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Though a new addition to Williamsburg’s bar scene, Billet + Bellows, just off the prime corner of Grand and Bedford, has a settled in feeling that makes you think it’s been there all along. Perhaps due to artist and owner, Kristina Kozak, whose beautifully intricate metal work has been part of the neighborhood’s creative evolution since the late 1980s.

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A pioneering artist, Kozak isn’t concerned with hoping on the trendy bandwagon of a neighborhood widely considered one of “the coolest in the world.” And, because of this, her bar, Billet + Bellows, also seems wonderfully unconcerned with trying to prove itself with the usual bells and whistles.

Sure, the cocktail menu is a trim little list of classics and new, thoughtful concoctions, and the menu does, in fact, have an elevated take on deviled eggs, and yes, there are found vintage items (deer skulls, an old accordion camera)—but the difference is that they don’t come off as affectations. This is where that original Brooklyn aesthetic came from after all.

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 And that relaxed in its skin feel is just the kind of atmosphere that allows you to relax in your own skin, too, along side the addictively good caramelized onion grilled cheese and the perfect spring cocktail, The Crucible. Make sure to pay attention to the custom marble bar with a gentle, pulsing light that comes magically somehow from within the stone.

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If this wintry weather ever leaves us, the front windows will stay invitingly open onto the tree-lined Grand Street, the diminutive patio in the back will ensure a delightful cross breeze. Until then, the warm, flickering potbelly stove remains a pleasant draw, taking off the icy edge of early Spring. Whatever the case, Billet + Bellows is welcoming and laid back in every way a neighborhood bar should be: more stylish and exciting than a standby, but a place you can’t wait to become a regular.

– Ava

Billet & Bellows
177 Grand Street, Brooklyn
347 294 4642
www.billetandbellows.com