Ridge barman gets beer garden ready for neighborhood 'hipster invasion'

Brooklyn Daily
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Hipsters have invaded Bay Ridge — and barman Tommy Casatelli is ready for them.

In anticipation of the skinny-jeans set’s arrival in the neighborhood, the Kettle Black and Ho’Brah Taco Joint owner plans to debut the neighborhood’s first beer garden, the Lockyard, early next year that will serve an extensive selection of microbrews from around the Midwest — or, as Casatelli calls it, Pennsyltucky.

Casatelli, who once cracked jokes about members of the flanel-sporting counter culture in a viral video entitled “Sh-- People From Brooklyn Say,” says his beer garden planned to be built inside the now shuttered Bridgeview Locksmith on Fifth Avenue and 92nd Street will easily draw the hipsters who have already been seen visiting neighborhood taprooms.

“A lot of different-looking people have been coming into the Kettle Black and they are definitely not from Bay Ridge,” said Casatelli. “We’re getting people from Nebraska, Ohio, California, and they were all wearing the hipster uniform.”

The indie-music loving youngsters Casatelli spoke with said they moved to Bay Ridge after getting priced out of Williamsburg and Park Slope — and the firefighter turned bar owner says he’s eager to welcome them with open arms.

“I think it’s great,” Casatelli said. “Bay Ridge needed to open its arms a bit. We’ve been a spaghetti and meatball and Irish bar neighborhood forever. Brooklyn’s always changing and there’s room for everybody.”

The Lockyard’s Midwest theme and mid-sized backyard may remind many Brooklyn transplants of home, he says.

“It’s really going to be about Americana. It’s going to look like somebody’s backyard,” Casatelli said, promising an interior design reminiscent of the classic “Sailor Jerry” tattoos and a menu of hot dogs, sausages, and knishes.

Craft beer lovers will be able to buy growlers — big glass urns that look like moonshine jugs — and fill them up with their favorite brews on tap to take back home with them, Casatelli says.

The 42-year-old bar owner picked the new spot’s name both as a tribute to the location’s history as a locksmith shop — which his uncle owned, and where he once worked — and because he claims it sounds like something from the heartland.

“‘Lockyard,’ you know, it just sounded old-school Americana,” Casatelli said.

But the self-described pizza-loving “Bay Ridge kid” said the beer garden won’t just be for transplants — he wants neighborhood natives to turn out, too.

“I’d never want to alienate what I am and where I come from,” said Casatelli. “When I was a kid, bars had Bud, Coors, Heineken, Corona, that’s it. If a place had Smithwick’s or something, that was a big deal,”

Reach reporter Will Bredderman at (718) 260–4507 or e-mail him at Follow him on Twitter at
Updated 1:06 am, September 19, 2012
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Reader feedback

ronnie from Bay Ridge says:
This sounds awesome and I've frequented Kettle Black many times down through the years. I don't mind hipsters, as I think they honestly do bring a different flair to the neighborhood because so many of them have transplanted themselves for all over the country, places I've always wanted to visit. My only one concern is this: where it is awesome to bring in the new to mix with the old, there are some bar "fixtures" if you will, locals who have spent one year year too many holding on to the Bay Ridge of yesterday, who believe this neighborhood is theirs and the bars that have so long lined our streets. In my opinion, these are people that should have checked into rehab a long time ago but instead, still hang around the local haunts making a nuisance of themselves. The wish to be legendary, but they are just plain offensive and annoying. It is these people that I fear will run this counter-culture all the way back to their hideaway haunts in Williamsburg.
Sept. 19, 2012, 3:57 pm
Elle from Bay Ridge says:
This brings me so much joy. As someone who resides in the upper 90's, it's nice to finally start having more options than Kelly's, Delia's, and Pippin's. Why should the 70's and 80's get all the love and the 90's are stuck with nothing but gourmet markets?
Sept. 26, 2012, 3:23 pm
Gary from Bensonhurst says:
It's all fun and games (and a new source of money) but we all know what hipsters do to places they go - drive up rent prices to astronomical levels. My wife and I moved to Bensonhurst because it was literally one of the only place in NYC that was relatively safe and relatively affordable. I can't wait for hipsters to arrive and drive our rent up into the $2000 range!
Oct. 14, 2012, 2:39 am
caroline from bay ridge says:
Great news for bay ridge looking foward to it since i livea couple a blocks away
Jan. 11, 2013, 5:33 pm
domini from bay ridge says:
I wouldn't mind bay ridge becoming another Williamsburg or park slope,its always better than being overrun with foreigners....a mix of the once homey feel of bay ridge and a little touch of the new should be great. dm
Sept. 14, 2013, 7:15 am

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