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Open> River Styx
Steps away from the North Brooklyn riverfront, a new restaurant combines refined elegance with its building's rugged past.
Branden Klayko / AN

River Styx
21 Greenpoint Ave.
Tel: 718.383.8833
Designers: Kursten Bracchi, Sydney Silver, Dennis Spina

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.

Aaron Seward


Branden Klayko / AN