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Beer, Small Plates Spot Coming to Former Oak and Iris Home

The owner's of Park Slope's "Alchemy" are turning the empty building into a classy neighborhood joint.

The owners of the Park Slope eatery Alchemy are working their magic on Windsor Terrace, turning into a beer and small-plates spot. 

Kevin Read, who owns Alchemy along with his wife Georgia, told Patch they took over the space in late May, and hope to have the new restaurant open in September. 

"One thing I think we do well [at Alchemy] is we've got really tasty food that’s not too fancy, and I think we want to emulate that a little bit," he said, adding that 20 taps of beer will be accompanying the menu of upscale bar snacks, salads and entrees. 

"We're just trying to garner a place where you can go and enjoy yourself for a good beer and a really nice meal." 

Read, a Windsor Terrace resident of two years, said he'd been looking to open another restaurant for some time when a friend tipped him off to the newly empty Oak and the Iris, a nice piece of corner property located at 2826 Fort Hamilton Pkwy. A stroll through the inside was all it took: Read wanted in.

He quickly got his wish. He recently acquired work permits to renovate the building's interior, namely, adding another bathroom, and is currently working on securing a beer and wine license. 

While Read said the new restaurant—the name of which he is not quite ready to reveal—will start out serving mainly dinner, he hopes to quickly expand the menu to brunch, and eventually, begin serving breakfast and lunch as well.

Though he realizes some neighbors are still sore over losing the Oak and the Iris, Read said he's optimistic that the new place will quench local thirst for a classy neighborhood watering hole. 

"I think people are really excited to have a place where they can have a beer," he said, noting that as it stands now, residents are forced to travel to Park Slope or over to Cortelyou Road for a similar experience. 

"We’re sort of trying to be that casual neighborhood spot that you just love to hang out at."

Liam Mccarthy July 17, 2012 at 07:39 PM
Sounds perfect - welcome to the neighborhood Kevin and Georgia and can't wait!
Curiositykilledthecat July 17, 2012 at 08:46 PM
Welcome, indeed! We are happy to have you--and, for the record, this local resident was not the least bit sad to see O & A close. Nice people, but they didn't have any restaurant experience so were unable to give the thing legs.
Steve LeVine July 18, 2012 at 12:13 PM
I was to Alchemy once, about six months ago, and loved it. Please make sure you have your burgers here and the Mac & Cheese.
Debby July 18, 2012 at 07:37 PM
That's what we need in a quiet neighborhood a loud bar on a corner. No thanks. Stay in Park Slope and stay out of quiet Windsor Terrance.
Curiositykilledthecat July 18, 2012 at 08:49 PM
Debby, what leads you to believe that this will be a "loud bar" rather than a spot to have some dinner and a craft beer?
maureen eiwanger July 18, 2012 at 10:38 PM
I would like to know when the law changed and you are allowed to have a bar near a school or a church
James Arrufat July 19, 2012 at 12:13 AM
This will be an excellent addition to this end of WT. The nay sayers above would never patronize the place anyway, so don't pay too much attention. We can't wait.
Jonathan July 19, 2012 at 01:16 AM
Maureen, you can have a wine & beer license there; you just can't have a hard liquor license within 500 feet of a church or school. That's why, Debby, this won't be a loud bar -- because it won't be a bar, by definition. It will be a restaurant that can serve beer and wine -- just like Le Paddock on the other side of the highway: hardly a noisy place at all.
cath July 19, 2012 at 04:59 AM
Oak & Iris, while imperfectly run, was a nice place to have a meal, meet friends, sit and have a coffee and read or work on your computer (wifi). It was nicely designed, both the exterior and interior. I think people gave up on it way too easily - while I admit the owners made mistakes. I wish Alchemy well but I worry about people getting too trendy in the neighborhood; wanting everything to be a bit of Park Slope - it can be a double edged sword. I also notice so many things in the nabe are just a wee bit 'off (and often overpriced for where they are). I will be happy to go somewhere to have a beer (yay) and look forward to reasonable prices with a happy hour. Good luck. (thank you to oak & iris owners for being pioneers.)
Curiositykilledthecat July 19, 2012 at 11:48 AM
There is a big difference between welcoming a place nearby that is well-run with good food, and "wanting everything to be a bit of Park Slope." Besides, at least on this end of WT, there are very few storefronts, so FHP is literally never going to look like 7th Avenue.
pepper July 19, 2012 at 01:25 PM
"There is a big difference between welcoming a place nearby that is well-run with good food, and "wanting everything to be a bit of Park Slope." " Agreed. I am very excited to have a neighborhood spot for good food and good beer!
James Arrufat July 19, 2012 at 01:55 PM
I hope we can keep in mind that the people opening up this place live in WT, they are neighbors. Before this thread descends into another, 'What I don't want for the neighborhood forum' , I hope that WT can remain a place that looks out for one another.
Anita July 19, 2012 at 03:59 PM
This sounds PERFECT for the neighborhood. I am really looking forward to this.
Ex Tenant July 19, 2012 at 05:25 PM
To all you hopefuls and name sayers, this place won't last. As long as the current owner is running that building, mark this post, it won't last, because the owner is a complete dumbass who doesn't give a "F" about any tenant or business. Come winter trust me your beer and wine is going to be especially cold. Also keep an eye out for the rodent and waterbug droppings in your burgers and salads. Enjoy.
LYNN MCKEE July 30, 2012 at 06:49 PM
Welcome Kevin and Georgia! We are soooo excited to grab a drink and a bite at your new place. My husband and I own Steeplechase Coffee on FHP and live in the neighborhood too. This is going to be a wonderful addition! Looking forward to being regulars at your spot!!
Kev August 13, 2012 at 05:42 PM
Great, hope this doesn't start drawing in more hipster types to the neighborhood. We don't need that element around here.
Morgan Roche August 16, 2012 at 12:56 PM
I'm really looking forward to having a spot in the neighborhood to take my parents to grab a bite and a beer when they come visit, and stop in for a beer to relax after work. I am glad the O & A is gone - I was constantly disappointed every time I went in for the food and coffee, so I'm looking forward to this!!
Jonathan August 16, 2012 at 08:59 PM
I'm actually sitting in Double Windsor as I write this and would really love to be able to grab a beer in a nice quiet place without having to get on the subway. I mean, I absolutely love Dbl Wndsr and will continue to come here no matter what, but every subway stop deserves a pleasant watering hole of its own. The neighborhood will benefit from having a good place to go for a bite to eat and a beer.
GG August 23, 2012 at 04:43 AM
I'm excited.
Anna Martin Writes September 02, 2012 at 01:56 AM
Can't wait for thi place to open!
cath September 02, 2012 at 12:00 PM
The business before Oak & Iris - which I still miss and still think wasn't given much of a chance - was a deli. They left a cat behind and it was two weeks before anyone noticed! So it makes me think what you are saying is true. Wouldn't the owner of the building peek in after someone departed even if not rented? (Sean Casey rescued the cat!) When I said previously that people want a 'bit of park slope,' I didn't literally mean FHP would look like Seventh Avenue - talk about taking everything literally! Anyway... I hope it's a nice spot (sorry ex-tenant for your experience. Come to think of it way back I looked at an apartment there. it did seem a bit dodgy.).
Curiositykilledthecat September 02, 2012 at 12:45 PM
Cath, Oak and Iris was there for several years--how much of a chance does a business deserve? And sorry I misunderstood your 'bit of Park Slope' comment. With electronic communication, all I have to go on is the words on the page. Feel free to clarify what you meant, if not literally that people want a bit of Park Slope.

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