpoint” does not mean the Nassau & Greenpoint stops on the G – or only by proxy. (Someone on Yelp referred to the area as Greenpoint SewTrePla – meaning the Newtown Creek Wastewater Treatment Plant, which moniker is less than wonderful.)
When we (me and my various roommates) moved to Greenpoint in 2004, we came from 156th Street in Washington Heights – and our neighborhood bar was on 80th. In Greenpoint we found a fine bar at the end of the block, at Nassau and Morgan avenues: Lyric Lounge. We patronized the place as often as our pockets allowed, but it closed within the year anyway. We were forced to Twisted, and after their demise, to Boulevard, an outpost of a watering hole beneath the crashing rushes of the BQE on Meeker Avenue.
When Lyric Lounge reopened, it was 2006, and it was called Onyx. Instead of rock and roll and some dart-boards, it was a techno-playing Polish-oriented club. And it was an appropriate place for such an establishment, really.
In early 2010 Onyx closed. In Spring 2011 it reopened under the same name (why?) but new management. Back came the rock n roll (whole albums, even) and a place to sit outside with a drink and smoke.
The menu is surprisingly good – surprising I guess because of the ruggedness of the environs. (Boulevard’s menu, in contrast, is culled from a grill crammed into a corner in the back outside-area of the place.) Friends and I have tried Onyx’s grass-fed burgers, chicken sandwiches, mac n cheese, etc. Beers, wines, liquors. No complaints.
Given that the place is the only bar in the area (not including Connie O’s), that they have a backyard, that their happy hour includes $2 High Life, and that the burgers don’t make me feel funky, I will go here as often as they stay open.
And if we’re going to be particular enough to adopt a new handle, please, let’s go with Greenpoint Heights. Not Greenpoint SewTrePla. The mush of its pronunciation is horrible reason enough.