637 Washington (corner of Bergen) might become a bar — Brooklynian

637 Washington (corner of Bergen) might become a bar

edited February 2014 in Prospect Heights

An entity known as Almadira has filed notice that it would like to make 637 Washington Avenue (corner of Bergen) into a bar.


  • Interesting. The Saint Catherine will have a rival!

  • A lot of entities seem to be filing initial applications, but then never follow-up.

    ...Nov 4th is when more info should become available.

    Here's a thread where we discussed the nearby St. Catherine (SW Corner of Bergen and Washington):


    637 is located on the SE corner of Bergen and Washington and until recently was a barber shop, use arrow keys for best results.

    <small>View Larger Map</small>

  • Word on the street (actually by Saint Catherine) is that it's going to be an Italian restaurant. See their Facebook post for the menu:


  • edited February 2014

    ^menu for Almadira^


    I'll watch this address to see when they apply for an initial kitchen inspection from DOH.

  • They made a presentation at the CB SLA mtg on Nov 4th, and requested a full liquor lic.

    36 seats.

    Closing at midnight Mon - Thur, and at 1 AM on Fri and Sat.

    They talked about how it will serve small italian dishes, and be open for lunch and dinner. The owners have experience in the food service and bar industry.

    The committee supported the application.


  • I wish them luck and it looks like a nice selection.

    Unfortunately any menu with no prices is too expensive for me :). I hope they have some reasonably priced items since this is so close and I'm a sucker for Italian food

  • ghostinthemachine said:

    Interesting. The Saint Catherine will have a rival!

    It would appear Saint Catherine is quite safe.

  • Ah yes, I was referring to earlier rumors that the place might be a bar.

  • The "might become a bar" was a faulty inference on my part, based on hearing they were pursuing a full liquor permit.

    Based on their presentation last night, it seems as if they genuinely intend to open a restaurant.

    Note: If they find that most people are just drinking and not eating, very little stops them from becoming a primarily a bar.

  • Very true. But if the menu is as promising in reality as it appears on paper, I'm in (and hopefully others will be too).

  • One can also accurately determine their intentions by seeing how much $ and effort they put into building a kitchen and a dining room.

    Some new venues have stated they are going to become restaurants, but provide menus that are so simple they can be made with a panini press.

    This does not appear the case with this place.

  • edited February 2014
    The owners of St Catherine (located across the street), posted this construction photo of Almardira today:


    The alcohol lic is presenting in pending, but I have a feeling it won't be long...


  • edited May 2015
    This place opened back in Feb 2014:


    And now, about 16 months later, Almadira is listed for lease


    Ms. Whynot and I went to Almadira once, and it rarely had many people when I walked by.   Not a lot of foot traffic on that part of Washington Avenue.

    Lovely space:

    photo from loopnet
  • Gen is a block up and is filled almost every night.
    Maybe not the best location but I don't think that was the problem.
  • edited May 2015
    I don't either.

    I think the problem surrounded vagueness about what kind of food they were offering, and a failure to establish a crowd right from the onset.

    They have 13 years left on their lease, so I am optimistic that they will be able to secure a tenant that shows them how to run a bar-restaurant in that space, with that decor.

    The new operators will need to get a new liquor lic, so it could be idle for a while.
  • Gen is also the only decent traditional sushi/Japanese in the area. I walk up from a few blocks south of EP to eat there, while Almadira looks like many other Brooklynesque places. If I wanted a similar vibe I'd go closer to Bar Corvo or Mayfield. Due to its poor location, it has to be a standout option either in quality or being the only option of it's kind. (E.g. For me the three far-ish places I walk to are Ample Hills, Gen, Way Station)

    I went to Kings Clam Bar, a similarly poorly located place, once for happy hour and it was completely empty (as in, only my friend and I and no one else) even though the mussels were amazing and they have $1 oyster happy hour. This was months after they opened. Nothing was wrong about the place, it was just in a dead zone and there's no reason to trek there given the options closer to the denser areas/subway lines.
  • Darn, I really liked this place.  And it's really close to my apartment.
    I only went twice so I guess I didn't do my part, but the owner/manager was super nice, the space was cool and had a good vibe (chairs weren't very comfortable though).  Most important, the food was really tasty. 
  • edited June 2015
    Yeah Kings Clam is too pricy for me. And there are other businesses down by this end of Washington that do well enough. I'm thinking of Sapid Indian (really good food, though they seem to get a lot of their business via delivery option) and Vegetarian Palate, which, while not appealing to me, seems to be very popular. The cigar lounge also seems to be going strong, as does Washington Bagel Cafe. I think Brooklyneya has a point about businesses needing to stand out more than usual this far north on Washington (or at least offer delivery) to succeed.
  • edited June 2015
    Their is a price/experience difference between the places being listed that are succeeding, and Almadira.

    Do you think a "nice" [ie not casual dining] place will be able to survive once the developments presently in construction fill up?

    IE Spring 2016.
  • If it has a known chef or following, or is a popular restaurant of a cuisine lacking in the area, then I think it would do fine. I don't think a random fine dining place will get enough traffic there unless it lands in every publication of influence as a great place to try.

    A Joya would do well there. So would a Chuko, Ippudo, Pok Pok-- places people would travel to. Maybe even a nice middle eastern place since there are none in the area. But Italian, New American, Mexican, a standard Brooklyn bar, etc...no reason to go out of your way.
  • edited June 2015
    Sure, as more of the area gets filled in, I can see establishments like that filling up/doing well. Think of the complexes being worked on located on Bergen between Washington and Grand and on Bergen between Washington and Underhill. And on Dean between Washington and Grand, etc. Not to mention the building nearing completion on the corner of Washington and Dean. Then there are several auto shops on Washington down by this end that I expect not to last very long, which will probably will be replaced with condos. And let's not forget the other finished developments on this end of the neighborhood, which will only increase the foot traffic in the area/lead to increases in the use of the C train. I definitely see businesses like this doing better in the future; people who live and will live down here won't always want to walk further south down Washington and things will even out (I sure don't like doing it). Still, they'll have to be competitively priced.
  • edited June 2015
    I agree.

    There is also the phenomena of people getting wealthier as they stay.

    IE Many people buy a 2 BR condo for $800k using every cent that they have saved, borrowed, and inherited.

    Initially, they may not have much disposable income. However, as time goes one they may get raises at work and (perhaps if they do not have a child...) have more disposable income.

    Note:  This venue is still open.   They may have posted the ad to test the waters to decide whether to close.
  • I walked past about 30 minutes ago and there were about 4 people at the bar. They also had live music, which could be new (I don't know)/an attempt to get new customers. 
  • New listing went up yesterday:   http://www.loopnet.com/Listing/19267983/637-Washington-Ave-Brooklyn-NY/

    No mention of 13 years remaining on lease.

    They also note that gas cooking is not possible.

    Date Available July 2015.   
  • Too bad. They were very nice, but it was always empty.
  • edited June 2015
    On a related thread @smw380 asks:

    "We are huge fans of Almadira in Washington, but when we walked by tonight it was all locked up. Anyone know what's going on?"

    Based on the evidence, it seems likely that they are now closed for good.
  • That's really a shame. It was a lovely place.
This discussion has been closed.