The meteoric growth of North Brooklyn can in large part be attributed to do-it-yourself entrepreneurs who have built up a robust service industry around the artists, trust-fund dilettantes, and creative professionals who resettled the area. The rise of the district has seen the crystallization of a distinctive interior architectural style based upon craftsmanship, adaptive reuse, and the reinterpretation of the past.
The latest and greatest in this vein is River Styx, a restaurant near Transmitter Park in Greenpoint. Housed in a former machine shop, the long, narrow floorplan is divided into two distinct spaces: a bar in front and a dining area in back. Between the two, a narrow walkway passes between an open kitchen and a services core. The kitchen has a wood-fired oven and is topped by wooden rafters that angle down from a skylight, while the services live in a hut of sorts with its own sloping roof. The transition creates a sense of compression and release while maintaining sightlines throughout the interior and availing diners of the spectacle of the chefs at work.
Branden Klayko / AN
The bar is reclaimed Carrara marble and walnut wood with an inlay of Jatoba. A custom acrylic tube light fixture provides a warm glowing presence, which is made all the more sensual by a Venetian plaster wall. The dining area in back is portioned into discrete, intimate nooks on a stepped platform that elevates the hand-made Vitrolite-and-tile-inlayed tables toward the lofty ceiling, from which chain hoists hang—a reminder of the Brooklyn waterfront’s industrial past.