How New Owners Revamped Brooklyn's Historic Long Island Bar
1 of 11
Back to the Intro

Joel Tompkins and Toby Cecchini Reopen Brooklyn's Long Island Bar

1 of 11
Photo: Bobby Doherty/New York Magazine

The long-damaged cursive “Long Island” portion of the famous neon sign glows anew with noble gas thanks to Jeff Friedman, of Let There Be Neon in Tribeca, who spent three months replacing its busted tubes and sockets.

2 of 11

From left, Pepita Fernández; Emma Sullivan’s husband, Buddy Sullivan; Maruja Fernández; and Emma Sullivan at the bar circa 1959.

3 of 11
Photo: Bobby Doherty

The old-school terrazzo floor has been buffed and rebuffed to its original luster. The pair scored new bar stools that resemble the originals, plus three vintage pink ones that will be embossed with the names Emma, Pepita, and Maruja as a kind of permanently reserved seating.

4 of 11
Photo: Bobby Doherty

Cecchini, a Wisconsin native, has dubbed the narrow barroom’s adjacent seating area the “Packer Room.” It features a “make-out” alcove lined with old floral wallpaper excavated during renovations, and plans include a stealth TV that springs out from behind a painting during Green Bay games only.

5 of 11
Photo: Bobby Doherty

A new, custom-made blue neon sign hangs between the bathroom doors.

6 of 11
Photo: Bobby Doherty

Tompkins found one vintage Lightolier sconce on eBay that seemed to match the space. A friend of Cecchini’s was able to reproduce the design perfectly, and now each booth is adorned with an ideal quotient of mood lighting. The two-tone vinyl booths have been reinforced and meticulously cleaned.

7 of 11
Photo: Bobby Doherty

Much of the narrow space is occupied by its long mahogany bar and palatial Brunswick Deco back bar. It glows like an old Wurlitzer at dusk, with new, retrofitted LED flares behind the sconces that flank the center console. Tompkins and Cecchini labored to restore the lowboy refrigerator to its original wood finish, and thousands of old cigarette marks are visible on the bar, ghosts of Pall Malls past.

8 of 11
Photo: Bobby Doherty
9 of 11
Photo: Bobby Doherty
10 of 11
Photo: Bobby Doherty

Anton Baranenko, who worked on the calibrated taps at Tørst, spent weeks dismantling the bar’s old steampunk beer siphon and retrofitting its “Bay Ridge” handle unit to work compatibly with modern kegs. Rosé will be on tap in the summer, alongside local brews from Captain Lawrence and Kelso, as well as Cecchini’s cherished Yuengling lager.

11 of 11
Photo: Bobby Doherty

Cecchini’s Boulevardier.

SPONSORED MESSAGE

Recent Openings

Recent Closings

Latest News from Grub Street

Here’s the Full List of the ‘World’s 50 Best Restaurants’ for 2018

New York’s highly acclaimed Eleven Madison Park dropped down from the top spot.

Madre Taqueria Now Serving Mexico’s Oddly Tasty Junk-Food Fantasia Dorilocos

An over-the-top combination of Doritos, hot sauce, pork rinds, gummy bears, and more.

How to Pair Wine With General Tso’s Chicken

You’re going to want some natural wine from France to go with your Chinese delivery.

Anthony Bourdain and the ‘Silent Epidemic of Male Suicide’

Why the TV host and author’s untimely death was uniquely gut-wrenching for men his age.

Waitress Violates First Rule of Spitting in Food by Actually Informing Customer

An actual case of everyone’s worst restaurant nightmare.

José Andrés and the Adrià Brothers’ New York Food Hall Will Open Next Spring

Mercado Little Spain is his first New York project and a collaboration with Spain’s most famous culinary siblings, Ferran and Albert Adrià.

Couscous Bar Kish-Kash Opens Today in the West Village

Chef Einat Admony is out to prove that the hand-rolled variety is the only kind worth eating.

La Mercerie Conveys You Straight to France Without the Packing or the Jet Lag

Marie-Aude Rose’s new café has that classically French combination of first-class ingredients and technique and a kind of elevated, homespun care.

A New Haven for Stretchy Middle Eastern Ice Cream Has Landed in Williamsburg

This summer, grab some salted-Oreo booza.

Dippin’ Dots Cereal Should Be the Pinnacle of Human Achievement — Sadly, It Isn’t

There appears to be no liquid nitrogen involved.