For more than a decade the Bronx Brewery has provided tasty food, craft beer and been a staple in the South Bronx community. Now, the popular watering hole is expanding its reach.
On Feb. 5, it opened its second location, The Bronx Brewery East Village in Manhattan, at 64 2nd Ave. The 3,000-square-foot space, which can seat 75 people, features limited-release brewing, signature events, art and music and the first-ever U.S. location for Swedish burger brand Bastard Burgers. Bastard Burgers, which have been serving New York-inspired burgers in Sweden since 2016, uses plant-based alternatives — 100% vegan burgers.
The new space will also have a mural by one of the brewery’s regular collaborators and Bronx artist, Andre Trenier, as well as work from Swedish artist and muralist, Marc UÅ, who creates custom pieces for every one of the Bastard Burgers locations.
President of the Bronx Brewery, Damian Brown, told the Bronx Times they signed the lease for the location in February 2020, but then COVID-19 arrived and threw a wrench in their plans.
“It’s been a long time coming,” Brown said. “It felt like a natural fit.”
He and his colleagues first began thinking about expanding back in 2019 and looked all over the city for a space. Eventually, they settled on the East Village because of its rich history in art, music and culture.
According to Brown, the brewery was never just about food and booze, but instead about wanting to make an impact on the community. Over the years, it has partnered with local organizations, including an internship with Beer Kulture that promoted diversity in craft beer; worked with Bronx Tattoo Legends Tuff City to help design the label for a fusion of a hazy IPA and a classic pumpkin ale; and collaborated with Bronx Native and BX Writers on a writing contest to appear on their beers in 2020.
“For us it’s not just about beer, it’s the starting point of bringing the community and people together,” Brown said.
They plan to release a new beer every week and a half and hope to begin partnering with local groups soon. There will be indoor and outdoor seating and the brewery is applying for the Open Restaurant Program, which allow restaurants in New York City to use the sidewalk adjacent and curbside roadway space in front of their businesses for outdoor dining.
“The neighborhood here should expect a brewery that is grounded in the community,” he said. “We’re just excited to show what we are doing to more people.”
Reach Jason Cohen at [email protected] or (718) 260-4598. For more coverage, follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @bronxtimes.