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Vodou Bar Holds Soft Opening

Upscale meets accessible

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.

Dbe April 15, 2011 at 02:38 PM
I was on the 26 bus last night going home and this place was PACKED!!! I will def be going to check it out!
Colvin Grannum April 20, 2011 at 01:18 PM
Daphnee Surpis is a creative powerhouse. Congratulations. I am sure this will be the in place.
Gwen Ruelle April 21, 2011 at 09:51 PM
Looks like it has a great happy hour too–$3 beers and $5 margheritas!
Alfred Epps May 15, 2011 at 12:45 AM
$5 Margaritas making me not want to go to Habana Outpost no more. Glad this place is in the neighborhood with me living 2 blocks away. Thank you Dahlia Cafe.
Mbahlia June 24, 2011 at 03:57 PM
I was pleasantly pleased with Vodou until I received my bank statement and was overcharged over $100. Then after several attempts to have the situation corrected with the the co owner Emanuel I was stuck with the bill. He was not accommodating and became arrogant during our conversation. He refuses to reimburse me and acknowledge the bartender made an error. So I paid a total $138 for two drinks at Vodou Bar.
pat June 24, 2011 at 05:23 PM
My wife and I were going to stop by the other day, but upon entering the door, the crowd looked pretty rough. Great space, but the place is attracting the wrong crowd. After reading Mbahlia's experience, I am glad we skipped the place. Maybe it was a bad night.
Claudette Brady June 24, 2011 at 06:18 PM
I live around the corner from Vodou Bar and would never describe the crowd as rough. I have also been there a with friends and neighbors and to use the venacular, the crowd was "chill". With the openning of the sidewalk seating I had expected an increase in the noise level but, that has not happened. The crowd is very well behaved and mindful of their neighbors.
pat June 24, 2011 at 08:46 PM
Maybe was a bad night. All places have a couple of those once in a while. I'll check it out again and see how it goes.
Novel Idea (1N Media) August 12, 2011 at 06:50 PM
I enjoyed the viibe and aesthetic. I WILL be back!
marie laport August 17, 2011 at 12:23 AM
Those happy hour prices were a lovely surprise when i got there (may/june). went with a friend at around 4 on a sunday afternoon and they were still in transition. the finger food we had was yummy and the vibe was relaxed, the music swingin' but not intrusive. the seating is perfect for a bar in a busy city - comfortable but not so diner homey. trying to plan the right moment to go back for sure.
marie laport August 17, 2011 at 12:25 AM
that blowz. sorry that happened to you. i know daphne and i'm surprised things went down like that. please reach out and ask for her. she's cool people.
RonG December 30, 2011 at 09:25 PM
I've been there once and decided that I was going to have my bday event in here w/ a few friends. Good ambiance & the music was cool. Prices of drinks are moderate and fair. I'll be in there tonight.
Tarantella March 22, 2012 at 08:21 AM
I was there for the first time a week ago, and made friends. I will go back again real soon and I don't even live in the hood.
latoya paul June 03, 2012 at 04:23 PM
So I want to voodoo bar like more then 5 times and I can honestly say I had not one negative encounter with the place or the people in the bar the music is fun get drinks is good the price is reasonable and the bartender and the security guards are cute...... LOL:-*
Chi June 10, 2012 at 12:27 AM
I hear all the hype but no matter where your business is, customer service is everything! I advise this venue to ensure customers are treated with respect.
Zaire Lamarr Arruz January 02, 2013 at 02:46 AM
I love vodou lounge i live on the same block and the lounge has such a nice vibe . I go there often and the food and drinks are great and there staff is so sweet and friendly! When i go there i know i'm gonna have an amazing time with friends and there staff . The one thing i dig the most is that it's never any drama everyone that go there really come out to have fun and the crowd is really divers and that makes for a great party!

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