Greenpoint Gazette

Graham’s Newest Bar Fills All Your Ba’sik Needs

BY Kylie Jane Wakefield

Ba’sik will be just as its name suggests: An uncomplicated, no frills neighborhood watering hole. The bar, which will take up in Phoebe’s old space on Graham Avenue, is set to open the first week of November, giving East Williamsburg a new place to kick back and have a few drinks.

Derrek Vernon, who also runs Gallery Bar on the Lower East Side, and Jay Zimmerman, a local, who has worked at the upscale Ace and Standard hotels, are behind the venture. “It was time for me [to open Ba’sik],” said Zimmerman. “I’ve been in the industry for 15 years and I decided I needed to start making money for myself. The opportunity came along to do it in the neighborhood I lived in. All the pieces came together.”

Vernon said that Ba’sik will be cocktail savvy but not cocktail driven, and have a more laid back feel than a speakeasy or microbrewery bar. “It’s a comfortable environment where you could take your girlfriend or grandma. You have a little bit of everything for everyone. You don’t have to go for a certain thing when you walk in.”

Ba’sik’s most original menu item is a 40-ounce bottle filled with fruit punch and alcohol, and available for a table to share. “Jay thought of that,” said Vernon. “He saw the little guy going around with the shaved ices and he had the flavors in 40-ounce bottles.”

They will offer five signature cocktails, including My Maine Influence (blended scotch, sloe gin, lemon, lime, lillet syrup, Peychaud’s), Poppa’s Pride (bourbon, ginger, mint, lemon, soda, angostura), and Love Makes You Feel Ten Feet Tall (gin, pisco, aperol, sweet vermouth, salt).

Keeping with the chilled out vibe, Ba’sik will serve snack foods, not full meals. Mac and cheese made with sharp cheddar, a hippy roll (spicy sausage, green and red peppers, onions), a chicken salad sandwich on flat bread, deviled duck eggs, and varieties of hot dogs and salads are all on the menu. The bar’s backyard, will most likely be encased in hard plastic and used during nicer winter days. It will be fully operational when the weather warms up again.

Both owners want to keep the bar focused on local clientele, since they admire the neighborhood. Zimmerman lives a few doors down from Ba’sik, while Vernon, a Manhattan resident, has plans to move near the Lorimer L stop sometime next year. “We want to reach out to the people around us,” said Zimmerman. “We think it’s a good community and area.”

Vernon is thrilled that Ba’sik is in East Williamsburg, due to the changes happening there. “Brooklyn is pushing outwards. Bedford is over and Williamsburg is very popular but I feel like people are starting to push out farther. We’re getting in right before it happens in a couple of years. I’m excited.”

323 Graham Avenue
Monday-Wednesday 4:00PM – 2:00AM
Thursday and Friday 4:00PM – 4:00AM
Saturday 12:00PM – 4:00 AM
Sunday 12:00PM – 2:00AM


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