Spirited takes the place of Beast, then closes in less than 6 months — Brooklynian

Spirited takes the place of Beast, then closes in less than 6 months

edited April 2015 in Prospect Heights
whynot_31 said: 
Fast forward to late 2013. After a great run, The Beast is for Sale: 
This discussion was created from comments split from: Beast Bar.


  • edited July 2014

    duplicate post
  • Still listed as being for sale. Listing last updated in Early January.
  • Yup. I talked to two owner/chefs (one in PH and the other in Manhattan) and they seemed to indicate that the rent and key seemed a bit high. Hopefully the space does attract a cool restaurant!
  • edited March 2014
    Heads up, a new entity is in the process of requesting support from CB8 for a liquor lic:

    Spirited, 638 Bergen Street (corner Vanderbilt) – Full lic sought, with live music.

    Please be advised that the SLA & Sidewalk Café Review Committee will meet on Monday, April 7, 2014 at 6:30 PM at CNR-Center Light Health Care Centerwhich is located at 727 Classon Avenue, Brooklyn, NY (between Park and Prospect Places).

    ...I assume that they have not signed a lease on the location until they have a reasonable belief that their liquor application will be achieved. 
  • I sincerely hope the new people put in sound-proofing, especially if they will have live bands.  When Beast went in they removed the existing soundproofing to expose the punched tin ceilings.  The noise pollution to the apartment above was insane.  At the very least I would hope the new bar owners and workers would toss some free drinks to whatever poor suckers live right upstairs.  Everyone might have loved their food, but Beast was a pretty horrible neighbor.
  • edited March 2014
    Hi folks! Kimberly here, owner of Spirited.

    Our plan is to open a dessert speakeasy - with alcohol-infused desserts and craft cocktails. We're not planning on being a loud or boisterous spot… more like a classy candy store (of sorts) for adults. To address your concerns right away, our live music at the loudest might be gypsy guitar jazz (if we even decide to go that route). 

    We're very much looking forward to being a great neighbor and fun addition to the neighborhood!

    Feel free to swing by our website www.spiritedbrooklyn.com to see what we're all about, and in the meantime, I hope to see you at the CB8 meeting on April 10th! Otherwise, we'll see you towards the end of June/early July when we have a firm opening date!

    (And yes, why not_31 - you're spot-on. We're waiting for CB8 approval before finalizing the transaction.)

  • edited March 2014
    Welcome Kimberly!   

    Sounds yummy!

    See you on April 7th for the SLA Committee, they will then present to the board on April 10th   ...don't worry, I'm not part of the committee.

  • You had me at dessert! Can't wait to check it out.
  • Sweet! I went around today to meet all of the neighboring businesses (with great success) and will be back to get more signatures on our liquor license petition this weekend!

    Cannot WAIT to be a part of this thriving neighborhood!
  • I love the idea!  My fingers crossed everything goes smoothly.

    I guess I missed the petition but I live on the block and am strongly in support of a cool sounding addition to the street!
  • edited April 2014
    The applicants appeared tonight, requesting a midnight closing time on weekdays and a 2 AM closing on weekends.

    The menu would be all desserts, infused or accompanied by alcohol.

    Children won't be allowed in. This will not be a "restaurant, with a bar".

    The application was supported. The SLA will determine whether a nearby church is too close.

    Since Beast opened, one of the storefront churches nearby has occupied the entire building, meaning no fully lic'd venues can NOW be within 200'. 

    The SLA will measure and decide how far away this venue is.
  • I really dislike the ruling that bars can't be too close to churches or need special permission to operate near them.  If that's the case, then neighborhoods should get to be asked if churches can go in or expand.  It feels like an archaic puritanical ruling.  A bar might stink or be a horrible idea for other reasons, but it's simply foolish that it will be turned down because a couple of people want to do some praying nearby.

    Also, I really understand wanting to get away from kids for a while and I understand that parents have the reputation these days of bringing them everywhere, but no kids even during the day?  Screw that. I imagine Butter and Scotch won't be going that route though so I guess it doesn't matter to me.
  • edited August 2014
    I find it interesting that we are about to get TWO dessert bars.

    If "we" are going to use them as dessert bars after diner, this place seems as if it has a better location;  there are several restaurants nearby.

    Meanwhile, Butter and Scotch (Franklin near Union) seems like it will need to hold its own;  There are not yet any fancy restaurants on that side of EP.   

  • edited April 2014
    Hello again everyone! @whynot_31 - I'm sorry I didn't get to meet you in the flesh! Thanks for showing up!

    Y'all better believe that I am going to walk that block tomorrow and double check the threshold-to-threshold measurement. According to the SLA LAMP measuring detail, the Brotherhood Baptist Church (which I believe is the storefront church in question) is 411.893 feet away.

    Obviously, I won't hold to that until an on-the-ground measurement is confirmed and legally certified, but I am fairly confident that 638 Bergen Street lies more than 200' away.

    Screen Shot 2014-04-07 at 9.35.14 PM

    Either way, I'm thrilled for the community support and look forward to getting to know my neighbors better! @vanderbilly - I'm sorry I missed you on my petitioning circuit! Please feel free to come by once we take over the space and say hello! Or shoot me an email at baketender [at] gmail with any questions or concerns!

    And I'm psyched Butter & Scotch is nearby! Our concepts are similar, yes, but the execution and programming is going to be pretty different from what I understand! I also understand that their Negroni Pie is a thing of indescribable beauty. I can't wait to sink my teeth into it one day!

    Let's hear it for lady entrepreneurs everywhere!
  • edited April 2014
    Oh, and to address @tateinbk's question: The concept is strictly alcohol-infused desserts. So legally, we cannot and will not sell to anyone under 21. (see our FAQ

    I was in Stocked the other day and had noticed many delicious-looking cookies in their pastry case, and even had a slice of their killer butterscotch bacon poundcake for lunch. Milk Bar, Ample Hills, Joyce Bakeshop and pretty much every other bakery/dessert spot in NYC (including Butter & Scotch) has truly wonderful kid-friendly pastries. 

    Spirited will be the only spot (at the moment) where you can get an 'Old-Fashioned' Chocolate Chip Cookie, made with Kings County bourbon, bitters and orange zest, or a Rhubarb Rose Gin Fizz Pie using Breuckelen Distilling's Glorious Gin, or a Pink Champagne wedding cake.

    It's true. Our fare is not kid-friendly, but it's just not possible to be all things to all people all of the time.

    I do appreciate and thank you for your comment though. And should you desire, once we're open, your first cookie is on me!
  • edited April 2014
    It's fine.  I guess I didn't imagine every item was alcohol infused.  And certainly there are a lot of other places.  Thank you for the kind offer of a cookie.  For better or worse I do spend a lot of time with a toddler or at work though, so if you're still open in a couple of years I may get a chance to make it over there.  ETA: It's not so much that I want to feed my toddler your delicious desserts, but more that if he were welcome I would get a chance to eat them as well.  
  • edited April 2014
    Personally, I would welcome children in to accompany their adults, but how could I put a beautiful cake in a display case and then tell an adorable 5 year old that he can't have a slice? I'm not a monster! I wouldn't want to inflict that kind of tantrum on a parent! :)

    At least to lessen the pain on kids, I don't make cupcakes or cake pops or other cutsey sculpted sweet fare (no Barbie cakes, no race cars, etc), so it's less of a draw for the little ones…

    However, the side door on Vanderbilt will be the bakery pick-up entrance, so it'll be easy to slip in for a little something, tuck it away in your bag and save it for an after bedtime treat!
  • This is a real loss to the neighborhood. 

    I am glad the owner of Beast is going out on her own terms, and I wish her the best of luck with whatever comes next, but that restaurant was both a good meal and a good place. Friendly, open to everyone, and a warm, neighborhoody vibe. When I lived a little closer, it was my go-to spot, and I've taken family members, out of town friends, all sorts and types of people there, and never had either a bad meal or bad service. 

    About five years ago now, a local friend was dying way too young in the hospital. A group of us would go to Beast after we left LICH, and we would eat dinner together and process and try to convince each other that he would pull through in the end. No one ever rushed us out, or made us feel like we'd overstayed, and one particularly bad night, they brought us an extra dessert on the house, and let us stay at our table in the back room while they closed and cleared up in the front. I wish you every success in the world @baketender, but you have some seriously big shoes to fill in that space. 
  • But, Beast hasn't been open a decade already, has it?  I've been in the neighborhood seven years, and I think I remember when Beast opened.

    Best of luck to the new business, and I am looking forward to trying some of her lovely concoctions!
  • bkchickie-

    I remember it being the first sit down restaurant that I didn't have to cross Flatbush Avenue for....    It was yummy.   We went there regularly.   It will be missed.
  • Beast was delicious, but the vibe was never what i wanted -- either too bar-y for the price I paid or too quiet and reserved for just a drink and chatting with friends.  Sad to see long-standing places close -- but this new place sounds creative and different.

    Is the place across the street from Beast related to them or did I make that up?  Are they still going strong?
  • You are not making that up.

    Branded is related to Beast:

    Branded continues to be busy.   I can't say I'm in there much though.

  • I don't go much either....but a place with vegetarian options of unhealthy bar-food is always alright by me.
  • edited April 2014
    Hello again everyone! 

    I can say with all honesty that I am truly honored to have been selected to take care of the neighborhood corner everyone has loved so dearly for the past 9+ years. I know I have quite the standard to uphold, but my team and I are up to the task.

    We wish Deb every success going forward, and we're so grateful for her trust in us. Our next endeavor will be to earn the same from the neighborhood!

    If you like, you are welcome to follow along with our progress on any number of our social media pages: Facebook, Instagram, Tumblr and Twitter or you can sign up for our very occasional email updates via our website.

    In the meantime, you can always email me directly at baketender@gmail.com and I'll be happy to answer any questions you may have. As soon as we get a phone line installed, we'll be able to share that number with you as well!

  • edited June 2014
    As a result of being with within 500' of other places with a full liquor lic, Kimberly has to endure special SLA scrutiny at a hearing on June 26th.

    Good luck Kimberly! We await your new venture!
  • Does anyone have an update?

    I can't wait to taste the boozed desserts.
  • Lots of photos of their progress on their Facebook page:

  • edited July 2014
    Here is an old-timey picture of the building in question:
    It includes a caption from the EPA:
  • The "inner city" has become a lot different since that caption was written in 1942.

    BTW, Spirited just got its liquor permit.     It should open very soon.

  • Grand Opening is Friday, August 29th.

  • Not anymore… We walked past last night and the signs now say that the opening is delayed due to a plumbing issue that caused damage. Unfortunate timing, hopefully they get it resolved quickly and it doesn't cost too much money.
  • It seems like the grand opening will be tomorrow (Friday) at 7pm.    
  • Hi everyone!!!  Thanks for piping in!

    We *ARE* open (although not on Mondays) and we've had a fantastic first eight days!

    Our hours for the moment are:

    Tuesday: 4pm - 12am
    Wednesday: 4pm - 12am
    Thursday: 4pm - 2am
    Friday: 4pm - 2am
    Saturday: 4pm - 2am
    Sunday: 4pm - 10pm 

    Once the public demands it, we'll start opening earlier and earlier to our original projected opening hours of 2pm on weekdays and 11am on weekends.

    Can't wait to welcome you all over soon!
  • Hey, I just wanted to chime on my experience on Spirited.  

    I'm not going to lie, until actually stepping inside, the concept did not make sense to me.  I wondered how a late night dessert and liquor spot could keep their seats filled.  I mean, how long do people ever spend having dessert?

    But I had an awesome time my first night there.  Consider this place a straight up speakeasy with passionate enthusiastic bartenders, and a sexy-sweets vibe that one can either indulge in our just treat as decoration.   

    It was a perfect place to bring a date.  We chatted with the bartenders for a bit then moved back to couches in the back room.  It was fun chapter in our evening.   I'm proud to live across the street from it and I'll be back lots.

  • There's currently a Gilt City deal in case anyone wants to try it: http://www.giltcity.com/newyork/spiritednovny
  • Finally made my way here. I loved the concept and it has a real nice atmosphere. Old jazz music, not too loud, and friendly staff. Lots of coctails and obviously the various desserts. They suggest pairings of desserts/cocktails. There is a lounge area in the back with very comfy looking sofas. A great place for a date!
  • While I did really enjoy my visits here, the writing was scribbled on the empty bar stools all along.

    Screen Shot 2015-04-13 at 5.04.44 PM
  • I am very sorry to see them go. I loved the concept, the decor, the drinks, the drunken cakes.
  • I predict that whatever entity purchased 638 Bergen will make the investments necessary to attract an experienced, restaurant/bar operator that is able to pack the venue and help recoup the cost of said renovations.

  • Maybe Spirited will come to Nostrand...or Kingston!
  • I fear Spirited's Vanderbilt adventure was a money losing one, and that we will not see them again.
  • Too bad.  Liked the concept too.  The carrying costs for a novel concept like that must be an albatross.  Perhaps more suited for a smaller cheaper space on Nostrand or side street between Franklin and Nostrand. 
  • It's hard to imagine how much of the building will be able to be kept.  The previous owner Moses "old Man Morris" Kirschner did exactly zero to upkeep those apartments even as far back as 2002.  Their layouts, especially the 2nd floor, are funky.  The bay window had a serious slant over a decade ago.  Morris didn't want to sell while he was alive to save his daughter estate taxes.  The plan was basically to keep it as it was, pay a local guy to act as suedo Super, and once Morris died to have his daughter sell it for the big bucks.  I will be very curious to see what the new owners do with the building.
  • I imagine Beast's owners knew Morris's plan.  I wonder if it had anything to do with their decision to sell when they did?
  • If anyone has a dessert bar of their own to furnish...

    Spirited's lease has been bought out and we're selling everything we can't store (and that's A LOT) on Sunday, April 19th, starting at 11am.

    PLUS!!! While this closing sucks big time, we're going to try and make this sale as fun as possible, by also opening our doors for one "Last Call" weekend! Join us for as long as supplies last!!

    PLEASE NOTE: Everything is CASH ONLY and there will be NO REFUNDS. For larger items, deposits of 20% will be required on the day of the sale, and final payment upon pick-up will be acceptable. Pick-up and moving will be the responsibility of the buyer and all items must go by Wednesday, April 29.

    THAT SAID: Most furniture, select decor items, dishes, glasses, barware, and other general things are included.

    Specific commercial, less-than-a-year-old-and-still-under-warranty restaurant equipment includes:
    - FULL SETUP for a Breadcrumb POS system: 2 iPad terminals & register drawers, three printers and a Meraki heavy-duty router. (Value: $3,500)
    - 2 Stackable Baker's Pride Electric Convection Ovens (Value: $5,000)
    - Cecilware Espresso machine & water filtration system (Value: $4,500)
    - Espresso grinder (Value: $500)
    - 20qt Stand Mixer (Value: $3,000)
    - Small (dorm size) countertop freezer (Value: $100)

    Other used commercial restaurant equipment that might be of interest to you includes:
    - 700+ bottle wine cooler
    - Large low-boy refrigerator
    - Large box freezer
    - Bunn pour-over 2.5 qt coffee maker
    - Misc stainless steel shelving & work tables
    - 2 full-size speed racks
    - Various pots, pans, and other cooking/baking supplies

    Crazy-awesome antiques & memorabilia include:
    - 1957 Cigarette machine (doesn't work at the moment, but is fixable)
    - Vintage cash register (decorative only)
    - Vintage Royal typewriter (guessing 1930s/40s era)
    - Wood & Iron Host stand (circa 1939)

    Furniture includes:
    - 22 wooden chairs with brand-new red 'leatherette' reupholstery
    - 5 square wood & brass tables
    - 2 rectangular wood & brass tables
    - 1 circular wood & brass table
    - Red Leather Chesterfield set (Couch, Chair, Ottoman)
    - Set of three low, mirror & wood coffee tables
    - Wooden rectangular coffee table
    - Large, freshly reupholstered leatherette & velvet banquette (roughly 18' long and breaks into 4 pieces for easy transport)

  • edited April 2015
    I imagine Beast's owners knew Morris's plan.  I wonder if it had anything to do with their decision to sell when they did?
    Based on Vanderbilly's list, it looks like Beast left behind everything but the little dragons it used for decoration.

    ...which is kind of a bummer. For the right price, I would like to buy a little dragon.

  • edited April 2015
    I spoke with the owner of Spirited today. The new owner of the building bought out her lease, and is vacating the entire building of residential tenants. All are believed to have been on month to month leases.

    She is taking the historic bar with her, as the landlord will gut the entire building. She will have it professionally taken apart this week.

    She hopes to reopen somewhere in the future, and is going to store everything of value that can not be sold.

    It sounds as if this spot won't return to commercial use for at least a year.

    I speculate that the apartments above will return as lovely condos in the $1000 PSF range.
  • My god that addition looks so out of place and ugly when considering the prewar design of the building. It's a modern contemporary addition that on its own might be nice, but in this context just shows how little these architects care about the historic building.
  • The preservation board gave it the go ahead.

  • Looking at it from the ground level, it doesn't look too bad but I'm still not a fan of these type of additions on prewar buildings.
  • I wonder what will fill the ground floor commercial space.

    As noted above, the bar was removed.
  • Wine Bar on its way. "The board also approved a full liquor license application for a new wine bar, Wine People, which will open on the corner of Bergen Street and Vanderbilt Avenue in the location formerly occupied by the dessert spot Spirited and longtime bar, Beast." https://www.dnainfo.com/new-york/20170609/prospect-heights/opening-restaurant-prospect-heights-626-vanderbilt-plan-b
  • edited July 2017
    AKA 576 Vanderbilt. Construction seemed pretty far along when I last looked in.
This discussion has been closed.