Uh oh. We Brooklynites already think we live in the center of the universe. But there’s a new bar and lounge that’s opening up on Nostrand Avenue, and the place is so fly and so swanky, it may give The Stuy a little bit of an ego stroke.
Vodou Bar, located at 449 Nostrand Avenue between Hancock and Halsey, held its soft opening last night, and well… Have you ever walked into a lounge where the music and the vibe are so on-point it makes you feel sexy, even when you’re clearly not?
Well, I dropped by the soft opening in a hoodie, sweatpants, beat-up sneakers and no lip gloss, and well, umm, guess what? I was sexy.
Owners Daphnee Surpris and Emanuel Tropnasse have elevated the space beyond its former existence as a desolate storefront to a classic and classy cocktail lounge. Surpris is also co-owner of Ms. Dahlia’s Cafe, located in the same complex next door.
“I hope this becomes that which everyone in Manhattan, in Park Slope, Fort Greene has,” says Surpris. “We deserve it in Bed-Stuy. We shouldn’t have to go outside of our neighborhood to enjoy a great evening.”
The windows of the bar on the outside are bathed in a criss-crossing bamboo flat wood design that screams urban-exotic-chic. Step inside to an airy, upscale lounge that’s also comfy and accessible—about 1,000 square feet of respite from the chaos of Nostrand Ave.
And unlike most lounges where you spend the first 10 minutes trying to carve out your own space and make yourself at home, the combination of the low lighting, low-lying couches and flickering candles make you forget you don’t own a set of keys.
“So far, it’s what I anticipated knowing the owners – causal, swank, comfortable and original,” said Nicole Hollant-Denis, president of AARRIS Architects.
“But I’d like to hear more about what the designer has to say. This probably came from a need to create some kind of aesthetic that provides privacy on the outside, and then on the inside, it still looks beautiful. I really appreciate the design in here. I am honestly impressed.”
Peter Clark, 42, a lawyer said it was too early to tell what’s in store for the club, but he thought it had a nice vibe so far.
“I think it’s the perfect location, and there’s nothing in this area that has this vibe,” said Clark. “But I want to see how it looks at night. The décor is different. It’s really too early to tell, but I think it will do well.”
Vodou Bar is open for business but will use the next two weeks of its soft opening working out the kinks and making adjustments to the food and drink menu. The bar's official grand opening is on Wednesday, April 27.
There is beer on tap, a standard wine list, and the cocktails with names like "The Initiation," "Spellbound," and "Forbidden Fruit" don't disappoint -- they are classic, strong and mixed to perfection. There also is a short menu of finger food.
You could while away the whole evening here with your fly posse, or if you’re feeling like a lone lush, go solo. Either way, just bring your positive energy, and make sure you tip well. And, oh yeah, please do what I didn't, and leave the sweatpants, sneakers and hoodie at home.
“This is a beautiful place; the aesthetics are nice, and there’s an excitement in the air,” said Joseph Coello, who owns a construction company. “I’m looking forward to coming back in a couple of weeks to see how it picks up, what the clientele is like and how the neighborhood takes to it.”
Vodou Bar is definitely a touch more than what we’ve come to expect from the classic Brooklyn bar and lounge. If they’re able to keep the clientele tight and the vibe just right, it will be yet one more reason why we really don't need to travel to “that island” west of the East River.