The Colossal Guide to Wythe Avenue
Colossal has been in Williamsburg for over a decade. The team has lived here even longer. We’ve watched the neighborhood transform from coke bars to condos.
We could get nostalgic, but you know what, we like change. We have to — we paint over our best work every week.
The New Williamsburg brings together the shopping of SoHo, the nightlife of the Meatpacking District, the dining scene of the East Village, and a budding hotel industry with more density than you’ll find in Midtown Manhattan. It’s got all the luxury you’ll find on the other side of the East River, recast on a human scale.
We’re not saying it’s small — Yelp lists 506 restaurants in one square mile. Turning left on Wythe at midnight is like trying to get into the Holland Tunnel at rush hour. And we saw our Geopath impressions go through the roof between 2015 and 2016.
All that action can be tough to navigate. Lucky for you, we’ve seen it all and we’ve got tips. Read ‘em and reap.
Booming bass, cigarette smoke, and European accents fill this gleaming nightlife mecca. And while you might spot a few kids rocking man buns, you’re way more likely to end up talking to off-duty adtech sales people and groups traveling from exotic locations like Murray Hill and Jersey City.
Background image: Views from the rooftop at Westlight (via)
“The area is actually redefining the dreaded term “bridge and tunnel.” Instead of wannabes driving or taking mass transit into Manhattan, now the Lower East Side and Meatpacking crowd is coming to the Wythe Corridor.”– NY Daily News
If you’re curious about the scene but you can’t make it out here, or if you think staying up til 4 AM sounds like torture, don’t worry — we brought Williamsburg’s nightlife to you.
“I was psyched when Rough Trade moved in. The venue is great — they’ve got the best sound around — and the record store has a strong selection of new vinyl across all genres. I go there at lunch a lot.”
– Jon, Real Estate and Development
Williamsburg’s world-class restaurant scene is one part East Village Michelin stars, two parts creativity, served in a softly-lit wood and brass interior. Long-term residents will share our love for the $4 falafels at Oasis, but more often than not, the crowds pouring out of the Bedford stop are beelining towards farm-to-table feasts, ready to drop serious cash.
Background image: Diners at Juliette (via)
“Eating in Williamsburg has never been better than it is now. Geographic proximity to Manhattan paired with residual affordability and reputation as the epicenter for Brooklyn the Brand means these small kitchens are where chefs go to be free.”– GrubStreet
“It’s not everywhere that you can order just the hummus for lunch but at Cafe Mogador, it’s really that good.”
– Nicholas, Location Manager
“People will tell you that Teddy’s has a great burger but their breakfast burrito is better.”
– Steve, Painter
Williamsburg has played host to the best under-the-radar vintage shops and local boutiques for well over a decade. But the early teens saw an influx of corporate giants (hello, Apple store!) as the neighborhood gained traction as a global shopping destination. Today, Wythe Avenue is a magnet for both iconic global brands and offbeat indie designers.
Background image: Opening party at Supreme (via)
“Go to Halcyon with one earbud in so you can Google obscure albums. I usually end up walking out with three or four.”
– Nicholas, Location Manager
“Co-Op 87 has everything — I just got an old blues album by Big Bill Broonzy. The owner, Mike Catalano, plays guitar for Screeching Weasel.”
– Steve, Painter
Young families are the beating heart of the creative elite. You can spot them lounging along the waterfront on sunny weekend days, browsing listings for apartments that’ll fit a Maclaren and a crib. In a few years they’ll book it to New Jersey for a house they can go HGTV on, but until then, Williamsburg is the official home of the Cool Parents.
Room and Board
The hotels that sprouted out of the ground in the past five years are like towering exclamation points on a sentence about Williamsburg’s complete transformation. More than just a place to crash, each is a destination in its own right. We’ve even seen Diddy making the rounds.
Background image: The scene at McCarren Hotel & Pool (via)
“On the short strip between N. 10th and N. 13th Sts., no less than three new hotels are slated for construction, and what was once the Wild West of Williamsburg is so saturated with entertainment venues that some tourists no longer see the need to cross the East River.”– NY Daily News
On the Clock
Williamsburg’s Co-work Cohort
Death to Dad Bod
Which came first, the organic produce or the boutique fitness franchise? It’s a classic chicken-and-egg question. Whatever the case, the sidewalks are overflowing with sneakered feet hoofing it towards studios.
Background image: The marathon runs through Williamsburg (via)
From one-of-a-kind feminist mugs at Bulletin to stacks of Everlane shoes under the William Vale, the Williamsburg pop-up scene rivals that of SoHo.
East River Park
Killer views of the Manhattan skyline serve as the backdrop for all your photos of this park’s activities, which include Smorgasburg and the Brooklyn Flea Record Fair.