The Franklin Avenue corridor in Prospect Heights has had a steady stream of good bars in the last 6 years as it has steady gentrified with Franklin Park, The Crown Inn and the Mayfield being 3 of my new favorites and 95 South an old neighborhood favorite. There is a new one bar/restaurant scene off Franklin Avenue by the name of the Berg’n that is shiny and shimering, but it ain’t a destination like some people are trying to make it out to be and it ain’t all that fun.
The Berg’n is brought to us by the people who created the Brooklyn Smorgasbord in Williamsburg and Brooklyn Bridge Park on Saturdays and Sundays and the Brooklyn Flea. It has all of the same likeable elements of the Smorgasbord, with mutiple and exotic food offerings for people who like things familiar but not too exotic (or identifiably very ethnic) from Asia Dog, Mighty Quinn BBQ and Ramen Burger among others that are all very tasty.
The theme of the bar is an adult college cafeteria. No, I’m quite serious it really is. Big wide picnic benches that look straight from Ikea with food vendors that you walk up to and order food is similar to a college take out cafeteria and that’s what makes it enjoyable, because in New York City in these densely populated areas there are a lack of places with size that can have an indoor venue with multiple food spots that can also house a couple hundred or so people. The creators of Berg’n realize this and took an old space in a area that once a scrap yard, a chop shop (I have family in the area who have some interesting stories about that area from first hand experience), warehouse whatever and made it a space for a cafeteria with beer.
The Berg’n is also a good spot for beer, with over 3 different local Brooklyn brews on tap; several from Long Island and NJ and even selections from Michigan and an international draught from Germany. There’s also a full bar which can make you cocktails that are standard bar cocktails though I didn’t see any specialty cocktails now that a bad thing, it doesn’t fit the concept of the Berg’n.
I’m in favor of that idea and the Berg’n is nice. What I don’t love is the crowd and the atmosphere. The Berg’n has a very staid crowd, people are in there but no one wants to be just a little loud or all that interesting. The space oozes be genteel but look like college kids, hunh? Come again?! It resembles a bad work cafeteria where people sit and talk and smooze around each other but not really with each other.
The food is good but again it just goes out of its way to be too accomodating for blandness. This is Crown Heights, or Prospect Heights for Chelsea people. Overall everything about the Berg’n just comes off feeling very sanitized I suspect if I went back people would drink beer out of a straw.
The Berg’n is a good place to go if its cold and nasty outdoors and give you a good drinking options after winter time visiting the winter Brooklyn Flea. With that said its where I go to send boring people to make them feel like they had a good time out so they don’t bother me when I wanna have some real fun. Get where I’m coming from?
899 Bergen Street between Classon Avenue and Franklin. Not far from Frank Ave Shuttle to Park Place, and C train from Franklin Ave. 10 min walk from 2,3,4,5 train.