The power of fresh flowers is palpable at ceremonies like weddings. Being on the receiving end of just a single rose can fill you with jubilation. Ironically enough, so can an ice cold beer during a heat wave. Brooklyn’s Sycamore Flowershop + Bar has fused these feel goods into one chill spot. There’s even a Beer + Bouquet special for $10!
On a street peppered with modern breezy restaurants and bodegas, Sycamore’s storefront stood out. The modest but lush flower shop at it’s entry is called Stems and upon entering it I was bitch-slapped with scents, colors, shapes, sizes, and textures. Now, I’m not particularly fond of flowers nor could I name a single one on display, but I appreciated the variety here. Some were spiky. Some were delicate and full. Others tropical and leafy. One even looked like the ‘Price Is Right’ microphone. Don’t pretend you don’t know what that looks like.
The flower shop opened up through a doorway into a rustic, wood-accented bar area with checkered floors and and a large lively garden in the distance. Shelves behind the bar brilliantly showcased a selection of over 75 Scottish, Irish, American, Japanese and Canadian bourbons and whiskeys. Small nods incorporated the flower shop subtly and tastefully. Amongst the bourbon bottles was a sign that read ” Pint of beer + bouquet $10″. The intrigue of this special had my eyes darting between the draft menu and the bartender for answers and choices and guidance. I needed peonies and a pilsner, dammit. I snagged the bartender’s attention and asked him what the deal was with the special. He points to the 8-beer draft list first and then to a tall metal tin on the bar top with 2 small but colorful bouquets. ” Pick whichever you like”, he said. So I ordered me a Lionshead Pilsner, grabbed a bouquet from the tin and posted up at a table overlooking the garden. The small bouquet was wrapped in brown paper and consisted of 3 distinctly different flowers which I felt was an affordable souvenir of the diversity Stems had to offer.
The demographic was generally young; a mixed bag of hipster families, freelancers with no 9-5s, suburban transplants and friendly locals…which I guess is almost everybody. Given the weather, it was no surprise that most people posted up on tables outside. A small enclosure with a steel awning houses Sycamore’s pop-up program. That evening Grasshopper Thai was pumping out small bites and snacks. I wasn’t hungry and didn’t feel like devouring skewered meats so I passed.
So as I finished my beer, my bouquet and good vibes in tow , I began to understand the enchantment of this Ditmas Park favorite.
UPDATE: As of July 2017 the health department has temporarily shut down the flower shop and restaurant pop-up program at Sycamore’s until further notice. While I agree that safety and health standards need to be met , Sycamore’s is an example of how the city must adapt to businesses that continue to innovate and fuse unique and interesting concepts and spaces to set themselves apart.