Local businesses continue to need neighbors’ support now more than ever. Months of closure or significantly reduced sales due to the pandemic have taken a toll on the community. To celebrate Black History Month, and continue to support the Black Lives Matter movement, it’s critical for supporters of the anti-racist movement to put their money with their mouths are and notice gaps and shortcomings in our own neighborhood commerce.
66% of Greenpoint residents are white, which makes supporting the Black and BIPOC populations in our neighborhood all the more important. We can celebrate diversity, encourage it and learn how to make Greenpoint an even more inclusive place, starting with patronizing Black-owned businesses still open and serving the community during this tumultuous time:
Brother Vellies (71 Franklin St.)
Creative Director Aurora James’ shoe brand, Brother Vellies, has been seen in top fashion magazines across America, with her stylish shoe store on a prominent corner of Greenpoint. Handcrafted shoes from South Africa, Kenya, and Morocco, aim to maintain the spirit of Africa with traditional footwear handcrafted in village workshops. Each pair of Brother Vellies shoes is assembled from sustainable resources, “using heritage techniques perfected over generations,” the brand states. Horsehair fringe, plush furs, and carved bones are all some of the collections’ striking embellishments.
Stuart Cafe & Cinema (79 West St.)
This tiny movie theater, owned by Emelyn Stuart, is a treat to escape to for screenings of mainstream and artsy films. While current restrictions don’t allow the cinema to operate, the cafe is still open for takeout and delivery, which can be enjoyed during livestream movie nights Stuart is hosting.
Action Burger (292 Graham Ave.)
Yet another restaurant we can’t wait to return to, this comic book themed burger joint is home to over 250 free arcade games from the 80s and 90s. Pay it forward and order mac and cheese bacon burgers, deep fried pizza rolls, plus family-sized boozy slushies until we can return to full-on video game bliss with a side of munchies again.
Sweet Science (135 Graham Ave.)
This neighborhood cocktail bar is the type of cozy spot you want to settle into and never leave, but for now, a special to-go menu offers food, cocktails and toilet paper. At $40, the Family Bucket with fried chicken, two biscuits, a side of mac and cheese, plus a bottle of sparkling Brut is a bargain, and don’t sleep on the frozen Irish coffee either.
Run out of a commercial kitchen in South Williamsburg, this catering company is run by chef and founder Christa Lynch. Sign up for her email list for free recipes, consider donating a meal to Kensington Family shelter or plan your next event with Brooklyn Braised, which has catered events for The Brooklyn Nets, Twitter, Essence and more.
Celsious (115 N. 7th St.)
This new laundromat for the aesthetically and eco- inclined is run by sisters Corinna and Theresa Williams. Self-service laundry is suspended, but drop off and pick up are available. Environmentally friendly detergents, dryer balls, stain sticks and more are also for sale in Celsious’ online shop.
Kokomo (65 Kent Ave.)
New to Williamsburg circa the pandemic era (Summer 2020), Kokomo’s outdoor dining oasis is always bustling. Owned by Ria Graham and her husband, Kevol Graham, Kokomo serves pan-Carribbean cuisine with a fun Brooklyn twist (boozy brunch!). The vibe is certainly worth visiting for, but whether you’re staying our getting takeout, the jerk chicken and spicy island pasta are musts.
For more Black-owned establishments to support in Brooklyn, download the app EatOkra, which maps Black-owned restaurants, follow @BlackOwnedBklyn on Instagram, and bookmark this spreadsheet sharing Black-owned New York City spaces.