Despite only opening in 2019 (which, to their credit, is practically a decade in Covid years), Temkin’s has the feel of a veteran neighborhood institution. And now, the crew that brought you the beloved Greenpoint haunt (and The Owl Farm in Park Slope, Cardiff Giant in Clinton Hill, and Bar Great Harry in Carroll Gardens) is taking their talents to Williamsburg on January 26.
H & H Reserve — located at 519 Metropolitan Ave. on the corner of Union — will be similar in vibe to Temkin’s, but managing partner and founder Steven Baird still wants to give the new spot space to spread its wings.
“You should always have a good concept to open a bar, but you also have to be willing to kinda let the neighborhood it lives in define it,” Baird explained. “Every single bar that I’ve opened, I had a clear cut idea and then it obviously changes a little bit over time. So I’m excited to see where this one goes. All the bars have become exactly what they need to be.”
And that concept includes the bar’s name, named after Herb and Harriet Wiley, the grandparents of Baird’s co-owners and business partners Ben and Mike Wiley (brothers, if you couldn’t guess). The Herb and Harriet worked artists in the 1930s and ’40s and graphic designers in the ’50s, and their paintings will be on display in the bar. (The “reserve” element was something that was chosen, as most good ideas are, when drunk.)
Where H & H will differ from Temkin’s is its pricing (Williamsburg real estate does not come cheap), a wider beer and cider selection including brews from Belgium to the Finger Lakes, and food — Windsor Terrace’s Dog Day Afternoon will be taking advantage of the bar’s full kitchen to sling Chicago-style dogs and Italian beef until 2 a.m.
And while the team had the idea for a new bar for while, the space itself has been coming together far more quickly (though the location choice was a no brainer) — the team bought the bar in September after Sugar Burg closed its doors.
“It’s too good of a corner to pass up,” Baird said.