Things have changed a lot over the years on Norman Avenue, but Scandinavian influence remains. It is highly ironic that two Scandinavian cutting edge entrepreneurs have just opened their modern, ultra trendy, design center-restaurant Norman (29 Norman Ave) on a street named for the first Greenpointer, fellow Scandinavian, Dirck Volckertszen, the Norwegian immigrant who built the area’s first house nearby in 1645, more than three hundred and fifty years ago. Recently opened by Danish restaurateur Claus Meyer and Swedish chef, Fredrick Berselius, Norman is another chapter in Greenpoint’s long Nordic heritage. Volckertszen is too hard a name to pronounce, so the Dutch called him Dirck the Norseman, Dutch for Norwegian, which got shortened to Norman, hence the name of the street.
Norman Avenue was not always called by its present name. It was once Third Street and then Union Street. Volckert Dircksen, the oldest son of Dirck Volckertszen, built his house near Bushwick Creek on Norman Avenue between Manhattan Avenue and Lorimer Street about 1700. The house is long gone, but near where it once stood is one of the prettiest houses in Greenpoint, 61 Norman Avenue, a cute wood- frame house set off the street with a gorgeous garden in its front yard. Before the street was created Norman Avenue was part of the beautiful Meserole Orchard, and the trees remind me of the ancient orchard. Continue reading →
A few years ago, a group of friends began serving up coffee shop treats at the whimsical Woops! Bakeshop over on Driggs Avenue and North 7th Street. Little did they know, they were starting what is now the nation’s largest macaron chain. And finally, one of their franchises is coming to Greenpoint with the opening of Woops! Greenpoint on Sunday in the former Lunchbox space at 120 Norman Avenue. The new spot will be helmed by Michelle and Monserrate Irizarry, two longtime Brooklynites (Monserrate is a born and bred Williamsburger) who are fulfilling their lifelong dream of opening a cafe, and Greenpointers readers can get a special treat when they stop by Sunday or Monday.
The path towards this new location all began when Michelle decided to be a stay-at-home mom after having their first daughter. She developed the frequent habit of stopping into that Driggs Avenue store for an afternoon coffee and a treat, and it was there that she noticed a flyer regarding franchising with Woops!. Her and her husband reached out to the owners and ultimately spent a year working side-by-side with their team for training. Already living in and loving Greenpoint, they couldn’t help but want to open their location in the neighborhood. “Giving back to our community in any way is what we pride ourselves in, and we are very grateful and blessed to have this opportunity,” says Michelle. If you’ve ever visited the Driggs Ave shop, the offerings will be about the same, with everything made on-site. In addition to those delicate French macarons, they’ll be serving sandwiches, select pastries, and a regular coffee shop menu. And once their permit is passed in the coming weeks, they’ll be the first Woops! location to have beer and wine.
Woops! was originally scheduled to open this weekend, but they’ve hit a couple of delays. When they do open, stop by, mention “Greenpointers” and you will get a free macaron with any purchase. Welcome to the neighborhood!
Norman (29 Norman Ave) is now officially open as an all-day café, restaurant, and bar serving breakfast, lunch, and dinner. Though there were a few months of delay, it seems that spring is the perfect time to welcome this sustainable restaurant to the neighborhood. Norman shares a beautiful sun-drenched location with creative space A/D/O, and the cuisine benefits from the bounty of the season. This large and airy cafe is a great casual dining destination in this warehouse sprawled area of Greenpoint.Continue reading →
Due to Hurricane Irene, Connie O’s postponed their end of summer BBQ to this weekend – same deal as last time, but better weather! So if you’re in town for the Labor Day weekend, head over to Cons on Saturday for $1 mugs of Coors & Coors Light and FREE burgers.
Connie O’s Backyard BBQ Bash Saturday September 3, 2011 – 4pm-8pm 158 Norman Avenue
Local favorite Connie O’s Pub has just renovated its backyard and is opening it up to the public as a seated outdoor drinking area / bring-your-own-meat BBQ spot.
To celebrate the yard (and finally!) the arrival of warmer days, they’re having a big BBQ bash/cookout with free burgers, veggie burgers and hot dogs with $1 mugs of beer this Saturday.
The pub also boasts a number of all-day-every-day happy hour drink specials: $1.50 mugs of tap beer, upwards of $2 for bottled domestic beers and upwards of $4 for mixed drinks. There is also a $25 open bar special and $1 mugs of tap beer and free pool on Sundays and Mondays.
Fresh from the husband and wife team that brought us CUP coffee shop, Brooklyn MAC is their new joint focusing on the beloved comfort food. Conveniently located next to CUP on Norman Ave, you will soon be able to stop in for some down home mac and cheese. From the classic Kings County (Cheddar and American) to their Coney Island (Hotdog + Sauerkraut + Mustard + American), I promise you there is a neighborhood taste for everyone.
True to their neighborhood friendly roots they will have veggie, vegan and gluten free options. They also figured out a clever way to turn their creamy, delicious mac menu into a healthier option. Substitute fresh, crispy lettuce greens for the macaroni in any order and voila.
I got a sneak bite the other night. Working off the “build your own” menu I created the “Jason Heights” MAC, a 3 cheese, 3 meat slugger. Damn delicious I must say.
They are set to open in about a week or so. I’d say perfect timing as that mercury seems to be dipping lower and lower as the days go by. As we head into NYC hibernation I might have to keep Brooklyn MAC on the speed dial.
Brooklyn MAC 77 Norman Avenue btwn Lorimer & Manhattan
Speaking of the Greenpoint library, head librarian Mel Gooch and her team have organized a Book Swap for this Saturday, January 19th between 3 and 4:30 PM. Readers of all ages are invited to the Greenpoint Library at 107 Norman Ave. to trade books they are finished with for new literary delights.
All books for exchange must be in good condition and books of all languages are welcome. There will also be a free raffle for a Brooklyn Public Library tote bag.
For more information, call 718-349-8504. For a listing of other special events, including classes, at any of Brooklyn’s pubic libraries, check out the BPL’s website.